A lot has changed in our lives in the last six months. There isn’t much that COVID-19 hasn’t touched and folks expecting a baby have been enormously affected. Much of this is a topic for another day but we want to chat about packing birth bags during a pandemic. What do you bring to the hospital or birth centre now? What do you leave at home? If you’ve read our post about birth bags then you’ve prepared yourself well for what to bring with you, in usual times. These times are anything but so we’ve revisited that list to provide some suggestions of what to bring and what to leave at home.
One crucial thing to keep in mind is to keep it simple, less is more. Anything you bring with you has to be something you can easily wash or disinfect when you arrive home, or better yet for some of the items bring things that are easily disposed of and left behind. Instead of packing your comfy slippers bring $2 flip flops that you can toss before you head home. It also has to be something you can easily bring in with you in one trip, just in case your support person can’t leave the hospital.
Pop those washables in the machine when you get home – it’s easier to do it coming through the door then leaving it sit. Opt for clothing that can withstand a hot water wash when you do that load.
Leave your pillows at home, including your breastfeeding pillow.
Snacks – this is getting a little easier now. Partners or whoever your single support person is, are now generally permitted to leave the unit to get food. Note the use of the word generally. Always, and we can’t stress this enough, check with your place of birth for the most up to date protocols. One thing we’ve all experienced and learned in this is protocols are ever evolving and what might have been true for someone who birthed there a few weeks or a month or two ago won’t necessarily track today, and things can change before your baby makes their entrance. In general it never hurts to bring some extra snacks with you. There are limitations to what is available at certain times of day in the different local hospitals so to avoid any access issues have some edibles on hand. Your National Capital Doulas birth doula can help you with nutritious snack ideas.
We still love the idea of a wheeled suitcase to pack your belongings in but whatever you do pack to bring it’s best to bring it all in when you arrive (if you can). Remember less is more when packing birth bags during a pandemic.
Most of all bring your joy. Even though times are strange right now this is a monumental and transformative time in your life. You will never forget your baby’s birth!