Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Birth Center Packing List

(link to printable at the bottom of the page)
I looked high and low on the Internet for a birth center packing list. I found a couple, I wasn't sold on their lists though they either had too much or not enough. I found a lot of "Hospital OR Birthing Center" lists. Also not a perfect fit. Since I haven't actually given birth yet I am sure this list will be edited, and I welcome (encourage!) comments about what you found useful during your labor and birth, or if you have ideas.

Keep in mind that the birthing center doesn't provide everything the hospital does, meaning diapers, onsies, caps, etc. You're also expected to wear your own clothes (going naked IS an option!) I am also planning on a water birth.  Another interesting difference is that you leave the birthing center 6-12 hours after the birth if there are no complications. They do this my sending a midwife to your house to check on you afterwards.

I have compiled a list from several I found on other blogs, websites like, among other places.  I also read though reviews and comments to find out what other moms used and didn't use.

I have a free printable for you at the end of the post (let me know what you think!) And I am also going to go down the list and explain some. It seems like a lot but all in all I will have one bag for me, the diaper bag, and a backpack for daddy.

As soon as I get around to buying things and putting the bags together I will update with pictures! I am compiling the list now while I am 30 weeks so I have time to buy everything to get my bag packed at a reasonable time.

Here it is!

For Dad to carry to car:
  • My boppy pillow (everyone should have one. I can't sleep without it.)
  • Towel and trash bag for car (in case of my water breaking before/during the car ride.)
  • plastic bag (I hear you puke)
  • Mommy's bag
  • Daddy's bag
  • Diaper Bag
  • Car seat (ideally already installed)
In Mommy's Bag:

toiletries bag (I have a few clear plastic zip bags to put inside my suitcase to keep things organized)
  • comb/brush
  • hair tie
  • hair scarf (my hair wont all stay up on its own)
  • chapstick (nothing worse than dry lips, and I anticipate breathing out of my mouth a lot)
  • coconut oil (works for diaper cream to keep meconium from sticking, massage oil for during labor, and nipple cream since I am breastfeeding)
  • travel shampoo and conditioner
  • travel body wash (I hear the after baby shower is GLORIOUS)
  • toothbrush (new one so I don't have to remember the one I am currently using)
  • travel toothpaste
  • travel deodorant
  • make-up (I may not use this one but I may regret not bringing it for after labor. Lots of pictures. Call me vain!)
  • glasses and contacts (I've heard several times glasses during birth being a pain, and I can definitely see that with a water birth.)
  • Big pads/depends. (I haven't decided yet. I don't like the "diaper" idea but I may feel more secure about walking around if I'm not afraid to bleed on my clothes.)
  • old bathrobe
  • comfortable nightgown for labor
  • P.J.'s to change into for nursing/visitors after the birth
  • Going home outfit (comfortable and roomy! Probably a dress since I'm delivering in spring)
  • socks
  • old comfortable black underwear (for after delivery, not sure the mesh ones I hear about are available)
  • swim top for water birth (I don't think I'll want it but I'd prefer to have it around!)
  • nursing bra
  • slippers
  • flip flops
  • wet bag for dirty laundry. (I may be over confident in my laundry skills but I'm sure I can save some ruined things)

  • cough drops (I love the cherry ones, and I kinda see my self as a loud laborer=sore throat)
  • snacks (this will be another list entirely, YES I am allowed to eat whatever I want during labor.)
  • drinks (lots of water and drinks with electrolytes)
  • ID and insurance cards (in case of transport)
  • music (I will be making a play list)
  • heat sock (I love my heat sock)
  • massage tools (tennis balls, I also have a machine that is wonderful)
  • aromatherapy oils (lavender, I love lavender) 
  • Birth plan
Daddy's Bag:
  • cellphones and chargers
  • camera and batteries
  • written call list (I like hard copies of everything)
  • book (I hope he will be too busy comforting me but, there is the off chance he will get bored)
  • change of clothes (you never know what you will get on you!)
  • deodorant
  • toothbrush and paste
  • bathing suit (if he wants to get in the tub or shower with me)
Diaper/Baby Bag:
  • 4 different outfits (Not sure of his size, he has the potential to be 10+ lbs!)
  • mittens
  • 3 blankets (light since I'm delivering in spring)
  • 8 prefolds and 2 covers (I'm using less expensive prefolds to get though the meconium stage (that early poop stains I hear) and/or until one size pocket cloth diapers fit him.)
  • baby book for footprints
  • knit hat
  • socks
  • nasal aspirator
  • comb
  • nail clippers
 Emergency Bag:
  • extra change of clothes
  • ID/Insurance card
  • Birth plan

    UPDATE: I was transferred to the hospital and ended up spending 5 days there.  I used EVERYTHING in my bag at one point or another.  My doula, who has been a doula since the early 80's said I was the most prepared mom she had ever seen. So, pack what you want but I did literally use everything in my bags. My doula even used my computer during my 3 day long labor. I even used the cloth diapers because baby had a reaction to the hospital's disopsables.  Hubby had to go home and get more.

  • Here is the printable! If you have any problems printing it please comment and I'll e-mail you the file.


  1. Thanks for sharing ood and helpful article with us. I really have enjoyed all of this very cool information.
    Hospital packing list for delivery

  2. I realise I'm about 2 years late, but thank you so much for posting this! I've been searching for a good birthing center pack list, I'm not due until August, but I'm so excited for baby and to use a birthing center, I definitely want to be prepared!