If you’ve been following along with my current pregnancy with Heidi, you’ve probably heard the news that at 31 weeks we chose to switch from our hospital birth with an OB to a birth center birth with the most amazing midwife. At first I was hesitant to make the switch, but I’m so at peace with my decision and excited to birth my sweet Heidi girl!
With everything going on in the world with COVID-19, I was definitely getting more and more hesitant about birthing at a hospital. The hospital policy changes were getting more and more strict, and even the thought of being at a hospital with my newborn was stressing me out. But I had actually interviewed a midwife/birth center at the beginning of my pregnancy, and it just didn’t feel like the right decision…… But once I interviewed a new midwife/birth center last month, I realized that it wasn’t a birth center birth I wasn’t at peace with, it was just that the first one I interviewed wasn’t the right fit for me! The midwife/birth center I have chosen are amazing. I have complete trust and faith in my midwife, and I feel so at home and comfortable at the birth center!
I had my hospital bags packed around 25 weeks, so I did have to do some research on what I would need in a birth center bag vs. what I had already packed for a hospital birth. Here is my list for you to check out! Plenty of things stayed the same, but here are the main things that changed when turning my hospital bags into my birth center bags:
- I wouldn’t be needing a lot of the things I’d planned to bring to make the hospital room more comfortable. The birth center has most of those things, such as a speaker for my labor playlist, yoga ball and peanut ball, essential oil diffuser, and plenty of comfortable bedding, blankets, pillows, and towels.
- Swimsuits: laboring in water isn’t really an option at my hospital, but I plan to labor/birth in the bathtub at the birth center. So my husband and I both added swimsuits to our bags. And I also added a bath robe so I could stay warm/dry if I were getting in and out of the water.
- Less clothes: okay, well I’m an overpacker so I’m still bringing plenty. But I am bringing less than I would to a hospital since I will be staying there a shorter period of time. After I delivered Christian, I stayed at the hospital for two nights. At a birth center, you usually stay ~6 hours before heading home! But I did keep in mind that a hospital transfer is a possibility, so I still overpacked a little just in case.
- FOOOOOOOD!!!! Most hospitals are pretty strict about not eating during labor, especially if you have an epidural. At a birth center, midwives usually want you to eat and listen to your body. I’m bring snacks that are high in protein and sugar to help keep me energized. I want snacks and drinks that are easy and quick to eat, aren’t too heavy on my stomach, and that won’t taste bad coming back up (since some women throw up during transition….it’s me….I’m some women).
- Cooler: I haven’t decided if I’ll do anything with my placenta, but I’m bringing a cooler just because I like the option of taking it home if I wanted to plant it or something (who knew I was such a crunchy mom?)
- Diapers and wipes: hospitals provide them, but birth centers may not since you aren’t there very long anyway
- Postpartum care: I was planning on bring this to the hospital too, but I wanted to have my FridaMom kit ready to go for postpartum! I could probably get away with not bringing it, since I’ll be home only a few hours after delivery and can use it then. But I like comfort, and I like the idea of driving our 30 minutes home from the hospital with all my fridamom products making me more comfortable!
- Moses Basket: they have those clear, sterile bassinets at hospitals, but most likely not at a birth center. My midwife mentioned some moms just hold baby during those postpartum hours or have them laying next to them in bed, but she said I may want a safe place to lay her down!