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Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash.

What to Pack in Your Birth Bag


One of the most common questions we get at Midwest Doulas the moment our clients hit their third trimester is,

“What should I pack for my birth?”

And while we know that you don’t need to have all of these items with you to have a baby, some people feel more at peace when they do a little nesting and planning with a bag that is ready to go. 

At the top of this list we have some items we suggest having in your car, prepped and ready in case your water breaks or baby decides to make a swift arrival!

What to pack in your birth bag - for the car

  • Baby’s car seat (properly installed)
  • Towels in case your water breaks on the way to your birth center or hospital
  • Blankets – in the (very rare) case your baby makes a swift arrival in route to your birth place
  • Gasoline! Keep your tank at least 1⁄2 full at all times

Small bag with two changes of comfortable clothing for the birthing person and partner, plus cell phone chargers, toothbrushes, etc.

What to pack in your birth bag - for the birth
  • Plenty of hair bands or hair clips for the birthing person during labor
  • Clothes for the birthing person to labor in– such as a big T-shirt, skirt, a loose nightgown, or bathrobe
  • Juices and snacks for labor
  • Plastic bags to carry laundry back home with you
  • Food/snacks for immediately after birth
  • Clothes for baby (diapers, blankets, booties, onesies, nightgown)
  • Clothes for birthing parent to go home in after birth (nightgown, robe, slippers, coat, maternity sized comfy clothes – yes, you will still look and feel a little pregnant!)
  • Change of clothes and swimsuit for partner (swimsuit to support laboring in water)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, breath mints, lip balm if desired
  • Music or other items desired for labor and birth such as photographs of family or peaceful images
What to pack in your birth bag - optional items
  • Extra pillows and lightweight blanket for a more personal feel
  • Copy of your birth preferences document (if you don’t have a doula, you will have to share this with the team at your birth location yourself)
  • Camera or video camera if you haven’t hired a birth photographer

Do you have more questions about what to pack in your bag for the hospital or birth center? Looking for more information about how a doula can help you and your partner prepare for birth? Contact Midwest Doulas for a free consultation.

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