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Thread: To pack a bag or to not pack a bag??

  1. #1
    aussiemidwife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Sydney, Australia

    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?
    Moderator Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    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.

  3. #3
    I had all my homebirth and postnatal supplies laid out on a bed in our spare room, easy to see what I had as I prepared for my daughter's birth. It was really handy to be able to send one of my midwives or my husband in to get things as I needed them after the birth but could also have been handy if we had needed to transfer as my hubby could have just dumped it all into a bag to take with us. I like to be prepared!

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    I LOVE that idea! I wasn't quite that prepared. I had all of my homebirth supplies in one area so that the midwives would be able to easily get what they needed. But as for the postpartum supplies - some were with the birthing supplies, but things like nappies, baby clothes and my clothes were in their respective places.

    I'll suggest your idea to other homebirthing mums - great idea!


    P.S. Fi - I see you had a daughter about a year ago. Are you thinking about trying for baby #2 yet?

  5. #5
    New Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I would say "pack a bag". Personally i was very excited about the birth of my son that i packed the bag a month before i conceived. Since you never know what might happen during home birth it's good to be prepared. Again everything should be within reach during birth so to ease the work of the midwife just put few necessities in a bag. New mothers please make a list of what u need during birth few weeks to delivery.

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