doula irvine

Packing Your Hospital Bag

Woohoooo! You've made it to the third trimester and the reality that your baby is arriving soon has probably hit you like a ton of bricks! If you're like most of our clients, you want to be as prepared as possible for your birth and this means getting your hospital bag packed and organized by 36 or 37 weeks. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by this task - we’ve created an easy, but comprehensive list to make it easier on you. Having your bag packed and ready to go will help you feel more at ease as you enter these last few weeks of pregnancy and prepare to meet your sweet baby!


Hospital Bag Must Haves:

These are the things you shouldn't skip! Even if this is the bare minimum that you pack - don't forget these items! 

  • Prescription Medications

  • Toiletry Items: Face wash, moisturizer, tooth brush, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, contact solution, etc. (They do not have most of these items at the hospital so definitely bring your own!)

  • Glasses (if you're a contact-lense wearer)

  • Slippers (we recommend throwing them away after)

  • Comfortable clothing: if you're not interested in wearing a hospital gown for birth or postpartum then make sure you have clothing that allows for easy access to your belly and your nether-regions.

  • Chapstick or lip moisturizer

  • Hair ties

  • Outfit to wear home: non-restrictive clothing is best!

  • 1 or 2 extra pillows (covered in old or dark pillow cases that can be tossed afterwards)

  • Cell phone/Tablet chargers

  • Nursing tanks & bras

  • Ear plugs & eye mask (helpful for those that need a little extra help to fall asleep!)

  • Several copies of your birth/baby care plan

  • Photo ID and insurance card

  • Snacks for you and your partner! (grab our free printable for packing labor snacks here!)

Some Convenient Extras

These are great options to have for comfort in labor.

  • Blue Tooth speaker

  • Pre-prepped play lists (we recommend creating several - some with upbeat songs to energize you, others with relaxing sounds and no lyrics to help you focus)

  • Fitness Ball (some hospitals have these, but they may not always be available or be the right size. When in doubt, it's helpful to bring your own).

  • Essential Oils for labor

  • Rebozo or a long scarf

  • Christmas lights (read more about why here)

Partner Essentials

We haven't forgotten about your awesome partner! The following is helpful to have on hand to make their experience enjoyable!

  • Snacks!! (we take eating seriously, don't forget food!)

  • Hydrating beverages

  • Personal toiletries

  • Comfy clothing

  • Breath mints or gum

  • Comfy shoes

  • Text/Call/Email list to announce the birth

  • Extra layers (hospitals get cold then hot then cold again - dress in layers!)

  • Phone/Tablet charger

  • Treats for the nurses (protein bars, cookies, chocolate, etc. are all big hits!)

Baby Needs

Your little one doesn't need much and the hospital has most of it especially diapers, wipes and swaddles! Many of these items are optional.

  • Cloth diapers/wipes (if you're choosing to use cloth, you'll need approximately 10-12 diapers per day to be safe). Don't forget your wet bag for storage!

  • Soft swaddles

  • Going home outfit

  • Socks

  • Onesies (2)

  • Infant car seat

We hope this list is helpful as you get ready for your baby's birth day! Is there a "must-have" that we missed? We'd love to hear from you! Share your ideas in the comments!

The DOC Privacy Pledge

In a digital age where "likes" on Instagram are coveted and scrolling through Facebook is a daily hobby, maintaining healthy boundaries with social media can be difficult. It's a conversation we bring up with all of our birth and postpartum doula clients as well as our childbirth education students. It's always a fun topic that gets people thinking. 

Have you thought about what you'd like to share on social media when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and beyond? Have you talked to your family about how and when they can share the news of your baby's birth, photos, etc.? Will you be sharing every milestone with friends & family as your baby grows?

Every family is unique in their approach to social media and we believe it's a relevant discussion to have prior to your birth to establish boundaries with those closest to you. And the beauty is, there is no right or wrong answer! It's all about what you and your partner are comfortable sharing about your journey and experience. Some of the families we work with want to talk about their births or share about the care we provide publicly. They talk about the glorious sleep thanks to their overnight doula or post pictures of the entire birth team. We, of course, love this. Other families choose to keep everything private and off social media entirely. We, of course, respect this. We trust that you know what is best for you and your family. 

This is the main reason why Doulas of Orange County maintains strict confidentiality for all of our clients. In order to honor all of your choices and the varying degrees of involvement with social media, we chose to establish a policy that fully supports your confidentiality and privacy. We strive to maintain the highest levels of professionalism in the doula industry and our discreet care is why many choose us over the rest. 

So, what does privacy, confidentiality, and discretion mean to us?

It means that we will not post pictures of you or your baby on our social media pages. We won't share vague details or snippets of information about your birth, your baby, or your family. We won't even tell someone that you are our client, if that is your desire. If a time arises where we'd like to share more information such as a picture from your birth, a testimonial quote, a parenting success story or anything else, we will always get your permission first. And we fully respect your right to say no. Each member of our team agrees to uphold this same level of privacy, whether they are your birth doula, postpartum doula, lactation counselor, or placenta specialist. 

We love sharing about our business via social media and engaging our clients and our community. It is an incredible tool that we choose to use with integrity. Our agency is built on supporting your choices and your best vision of pregnancy, birth and parenting. It is with this in mind that we leave it up to you to decide how you'd like to share about your experience with your doulas, your baby's birth and your journey as a whole. It is your story to tell, not ours. We celebrate with you when you want to share, and we understand when you want to keep things private.

The work we do is raw, real, and intimate. We are there for some of the most incredibly vulnerable moments of your life and it is an honor to be invited into this sacred space to support your family. You put your trust in us and that is not something we take lightly. We vow to uphold that trust with our heartfelt privacy pledge.