The Baby’s Birth Experience: Babies Feel Birth Too

Considering A Baby’s Birth Experience In Birth, Postpartum, and Parenting

babys birth experience

As a doula, I spend a lot of time with my clients talking about the birth experience. We prepare for birth through education, discussing fears and concerns, learning relaxation, and self-discovery. One of the most ignored aspects of birth and postpartum is the baby’s birth experience.

Firstly, our babies experience birth right alongside us. They take in the vibrations of everyone in the room, especially their mother. We know that maternal stress affects babies. This is true in pregnancy and birth.

Babies live in the realm of slower brain waves through instinct and reflex responses. A baby’s birth experience is greatly affected by the responses of everyone involved in the birth space. I recently attended a workshop with Karen Strange, and you can hear a great podcast with her here. This is really a MUST LISTEN.

Secondly, the baby’s birth experience is linked to their ideas about the world. The baby’s first experiences in the world can hard-wire their brain and tell them what the world is like. Also, consider some of the things that may happen to babies in birth. The baby’s experience is greatly affected by assisted deliveries and cesarean section. Emergencies and resuscitation also greatly affect the baby’s experience.

Effects of the Birth Experience on Babies

As a postpartum doula, one of the first things I discuss with families is their birth experience. So many challenges of the postpartum time can come right back to birth. Birth is the beginning, and the newborn experience unravels from that moment. Often mothers who have had an induction might say something like, “My baby just seems to want to do everything on their own terms!” Or, babies who have experienced a separation immediately after birth can sometimes have issues with separation from their mother as infants. This is a result of their imprinting and the impact of their experience on their ideas about life.

If you consider the birth experience, then you can often unpack the postpartum experience. Babies are intuitive. They live through instinct. Also, our babies have no knowledge of the rational thinking world we live in as adults.

Babies don’t understand why certain things happen to them in birth. They feel the pulling. They feel discomfort. Babies feel shock and disturbance.

Also, babies feel the stress and adrenaline of those present at the birth experience. If a mother experiences trauma during birth, then the baby feels the stress response of that moment.

Supporting a Positive Experience

So, we know that babies are deeply affected by their birth. What can parents do to support a positive experience for their baby?

Firstly, we know that there are often events in birth that we cannot control. Situations arise that call us to make hard decisions. Talk to your baby. Tell your baby what is going to happen. Secondly, partners, birth workers, and other professionals can gently support the mother through the experience to limit maternal stress. Help mom relax so she can connect with her baby.

Your presence in birth is felt by all. Consider how you show up during the birth experience. Are you anxious? Fearful? Full of adrenaline? Then consider using grounding and relaxation strategies to calm that energy. Be present in your body. Take a breath. Give space.

On-Call Postpartum Doula Support: Professional Support

Get On-Call Postpartum Doula Support When You Need it the Most

postpartum doula

Who do you call when you need an answer about a baby question? You probably call a family member or a friend. You might find 10 different answers to the same question. And yet you don’t know if any of those answers are backed up by research. Also, it’s hard to figure out what is right for you when family lays pressure on you to do things their way. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have an on-call postpartum doula, when you need it the most?

Find Quick Answers to Common Problems

An on-call postpartum doula can answer your parenting and infant care questions in your moment of challenge. Ease the overwhelm of finding reliable information through the internet and turn to a trusted and trained professional. We schedule appointments at your convenience, whenever it works for you. Also, you can video chat with a professional to ease your mind and learn a new skill.

Ease Your Mind In Times of Trouble

Are you having trouble with nap-time? Are you looking to start a new routine but need someone to talk you through your options? Do you need to talk through a basic feeding challenge? We can ease your mind and help you determine what is normal and when to seek more support. Your on-call postpartum doula is here to chat when you need answers fast. Also, we calm your worries in parenting and take the worry out of your day. Need someone to stop in for a quick visit to help with a new bedtime routine? Looking for ideas to help soothe your baby? We’re here for short appointments to model these skills for you in the comfort of your own home.

