We work with a lot of expecting couples that are embarking on this journey for the first time and they usually have a lot of questions. Answering those questions is one of the best parts of our job, because we love helping educate people and connecting them to resources that they need. Most people these days know what a Birth Doula does or at the very least have heard the term. But more often not there are a lot of misconceptions about Postpartum Doulas. Many people think that a Postpartum Doula is there to help those with postpartum depression. Others might have heard that a Postpartum Doula is similar to a nanny. And while we do work with clients with postpartum depression and some of our Doulas have been nannies in the past, those definitions barely scratch the surface of what we do as Postpartum Doulas.
In 2014 our doula agency was founded and with it came a regular gathering of new moms that we eventually named “New Mama Cafe”. This weekly meeting was a welcoming, safe space for moms to connect over coffee and conversation while their babies played in a safe environment. At its peak we had approximately 20 moms walking through our doors each week with their adorable babies in tow. What a joy it was to see familiar faces each Tuesday and get to great new moms and babies as well!
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!
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
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)
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!)
Breath mints or gum
Text/Call/Email list to announce the birth
Extra layers (hospitals get cold then hot then cold again - dress in layers!)
Treats for the nurses (protein bars, cookies, chocolate, etc. are all big hits!)
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!
Going home outfit
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!
Hey there, mama. We see you.
We see you with your sore nipples trying to get your baby to latch, scrolling through KellyMom trying to figure out what's going on and how to make it work. We know it's hard and painful and exhausting. They told you your baby would feed every 2-3 hours, but how has it only been 45 minutes since your baby last fed and is now showing signs of hunger again?! Yeah, we see you.