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homebirthers: did you pack bags?

(31 Posts)
soandsosmum Sun 18-Nov-12 18:50:26

And if so, what did you pack?

I didn't quite finish hb last time so just want to be prepared and can't remember what I packed last time!

mayhew Wed 21-Nov-12 12:25:57

As a homebirth midwife….please pack a bag. Just basic stuff.Apart from the obvious, its really useful just after the birth because the things you want (and have selected) immediately are all handy. Also it prevents those irritations when OH cannot find maternity pads, the right pants or nightie.

Anecdote alert: A woman recently rejected the babygro out of the bag after lovely HB. "i didn't want to put the ones I like into that bag…"
A dad to me "haven't you brought nappies?" Child was in a teatowel until the shops opened….

squidkid Wed 21-Nov-12 11:03:28

Yes. And it was useful to have everything in one place even though I didn't go in.

soandsosmum Wed 21-Nov-12 10:38:28

Thanks ladies. I have three bags packed now but will add some things from your lists smile

elliejjtiny Mon 19-Nov-12 16:42:44

With DS1 I didn't. Then I wish I had when I had to send midwife up to my bedroom to find clean knickers.

With DS2 I did. But I thought packing a bag would tempt fate so I had my stuff in my ironing basket and first outfit, nappy and blanket for baby in the moses basket.

DS3 was a planned hospital birth but we kept having to go back in because of weightloss so I had a just in case bag that we kept in the car for the first 2 weeks.

crunchingautumnleaves Mon 19-Nov-12 16:23:35

I had a home birth box with things just for home (sheets to protect floor, lamp, torch, long handled mirror (for birth pool), comfy towels to dry off, cheap towels to make floor comfortable, old duvet also for floor, tray for midwives, couple of bin bags, several kitchen rolls, snacks for midwives/birth partners. Also had a snacks for labour bag for me, next to hb box. Then by the door, I had a hospital bag w things I'd want for labour/birth/first few hours postnatally, including some snacks (in case snack bag was forgotten if we had to transfer). Put anything I wanted to use at home like TENS & aromatherapy stuff in outside pockets/at top so I didn't disturb the rest of the packed stuff. Also by door was changing bag w things for baby. And also an over the shoulder canvas bag I could chuck in anything I was using currently if we transferred like the TENS etc I also had packed a box of postnatal stuff for me & baby so family would know where to find things if we had to stay in longer (something I was keen to avoid!). All boxes/bags were labelled v clearly.

Jojoba1986 Mon 19-Nov-12 16:16:30

Yes, & I put it in the car when I went out anywhere which came in handy when my waters broke while I was out & needed to change my trousers while waiting for DH to come get me!

I also needed it when I had to transfer in after the birth & I had a list of last minute things that I used every day & therefore couldn't pack in advance so DH could make sure I had everything.

Dorisday13 Mon 19-Nov-12 16:02:46

No, just didn't get around to it, went into labour at 40+6

Startail Mon 19-Nov-12 12:34:28

No, I did throw the absolute bare minimum. PJs, maternity pads, tooth brush, nappies, baby grow, and a set of comfy day clothes in the draw under the spare bed. So dH could have chucked them in a holder if necessary. Also meant I knew where nappies and pads were if all went well.

I had absolutely no intention of going near the postnatal ward. Even if we had transferred we would have been leaving ASAP, hence the day clothes.

Anyway, DD2s birth went very sweetly and the MW who delivered her were wonderful.

rosamarina Mon 19-Nov-12 12:24:05

Yes, I did, but then I unpacked it when I was in labour to find things I wanted, and then didn't have half what I needed when I had to have an emergency transfer to hospital. Very annoying. My advice is, don't unpack it until you're holding the baby.

Chunkychicken Sun 18-Nov-12 23:09:11

Yes, I packed 1 for me & 1 for baby. I put the usual post-delivery stuff in my bag as I assumed that if I transferred, it wouldn't be so I could labour there, it would be due to unforeseen circumstances. It was really handy to just say 'maternity pads - pink bag' or 'babygro - baby bag' & let DH/the MWs find it.

besmirchedandbewildered Sun 18-Nov-12 20:41:09

Yes. If you have to transfer in, the last thing you want to be doing is working out what trousers you want to come home in! No harm in having stuff all in one place anyway, as other posters have said.
I hope you won't need it though!

TheDetective Sun 18-Nov-12 20:38:56

Here is my list of stuff which I have left for DP. Can you tell the level of trust I have in his packing ability grin.

* – don’t get this wrong!!!
I have packed the changing bag with things for baby – you need to add the sleepsuits folded carefully – the pile on the left. Bring the pile on the right if needed (I’ll let you know) – bigger size (with bigger vests). Add the babygrow, vest, cardi and hat hanging on the side of the cot to the changing bag. There might not be enough room in changing bag. Take out the pack of nappies if need to, and put them in my bag. Put the blankets in my bag also. DO NOT FORGET TO ADD THEM TO MY BAG.
You will need to bring the car seat, white pram suit and blanket (hanging on left side of wardrobe) in when coming home – leave these in the car until I tell you we need them. Please make sure you know how to fit the car seat.