Maybe you just need someone to listen to your parenting struggles. But sometimes we fear judgment by turning to family or a friend. Our on-call postpartum doulas provide non-biased, non-judgmental support to families.

On-Call Postpartum Doula Support: How it Works

Purchase a package of on-call support hours. We offer 6 or 10 hour packages. Our on-call postpartum doula support packages ease your mind in parenting. You will have a professional available to you to chat at any time with your questions and concerns. Receive information and answers from an infant care specialist over the phone, through video chat, or in the comfort of your own home.

Like what you hear? Let’s chat!

How to Support a Grieving Friend: Grief is Homeless Love

5 Ways to Support a Grieving Friend

grieving friend

As a doula, you will inevitably find yourself supporting a family through loss at some point in your work. Also, everyone will have a friend or family member at some point who experiences pregnancy or infant loss. How can you support a grieving friend? Let’s talk about this.

Loss is tragic. However, it is not as uncommon as you might think. Everyone talks about statistics. One in four pregnancies will end in a loss. Stillbirth occurs in about one out of every 160 pregnancies. When you become the statistic, the numbers don’t matter. The experience becomes your life.

We live in a society that finds death a very unsavory topic. It’s something that has been separated from family life. We shut death behind closed doors and leave it to a professional to handle. Also, we are programmed to push through the pain and ignore it. We don’t talk about the dead for fear of causing pain. Death is removed from the cycle of birth and life.

In light of this, it is hard to find support in pregnancy and infant loss. I find that most people have good intentions. But our perceptions of help and support are sometimes dramatically different.

My Experience

If you read my blog, you may have noticed that I lost a baby in 2014. I tell the story here. Among the trauma of the loss itself, I experienced a tremendous sense of abandon. I had to beg my family and friends to spend time with me. It was a tremendous sense of abandon and unprecedented loneliness. Grief is homeless love.

Firstly, I think that we isolate death because we don’t know how to grieve. My family didn’t know how to grieve, and it’s hard to support someone when you don’t know how. Secondly, we are not taught how to make time and space for grief in our lives. Also, friends and family say “uplifting” words and push us to move beyond. Grief requires space, time, and attunement.

At some point, you WILL find yourself in the role of supporting a friend, family member, or client through loss. So, let’s discuss how you can provide support.

How can you support a grieving friend, family member, or client?

  • Show up. Be there. Be the person to pick up the phone. They might not answer, but messages help. Ask them how they are doing. Sometimes, we give people space to “get over” their loss. Reconsider the idea of being with someone rather than waiting for the time to pass. Also, think about being WITH someone rather than doing something FOR someone.
  • It’s okay to talk about their baby. Ask them about their baby’s name and their story. Say their name. Be an active listener while they tell their story.
  • Avoid saying “at least” to a grieving family. There is nothing positive about losing a baby. Don’t say, “at least you can get pregnant again!” or “At least you have another child at home!” or “At least…” anything. Just don’t say it.
  • Listen. Be okay with giving silence and being with them. Resist the temptation to soothe the space by filling it with words. Also, be comfortable holding yourself in that space to let any feelings arise.
  • Ask what you can do by offering specific suggestions. “Can I bring you dinner?” “Can I do the kids laundry?” Don’t put the burden on the family to come up with something for you to do. Sometimes that’s too much to process and they very well may say they don’t need anything. And very commonly, they have no idea what they might need.

What is a Birth Doula? The Value of a Doula

A birth doula is the support solution you need for pregnancy and birth.

birth doula

So, you have been hearing about doulas. Maybe your friend had a doula and had an amazing birth experience. Or, you found a post from a birth doula on social media and want to learn more. Let’s start here…

A Birth Doula Can Help You Have the Best Birth Experience Possible

Firstly, our medical system is so complex. It’s incredibly difficult to know the right questions and learn how to get answers. Secondly, it’s important to communicate your birth plan to your provider. Doulas help you have the best birth experience possible. We help you learn how to navigate the medical system to meet your goals. Also, you can find out about great local resources for pregnancy and postpartum support.

