Are you considering having a home birth? It’s becoming increasingly popular among expectant mothers, and there are many benefits to delivering your baby in the comfort of your own home. However, even if you have planned every detail of your home birth, it’s important to pack a hospital bag as well. Whether you reach for the bag or not, explore the reasons to pack a hospital bag for a planned home birth and check out our pointers for packing.
What Is a Home Birth?
A home birth is when an expectant mother gives birth at home instead of in a hospital or birthing center. Generally, a certified nurse midwife, doula, or other trained medical professional oversees the birth.
Many parents choose to have a home birth because they feel more comfortable and in control of their experience. It can also be a more affordable option for those without insurance coverage.
Why Should You Pack a Hospital Bag?
While home births can be a safe and empowering experience, it’s important to remember that there are always safety risks involved in home births—or any birth, for that matter. In the case of an emergency or unforeseen complication, you may need to be transferred to a hospital for medical care. Having a hospital bag packed and ready can help make this transition smoother and less stressful.
Essential Items for Your Hospital Bag
So, what should you pack in your hospital bag even when you planned a home birth? Here are some important items to consider:
- Medical records: This includes any prenatal records, ultrasounds, and blood work results. These can provide valuable information for medical professionals in the event of a transfer to the hospital.
- Change of clothes: It’s a good idea to have some comfortable and loose-fitting clothing packed in case you need to go to the hospital. This includes loose tops, sweatpants, and underwear.
- Toiletries: Don’t forget items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and soap. These may seem like small things, but they can make a big difference in making you feel more comfortable during an unexpected hospital stay.
- Entertainment: You may end up spending some time in the hospital, so it’s a good idea to have some items that can help you pass the time. This could include books or audiobooks, magazines, or music. And don’t forget the charging cords for any electronics.
There are many reasons to have a hospital bag when you plan a home birth. But the primary objective is to remain prepared for a transfer and make the process as stress-free as possible. It’s never a bad idea to be ready for anything, as birth is often unpredictable and ever evolving.