For my bag:
The pile of clothes/knickers/pads etc on landing. There is one towel, please add another one.
Extra PJ bottoms – my grey baggy ones.
Shampoo and Conditioner
Shower gel
Contact lenses
Phone charger
Dressing gown (washed please)
Clothes for me – if not already with me, leggings, vest top and cardi. I will wear these coming home.
Don’t forget to add baby blankets, and pack of nappies if they don’t fit in changing bag.
Also bring my two purple pillows – ESSENTIAL for labour or afterwards. Hospital pillows are shit. Fact.
And don’t put this shit in a carrier bag, ok? Lend a nice bag from somewhere if you have to. And don’t use the huge fuck off suitcase either.
Remember to bring food and drink regularly for me. Hospital food is SHIT. I will starve otherwise. Ok?
Make sure you have things for you that you need, phone charged, money for carpark, snacks, water etc. (bring the midwives biscuits, and I’ll eat them in front of them hah.)
If it is an emergency transfer and there is no time to pack a bag, just bring the pillows. I may ask you to bring other things, but I will tell you what is essential to bring at the time.


For what its worth, for baby I've put aside 6 vests and baby grows one lot in newborn, and one in 1st month sizes for baby. One pack of nappies, one pack of cotton wool, a few muslin cloths, some socks, a hat, cardi and scratch mitts, plus 3 blankets.

There are 2 pj tops and 2 pj bottoms, plus 2 over sized shirts. Pack of 4 knickers, pack of pads, pack of breast pads, slippers and a clean bra for me.

howiwonder Sun 18-Nov-12 20:34:42

I sort of started one but it was a bit of a half hearted effort and never really finished. Had to go into hospital after the birth for stitching and the bag would have been really handy for that but it was all such a rush that I forgot I'd even done a bag and DH shoved some things in a plastic carrier for me. In hindsight I do think it's a good idea to do a proper bag, but hopefully not have to use it!

ChunkyPickle Sun 18-Nov-12 20:30:04

Yes, and it was very useful when I went in for an overdue scan and they didn't want me to leave... DP would have been totally lost if he'd been trying to pack what I needed for the next few days while worrying about me and DS.

RhinestoneCowgirl Sun 18-Nov-12 20:25:29

First time yes I did. Everything by the (bounty) book - so pads, nappies, clothes for baby and me, all that jazz. On the dot of 36 weeks.

Second time I half-heartedly put some maternity pads in a bag and promptly forgot about it. The MW who'd just delivered my baby asked where stuff was and whether I'd packed a bag. I rather shamefacedly said I hadn't got round to it yet (was overdue). She looked hmm and said 'when were you planning to do it??

You will need the stuff that's in the bag even if you're at home, so it's handy to have it in one place. And if you do end up transferring to hospital you/DP don't want to have to worry about gathering stuff up.

Leafmould Sun 18-Nov-12 20:19:42


And then went to the day unit for assessment due to high bp, and wasn't allowed home. . . My best friend had to go round my flat finding things she thought I'd need.

She did a very good job, really, but there was a lot I didn't have. Plus the baby was tiny and I hadn't realised that 0-3 months size comes after the newborn size!

When I did have a hb, the midwives did keep asking for stuff that would have been in my bag, so of I ever do it again, I will have a bag packed!

lljkk Sun 18-Nov-12 20:08:47

Yes... but I don't think I did bring a bag the one time I did transfer (HB2 of 3, small pph). I don't think it even crossed my mind to bring the bag (eejit, but my blood pressure was quite low so not thinking straight).

What if something else goes wrong (heaven forbid); sudden bleeding or blood pressure scare. Best to make calm the one part of the experience you can.

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Sun 18-Nov-12 20:02:32

Yes, it was convenient even though I didn't get rushed to hospital - as it meant all the stuff I wanted after the birth was in the same bag and I wasn't having to tell DH where to look for pjs, feeding bras and maternity pads - it was all in the bag.

ReallyTired Sun 18-Nov-12 19:55:26

Yes, I think you should have a bag packed as if you were going into hospital. If you have to transfer in from a homebirth there is no time to pack.

nannyl Sun 18-Nov-12 19:51:34


i packed as if i was going to have a full labour and then be in hospital for several days
I packed a labour bag
my bag
a baby bag

{note that 5 days after my due date cousins on both sides were getting married 4+ hours away, in good traffic my hospital is 45min drive away (but 1hr +++ in bad) so we would not have had anyone to bring us forgotten stuff, and i didnt want OH to have to leave me for 2 - 3 hours to go and get something}

but none of it was needed as i gave birth at home smile

Wigeon Sun 18-Nov-12 19:37:25

Yes. And just as well I did, as despite my HB being planned well in advance and with the full support of the local midwife team, when I rang whilst in advanced labour to request a midwife, I was told none was available and I should go into hospital "to be assessed". DD then born a bit over an hour later.

Moral of the story: pack your hospital bag.

Indith Sun 18-Nov-12 19:33:44

I had 2 birth boxes- one with stuff like towels and plastic sheeting, lamp, mirror etc for the birth and the other with dressing gown, baby clothes, post birth pjs for me, maternity pads, granny pants, nappies and so that dh could find it easily when needed and it could be tipped into a bag if I had to transfer in.

froggers1 Sun 18-Nov-12 19:28:07

Yes you must! I ended up in hospital and it would've been stressful to do it at the last minute!!

Skiffen Sun 18-Nov-12 19:23:51

Yes, both times. I used the lists we got at our NCT classes, so packed a bag for labour and delivery, a bag for me for staying in if needed, and a changing bag with enough for a day or so for baby. Stayed at home with both but it was great to have stuff all organised and meant I could direct DH and MWs to all that we needed.

StiffyByng Sun 18-Nov-12 19:11:31

I did. I packed what I would have done if planning a hospital birth. I was told it could be very stressful trying to sort out what to take if transferring so wanted to be prepared.

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