If you use a birth doula, then you have the support of a trained professional who has experience working in your chosen birth place. Your doula can help you learn more about the policies and protocols in your birth place. Also, your birth doula will help prepare you for what to expect upon arrival and throughout the birth process.

Informational Support & Education

We live in a world full of information. Everyone has information at their fingertips. Firstly, you can literally google anything you want and immediately find information. Secondly, your family and friends will give you tons of advice. Also, most of that advice will be unsolicited and contradictory.

How do you sort through the information you are getting? How can you navigate the information overwhelm in pregnancy, birth, and parenting?

A birth doula can provide you with accurate information. Birth doulas help people dispel myths. We help you sort out fact versus fiction. We provide real information that can help you make decisions. Also, doulas help people determine what is normal and what may be abnormal. We can swiftly refer you to a local resource for more information.

Also, doulas reduce fear and anxiety in birth by giving you information on what to expect. Sometimes, we might talk through the details of a medical procedure so you know exactly what to expect. Or, we might be talking through what happens during early labor. We put your mind at ease by letting you know what to expect for each step in pregnancy and birth.

Physical Support & Comfort

In labor, you will experience pain and discomfort in varying degrees. A birth doula can help you stay as comfortable as possible during birth. Birth doulas ease the discomforts of birth by offering comforting touch, counter pressure for pain relief, and support in labor positions. We put your body at ease and promote relaxation. A birth doula provides comforting care that anticipates your needs and soothes your mind and body. Also, we help you with movement, positional changes, and we make sure your needs are met throughout labor, birth, and postpartum.

Find the relief you need. Doulas are professionals who are trained in providing comfort in labor.

Non-biased and Judgement-Free Support

Most doctors plan to spend only a few minutes with each patient per visit. It’s rare that a pregnant person is given adequate time to build a strong, trusting relationship with one single provider. Many doctors work in huge group practices, and this reduces face time with any one provider you may birth with. Also, doulas help you ask the right questions to determine if your provider is right for you.

Birth doulas give you the time and space you need to build a trusting relationship. You have a support person available to you 24/7 throughout your pregnancy via phone, text, or email. And, you have our undivided attention through your entire birth experience. You can fully express your concerns, worries, and deepest fears without worrying about judgement or bias. Also, we help you communicate your concerns to your provider.

Looking for a birth doula in Buffalo or Rochester? Let’s chat.

Crying Babies: What’s Normal and What’s Not


Learn What to Expect From Your Baby

This week, I noticed a post shared in many birth groups about infant crying. Researchers and writers publish articles on this topic frequently. The article discuses how African babies rarely cry. In many cultures in Africa, practices such as frequent baby wearing and breastfeeding support the growth and development of babies. Sociologists note that these practices greatly contribute to a baby’s calm and peaceful state.

Many American families also note that practices such as baby wearing and breastfeeding on demand support their baby’s well-being. I use these techniques to soothe my babies all the time. I find them highly effective. Also, these practices are part of the parenting style called attachment parenting.

For the most part, the methods of attachment parenting have helped my babies by reducing crying and distress. However, I also have experienced the struggle of parenting a high-needs baby. A crying baby is incredibly stressful for parents. Parents want to do everything they can to soothe and calm their baby.

Non-biased Postpartum Support

As a postpartum doula, part of my work is to help support parents in learning what is normal and what is abnormal. Firstly, part of this work includes helping parents decipher their baby’s cries and learn if they are in the range of normal. They want to know if they should be concerned about their baby’s crying. Families frequently ask, “Is it normal for my baby to cry this much?”

Also, a major part of the work of a doula is to provide non-biased support to families. I strongly believe that we need to build strength and confidence in parenting.

You Are A Rock Star – Even if Your Baby Cries!

I find that many of these articles suggest that parents must be doing something very wrong if their babies cry. The authors are suggesting that simply putting your baby in a wrap and breastfeeding will make your baby magically peaceful. If you’re not doing these things, you’re not parenting correctly. But what if you have tried all of these things, and your baby still cries? And they cry A LOT?

