Hi! I am new here to the blog (but not to Sweetbottoms). I am Charity and I started out at Sweetbottoms in March of 2013 as a retail employee at the local store and then moved to the Internet department in July of 2014. My two children (Rose and Gabriel) spent a good deal of the first part of their lives at Sweetbottoms, so it has been a huge part of our lives for the past 2 years.
I am a stay at home mom now, since the closure of the physical location, but I was leaving regardless to prepare for the arrival of my third baby, Oliver, due November 5th. It just hit me a few days ago that he is due in only 6 weeks! So that means I need to start preparing!
The past week, I have been working on my birth plan and my birth bag packing list. I am going to deliver at a free-standing birth center, so things are a little different then delivering at a hospital. Rose was born at a hospital, complete with pain medication and an epidural, and Gabriel was born with no unnecessary intervention and no medication at the same birth center where I will be delivering Oliver. I think it goes without saying which type of birth I prefer.
Not going to lie, birth plans can be hard, even after 2 kids. I did not have a real birth plan with Rose. The hospital did not really encourage them. But, at the birth center, they actually ask you to have one and to give them a copy at your 36 week appointment. It is very reassuring to know that I can give them a birth plan and they will do their best to stick with it.
I have actually found that packing a birth bag for a birth center can be just as hard as writing a birth plan! With Gabriel, I had no idea what to take. The hospital had provided most of the items I needed when I delivered Rose, so I was kind of guessing when I delivered Gabriel. But I think I have it figured out this time. So I am going to tell you what I am taking this time and highlight a few of my favorites.
1. Clothes & Diapers (Goes without saying) – Both for you and baby. My birth center does have gowns, but ask your preference when you arrive. I prefer to wear my own clothes. I was free to leave the birth center once I checked in and walk around, or even drive into downtown for dinner. (I do have a funny story about that. Thank goodness it does not involve my water breaking or anything like that. I just felt sorry for our waitress who was having to deal with a very pregnant lady who was having regular contractions.)
Don’t pack or wear anything special or has any sentimental value to you though. Birth is messy. Same for baby. One or two outfits should be good for baby. At my birth center, you are heading home within 4-8 hours after giving birth, so you and baby don’t need too much.
I also plan on cloth diapering from the start with Oliver, so I have a few BumGenius and Blueberry Newborn AIOs, and some EcoPosh Fitteds and Rumparooz covers to take. I also have one pack of newborn disposable diapers, just in case.
2. Bath Items and other toiletries – Though you may not feel like it right after giving birth, you might want to take a shower or bath sometime before heading home. My favorite of my toiletries is my Earth Mama Angel Baby Happy Mama Wash. It is 100% castile soap with yummy essential oils like orange, lime, and grapefruit. I follow up with a spritz or two of Earth Mama Angel Baby Happy Mama Spray, and get a great mood lift.
4. Music – Some parents like to have special music playing in the room for relaxation.
5. Cool Mist Diffuser & Essential Oils – I love using essential oils for relaxation and focus. I have a Green Air Spa Vapor Pro diffuser that I love. I plan on taking my lavender, frankincense, grapefruit, and Plant TherapySelf-Esteem oils to diffuse. Self-Esteem also makes a good massage oil when properly diluted, so I am also packing a small bottle of fractionated coconut oil for massage.
6. Pillow & Blankets – I don’t know about you, but I can be picky when it comes to my pillow and blanket. I also love to bring my Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets for baby. My Gabe still carries around the one I first wrapped him up in.
7. Postpartum Care – I have quite a few products that I love and are at the top of the list. (You will notice that most are from Earth Mama Angel Baby with some LuSa Organicssprinkled in. I just love Earth Mama Angel Baby. )
First is Earth Mama Angel Baby Postpartum Bath Herbs. These look like large tea bags filled with all kinds of herbal goodness. You brew it just like tea and then can use the warm tea bag as a compress for sore bottoms. You can also take the liquid and pour it onto a pad and cool for use later. I am also taking LuSa Postpartum Herbs. These are designed to be used as an herbal bath.
Next, Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Balm and New Mama Bottom Spray. Excellent to use after the postpartum bath herbs.
8. Food – I am sure most people would argue this belongs at the top of the list. But this is just another thing I love about the birth center. I can eat and drink as I need to in labor! Be sure to pack some nutrient-packed foods for you and your partner. It could be a long day! (Or night, as in my case.) Good things to pack are fresh fruit, granola bars, and Gatorade or coconut water. Also be sure to drink plenty of water! That is one thing that sticks out in my mind after labor and delivery. I just wanted water!
9. Baby Wrap – I put this at the bottom of the list because not everyone is plans on babywearing right after birth. But I do plan on taking my Wrapsody Breeze Woven Wrap in Noa with me to wrap my sweet Oliver in. There is nothing like having a sweet, fresh, brand-new baby all snuggled up against you. A wrap can help keep that closeness while giving your arms a break.
10. Car Seat – Again, goes without saying. You have to have a safe way to get that new squish home! Be sure to pack some light blankets if it is cold. In a carseat, covering baby with blankets rather then dressing in layers works best to keep them snug and secure in the carseat.
So, obviously this is not a conclusive list. Items will vary depending on what you need and where you are giving birth. But I hope this will give you a general idea of what to pack, if you need help, and also maybe introduce you to some new things that could really help with your labor and postpartum experience.
Until next time,
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