To pack a bag or to not pack a bag??
At the Pregnancy and Parenting Network in October we discussed Unexpected outcomes at length. One of the issues that came up was whether or not to pack a bag in case transfer from home to hospital was required. Some women who'd experienced a hospital transfer advocated for packing a bag (some had not and found it challenging when the time came to move into hospital). Other women did not want to pack a "hospital bag" as it didn't feel right and gave energy to the option of giving birth in hospital. Some suggestions were to call the bag a "postnatal bag" that contains all the items for after the birth in once place - which would be really helpful following a homebirth. It was also suggested to pack it early and put it away and to no longer think about it.
Another suggestion was to not pack the bag - but to have a list of what to take so that a partner or support person can get everything ready quickly should a transfer be required.
What do you think about packing a bag when planning a homebirth?
To pack or not to pack...
I didn't pack a bag for the hospital with any of my 5 homebirths. In fact I didn't even think about it and it wasn't suggested by either of my midwives. I created a list of those who would need to be called when I went into labour (Midwife, Family, Friends, a Massage Therapist, etc.) and included on that list was the phone number for the emergency room at the hospital where I would be transferred if needed.
But as I think about this option now, I would probably make a little list of things I'd like to have with me in the hospital if a transfer was required, but packing such a bag would probably make me a bit uneasy because when I'm planning for a homebirth, I like all of my focus to be there.
We don't live very far away from the hospital, so my husband could easily come home and pick up anything I needed. If I wanted my husband with me, one of the midwives could come home and pick up items too. I always had 2 attendants at my first birth and 3 attendants at each of my other births.
Doing what feels right is important for each mum and there may be a number of factors that come into play when making a decision to prepare a bag or not. Number of attendants and distance from hospital would be two big ones for me.