Creating Your Own Birth Binder

During my first delivery, the nurses were so amused with how prepared I was. I walking into my labor and delivery room with nurse gifts, my own labor gown, bags with everything I felt I might need, and a birth binder. When I was preparing for Christian’s birth, I realized there were a lot of different documents/papers I wanted to bring, so I liked the idea of having everything in one place, which I lovingly called my birth binder. Here is everything that was in it and that will be in it (again) for my delivery in a few weeks! **I had multiple copies of each thing on the list because…you never know

  1. Hospital Bag Checklist: this time around, it’s my birth center bag checklist. I had my checklist on the front cover of my binder, and the binder was sitting on top of my packed bags. When it was go-time, I was able to easily look over my checklist and make sure we weren’t forgetting anything.
  2. “What to do When Labor Starts”: click on the link to see my list! Some of the things seem pretty obvious, but I didn’t want to assume that I would remember everything once labor actually started and I had bigger things to think about. Plus it was a good list for my husband to refer to too.
  3. Birth Plan: I had multiple copies of my birth plan because I assumed I’d give the nursing staff one, my husband one, and keep one for myself. Between myself, my husband, and my nurse, I hoped that we could all advocate for myself and baby girl. This time around, I’m not as stressed about my birth plan because it’s something I’ve been discussing for months with my midwife, and I know we will be able to make decisions together.
  4. Bible Verses: If you’ve seen my birth story with Christian, you will have heard the parts of the video where Chris is reading me bible verses between contractions. This was really special to me and something I definitely want to have again.
  5. Birth Affirmations: Unlike with Christian’s birth, we’re planning for Heidi’s to be unmedicated. From the dozens of birth stories I’ve read, a lot of women talk about how birth affirmations helped them stay focused and positive throughout their labor. I’ll have someone on my birth support team ready to read them off to me when needed.
  6. Copies of drivers licenses and insurance cards: this is something you most likely won’t need, especially if you preregister with your hospital or especially if you’re at a birth center. But it’s nice to have just in case because, well, you never know. I included a sheet of paper with copies of mine and my husband’s drivers licenses, as well as copies of our insurance cards.
  7. Extra page protectors: each thing listed above was in it’s own page protector in the binder so a copy could easily be taken out. But I also had extra, empty page protectors to put anything in that the medical staff might send me home with. For example, we left the hospital with postpartum care instructions, paperwork for Christian’s vaccines, her footprint stamps, and other instructions/paperwork/reminders we would need once we were home. It was so nice having one place to put everything we needed!

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