There is nothing wrong with your parenting if your baby cries sometimes. You’re not a bad parent if your baby is fussy. You are doing your BEST and you are doing an AMAZING job! Parenting a baby who cries frequently is THE HARDEST and requires intense dedication and commitment. YOU ROCK! You are doing your best.

When is crying normal?

Firstly, babies often go through periods of development, called leaps, that may cause them to become fussier and cry more. Crying during a period of rapid development is normal. Also, babies may cry more during certain times of the day. For most babies, this happens in the evening hours. Babies can become fussy if they are overtired, overstimulated, cold, warm, etc. Crying is communication. Don’t be afraid. Listen to your baby and work to meet their needs to the best of your ability. Do whatever works for you and your baby. Babies cry to have their needs met, and that kind of crying is normal.

When is crying abnormal?

Crying may be abnormal for many reasons. Sometimes, babies can have health problems or reflux that causes them discomfort. This discomfort causes them to cry more than other babies. Sometimes babies cry because of feeding struggles, digestive issues, or other more specialized needs. If your baby’s crying and fussiness doesn’t ease at the end of a leap, interferes with their overall well-being, or goes beyond their typical fussy period, it is best to check in with your pediatrician. Go with your gut.

Babywearing: Mindful Mama’s Best Recommendations

My Favorite Carriers and Wraps – Babywearing From Newborn to Toddler


Are you curious about babywearing? You may have seen families cuddling their babies in a carrier a wrap. Babywearing is becoming wildly popular.

Firstly, parents love it because it helps to soothe their baby. It reduces crying, promotes bonding and connection, and it lets them be hands-free while still holding their baby. If you keep your baby close in a carrier or wrap, then you can easily breastfeed on the go as well. Also, wraps and carriers are often more comfortable than holding baby in your arms for a long period of time.

Your postpartum doula can help you practice babywearing.

When can you start putting your baby in a wrap or carrier?

You can start in the first few days after your baby is born. But this depends on your baby’s size. Most carriers have weight guidelines to follow for safety. You can start with a newborn. Once your baby is older, you can switch to a different carrier for a toddler.

Babywearing Safety

When wearing your baby in a wrap or carrier, there are basic safety guidelines you should follow. Firstly, baby should be totally upright in the carrier. Their chin should be up with an open air way. Baby should be close enough to kiss. Your baby’s hips need to be properly supported. Make sure that their legs and hips make an M shape, or froggy legs for a newborn.

Each wrap or carrier has their own safety recommendations. These can usually be found on the wrap itself or by searching the company website. Safety is so important in babywearing.

Consider finding a local babywearing group or lending library for more information. They can help you try out different styles and find the best carrier that works for you.

My Favorite Wraps and Carriers

My partner and I have been babywearing for nearly 5 years. Over the years, we have learned which carriers we love. Everyone is different, but these are my best recommendations.

Ring Sling

This is my all-time favorite baby wrap. You can use a ring sling from the newborn time until the toddler stage. However, ring slings are best used when your baby is a newborn or infant.

Ring slings are great for several reasons. They are very quick to put on and get baby inside. The learning curve is small. They are easy to learn to use safely. Also, ring slings don’t involve any tying. You simply pull the fabric through the rings to tighten. The ease of use makes it an ideal choice for going out with your baby.

Also, ring slings are very easy to adjust. You can quickly loosen your wrap to nurse and tighten it back up when you are done. It can be formed to your baby’s size and position over time. They are great for front and hip carries.

Soft Structured Carriers

Soft structured carriers are simply baby carriers with more support and structure. They are soft and comfortable to wear but provide padding and extra support for you and baby. They are ideal for infant to toddler ages. There are a multitude of different brands. Personally, we use an Ergo and a Lillebaby. They are affordable and easy to clean.

Most can accommodate a child up to about 30 lbs comfortably. Some carriers have different weight recommendations. Also, if your child is very tall they may outgrow the carrier more quickly. I can still put my 2.5 year old in a soft structured carrier, although he is probably too tall at this point.

