First Days Maternity Supplies Ltd

Do I need a ‘Hospital Bag’ for a home birth?

Hospital bag filled with postpartum recovery products

I’m planning a home birth, do I need to pack a ‘hospital bag’?

It’s one we have heard over and over again and this is what we think….
Yes! Here’s why…
You will most likely enjoy packing it. Writing the checklist, researching what you might like to have and what you think you can do without, finding where to buy it from and packing it all neatly in a newly purposed bag, or even case, is one of the most exciting things to do during your pregnancy. The realisation that you’re going to be meeting your new little baby soon and packing their cute little outfits is heart warming. However, you’re not going to forget to pack all of the things for you. Think about what you will need for labour and postpartum recovery, ten cute baby outfits aren’t going to be helping you in your moments of need. It could be a good idea to have a bag for you and a bag for baby, or half a side of a wheelie case each. This keeps everything separate and easier to locate when needed.

You will have everything close by:

Having everything nearby for your midwife or birthing partners will make things much easier and less stressful. They will be able to pass you things quickly and easily if you have your bag close to you during labour and after the birth. It is a good idea to go through your bag (whilst you are pregnant, of course!) with your birth partner so they know what’s in it and where! The last thing you want is people mooching around your house when you’re in labour looking for that special flannel you requested! 

You don’t need anything special in your ‘home birth bag’ your midwife will bring everything that is needed for your home birth from a medical perspective. 

You could transfer into hospital if:

  • Many women transfer into hospital after starting their labours at home and there are many reasons why. This is the single most important reason to have your bag ready to travel with you, should you decide to go to the hospital either before or after your baby has arrived.
  • You decide that’s where you would rather give birth to your baby. It’s completely fine to change your mind many times during your pregnancy about where you want to birth your baby. What was the right decision at 18 weeks might not be the same decision at 41 weeks. You can change your mind on the day if you like! 
  • You would like more pain relief than what you’re able to have at home. Generally the strongest pain relief medication available at home is Entonox or Gas and Air as it’s more frequently known. If you would like an epidural for example, you will need to go to the hospital for it to be administered.
  • You have been advised to transfer for medical reasons. It may be that your midwife has advised that it is now safer for you and/or your baby to be in a hospital setting for delivery.
  • You weren’t at home when your labour started. Have you considered what you might want to do if labour starts when you’re least expecting it? What if you’re visiting friends and family a few weeks before you are ‘due’ to give birth and labour suddenly starts? It could be worth looking at nearby hospitals and birthing centres before you travel and making a note of phone numbers and addresses so you’re able to stay calm and focussed, rather than wondering where you’re going to end up.
  • You have given birth to your baby in your (and their) home but you need to transfer to hospital for one of you to receive further medical attention. 

So, to sum up, yes, get packing your ‘home birth bags’ and remember to show your birth partner what’s inside and where! 

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