Some companies, like Tula and Lillebaby, make carriers that are made specifically for toddlers. I have used them before and they are great, with extra weight and safety support for a wiggly big kid. They are expensive, but worth it.

What are your favorite carriers? What wraps do you love? Tell me about it.

Best Freezer Meals and Snacks for Postpartum Families

Simple Freezer Meals and Snacks With Rave Reviews

As a postpartum doula, one major piece of my work is to make sure that families are well-fed. We know that nutrition is important for healing after birth. I check in with families to make sure that everyone has enough to eat. Families find this very relieving and give rave reviews about my recipes. In this post, I will share the best freezer meals for postpartum families.

Food preparation is one part of the job of a postpartum doula, and it’s a simple way to help families thrive in the postpartum period. If parents don’t have to worry about food preparation, then they can simply focus on healing and bonding with their baby. Also, food prepared with love and care is a great gift of the spirit.

Every family has their own food preferences. We discuss your preferences and I offer recipes and recommendations to fit your needs. I try to focus on foods that are easy to eat one-handed. One-handed foods are great for new parents because they can still easily hold baby while eating. Low prep and simple to serve foods are the best choices for postpartum families..

Best Freezer Meals & Snacks

Breakfast Burritos

Firstly, breakfast burritos are a simple staple. You can make any filling you want. Sometimes I use eggs, vegetables, potatoes, cheese, or bacon. First, cook the filling on the stove and let it cool. Second, wrap the burritos using a soft tortilla wrap. Lastly, wrap the burritos in foil and freeze. They are simple to heat and can be customized for any dietary preferences. They work great for kids as well.


I believe this is an overlooked food. I like to make crust-free quiches, as it makes it requires less ingredients and holds together well. A quiche is a combination of eggs, cheese, vegetables, maybe meats, and other add-ins poured into a pie pan and baked. You can customize this for any dietary preferences. Kids love these as well. Firstly, cook your add-ins on the stove. Next, your add ins can be mixed with cheese and eggs. Lastly, your mixture is poured into a greased pan. When cool, cut into individual pieces and wrap in foil to freeze.

Homemade Snack Bars

Snack bars are great nourishment to have on hand for a quick bite. There are so many variations on this. You could make these as lactation bars or a nutritious snack. Firstly, you combine your dates and other ingredients in a food processor. Often they include dates, nuts, seeds, coconut, chocolate, or anything else you dream up. Then you can press the sticky mixture into a pan and chill in the refrigerator. Cut into bars and eat throughout the week.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is incredibly nutritious. If you have an instant pot, it is such a quick and easy process. Consider making your own bone broth and freeze into single serve portions. You can easily warm up a cup or two whenever you feel like it. This is really great for the first week postpartum. This is a period of intense healing and recovery. Bone broth can help provide collagen and nutrition to support your healing process.

Becoming a Doula: Discovering My Why

The Real Reason I Became a Doula

becoming a doula

Everyone has a story to tell about how they landed where they are today. Sometimes, this story is deep and profound. But other times this story is very ordinary and based in simple life experiences. Typically, the reasons for becoming a doula involve personal experiences and connections.

I completed my doula training a few years ago. Firstly, I was convinced that I was going to save women from the evil interventions of a hospital birth. Also, I was convinced that my “why” was because I thought all birthing people should have a support person. After all, I had a doula and it was great!

Let’s fast forward to a few years later. I’ve done some life changing personal exploration. I have grown leaps and bounds beyond the doula I once was.

Discovering My Why – Becoming a Doula

Firstly, I realized that I was experiencing a major disconnect with my families. They would prepare detailed birth plans with all the right language, feel confident and informed in their choices, and we would talk about comfort measures and procedures at length. However, for many families, as soon as we entered the threshold of a hospital I saw the confidence fade.

There is a disconnect between how we are preparing families during pregnancy and the power structure that exists in many birthing environments. Note, I say many: all providers and hospitals are not the same. I want to be careful how I talk about this.

You Can’t Order Spaghetti at McDonald’s

Choosing the care provider and birth location whose policies and procedures reflect your birth plan is the number one thing you can do to support your birth experience. Think about it like this. You can’t go to McDonald’s and order spaghetti. They just don’t do that. If you’re telling your provider that you want a pain med free birth with no pitocin or episiotomy, but they have a cesarean rate of nearly 50%… that ain’t happenin’! They’re not serving your spaghetti. They just don’t do that.

There is a giant elephant in the room. Often times, we see birth as black and white. The good birth is the “natural” birth. Or, you have a hospital birth, in which you subject yourself to whatever standard care or protocol your on-call provider deems appropriate that day. This dichotomy is dangerous and fails families.

Birth As a Rite of Passage

Pregnancy and birth is a cultural right of passage in America. It’s an initiation. It follows you for your entire adult life and you will never forget the way you felt and the way you were treated. It sets you up for your entire parenting journey. Birth opens the door to parenthood. Parenting is the start of a new generation.

In 2014, I lost a baby. It was extremely traumatic, I was alone, and I was terrified. It was a painful surgery. I distinctly remember being so fearful I was trembling and sobbing as they were putting in a hep lock for my IV. I held myself together. My partner was present with me, but the magnitude of the experience was difficult. I remember being shifted, half conscious, to the surgery bed. I stared at the OR lights as they removed my baby from my womb. It was terrifying. It makes me sick to think about those sensations. In my darkest hour, this was my initiation into parenthood. I was intensely grieving, vulnerable, and following the motions of this power structure that didn’t give a shit about my humanity. I birthed alone.


Every birthing person deserves to birth with dignity, autonomy, and power. Informed consent must be reflected in all aspects of care for families. You have the right to autonomy over your body, and you are the pilot of your experience. It’s beyond birth choices. Beyond the birth plan. Beyond birth itself.

In birth, you are at the most vulnerable point in your life. You’re more tired than you have ever felt before, and you’re dealing with intense pain and enormous feelings. Then at the same time, we’re telling women that they need to suddenly – for probably the first time in their lives – advocate for their wishes in the medical system. If you’re not used to this language, how to talk about it, or how to challenge this power, then this is an enormous task. Also, many women are uncomfortable advocating for power if they are inexperienced in breaking the cycle. Yet some women have been fighting all their lives. But at your darkest and most vulnerable moment, how do you do that?

This is my WHY.

September Community Events: What to Do

Looking for September Community Events? Here’s a Quick List.

September community events

September ushers in the harvest season. I can already feel the days getting shorter. Firstly, the length of daylight and the strength of the sun is decreasing. Also, local harvest vegetables are in ample supply. There are many September community events.

Fall is a hugely popular time for outdoor events and community festivals of all kinds. Gathering community is an act of love. The harvest time is a popular time to gather. Kids love the festivals too!

In this post, I am listing a selection of local September community events for you to explore. Lastly, each local area in WNY has their own fall festivals. Check with your local community for more. Also, consider your local library for fall events.

If you are expecting a fall baby, then there are so many activities for you to take advantage of. Your birth doula can suggest some great local fall classes. There are many activities locally to support you.

Fall Events in Western New York

Saturday, September 21st

Reinstein Woods Fall Festival – 10am-4pm, Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY 14043

  • Celebrate “Water” with a full day of nature themed fun for the whole family! There will be science demonstrations. Hands on activities and explorations for kids will be held. Local musicians are scheduled to perform for families. Also, the nature preserve is simply a beautiful place to explore.

Tuesday, September 24th

Fall Homeschool Day – 10am-1pm, Penn Dixie Fossil Park, 4050 North Street, Blasdell, NY 14219

  • In this hands-on program, participants will learn the geological history of WNY. Firstly, this program includes an educational tour. Secondly, there is a guided lesson and fossil collection. Also, this a great opportunity to explore the nature preserve.

Saturday, September 28th

AppleUmpkin Festival – 10am-5pm, 1 Main Street, Wyoming, NY, 14591

  • A fall arts and crafts festival in the gaslight village of Wyoming, NY. Also, this is a great opportunity to catch some area history.

Saturday, October 5th

The Fall Festival and Agricultural Fair – 10am-4pm, Genesee Country Village and Museum, 1410 Flint Hill Rd., Mumford, NY, 14511

  • Celebrate the Village in the harvest foliage! Firstly, there will be vendors and food. And there will be livestock shows and kitchen demonstrations. Also, this is a beautiful opportunity to explore the history of the region.

Saturday – Sunday October 12th-13th

Ellicottville Fall Festival – 10am-5pm, 9 W. Washington Street, Ellicottville, NY, 14731

  • Celebrate the beautiful fall foliage with fine arts, food, arts and crafts, music, and more! Firstly, Ellicottville is a beautiful town in the hills of WNY. Fall foliage will be abundant and fall foods plentiful. Secondly, this festival is packed with local artists. Also, it’s a beautiful walk for families through the village space.

What to Pack in Your Birth Bag: My Minimal List

Packing Your Birth Bag: What to Pack for a Hospital or Birth Center

what to pack

Are you wondering what to pack for your hospital or birth center birth? As a birth doula, I see many different methods of packing for birth. Some families have their bags packed by 36 weeks with detailed lists. But, other families seem to pack on their way out the door. No matter what your process is, I am offering a minimalist approach to packing for birth.

Firstly, consider how long you plan to be in your birth place. If you are birthing in a hospital, roughly 2 days is appropriate. Also, this could be longer if you have any complications. If you are birthing at a birth center, then you will most likely go home within a few hours after birth. In an emergency scenario that requires a longer stay for mom or baby, you won’t be thinking about packing all the extra items you may need. You can deal with this when the time comes. Let’s not invoke that energy.

My experience is that most families over pack. Preparedness is a healthy exercise, but “stuff” can weigh you down physically and emotionally. But, bringing only what you really need helps you focus on your birth and baby.

What to Pack in Your Bag

For parents…

  • Dark-colored comfy clothes for mom after birth. Bring a few dark tank tops/nursing tanks and some comfy black/dark pajama pants or maternity leggings. Also, consider packing some cozy socks.
  • Cozy bathrobe
  • Water bottle with a straw. If you have a straw, then you’re more likely to drink water while in any position.
  • Adult diapers: I find that the mesh panties can get frustrating and messy to deal with.
  • Small Bluetooth speaker for music & your favorite playlist
  • Your pediatrician’s information/birth plan/ID/Wallet (put these in a folder in your bag). If you have your folder of information packed, then it will be easy to access.
  • Snacks & electrolyte drinks.
  • Personal Care Items: toothbrush, deodorant, etc. Also consider packing travel sizes.
  • Perineal care/sitz bath soaks: If you are interested in using herbs for healing postpartum, then you can actually prepare this mixture ahead of time and bring it with you to the hospital for comfort after birth. You can put it in your peri bottle or in a tub. Also, you can always save this for at home as well.
  • Phone charger
  • Flip flops for hospital rooms/shower if desired
  • Lip balm
  • Hair ties
  • Items for comfort measures: think about what you want to use for comfort in labor. Consider things like essential oils, hot/cold packs, tennis balls for counter pressure, coconut oil for massage. Talk to your doula about what they bring to births to help with comfort support.
  • Tank top/swim top for laboring in a birth tub if desired

For baby…

  • Car seat – Should already be installed. Also, consider a car seat safety check from your local fire station before your baby is born.
  • Going home outfit for your baby. Consider the weather and your travel home.
  • Choice diapers/wipes – Hospitals supply diapers and you’ll get some to take with you as well. If you have a special preference, be sure to bring it with you.
  • Choice blankets/swaddles/pacifiers. If you have specific items you want, then you need to make sure you pack them. The hospital provides general supplies, but they may not be your faves.

If you’re looking for some more inspiration, then check out Mama Natural’s packing list or a second list here.