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What’s in my Hospital/Birth Center Bag? + LAST Pregnancy Update {Weeks 35-39}

February 17th, 2017 | no comments

 Hi Friends!

Here we are at 39 weeks pregnant and I decided to write this post as my last pre-baby update. Aside from the regular pregnancy questions, a lot of people are asking how we are preparing for “the big delivery day” and “what’s in my hospital bag?” So… as to hopefully be helpful, I thought I would document it all here. Partially to keep myself organized but also to help if you’re preparing for your big day and wanted to see what we’ve done to pack and prepare.

DISCLAIMER: I am a first-time-mama-to-be who has NEVER been through this before and so you’ll soon see that we DID and PREPPED alot. Probably more than is actually necessary and I admit that I know some of the preparation we did will be in vain but I am OK with that because I’m a pregnant lady with a lot on my mind and it has eased my mind to focus on preparing in this way. So please know that this isn’t the END ALL BE ALL of lists and I also hope to post an update after baby with what I actually used or found really helpful in hindsight. So, there’s that. 

But first, let’s do a little update from the last few weeks…

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Weeks 35-39: These last few weeks have brought about a lot of preparation, which you will soon get a glimpse of. My energy level has ebbed and flowed (Enter: NAPS) and the baby growth spurts have brought about some new aches and pains, mainly in my lower back and hips. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor who specializes in obstetrics, going for weekly prenatal massages and wearing this belly belt and I have to say the combination is definitely helping. [Please consult your physician if you are experiencing any aches and pains, all of this treatment was pre-approved by ours for my specific needs]. Right around week 37 I came down with a horrrrrrrible cold and was on bed rest for about a week = NOT FUN. Luckily I made a full recovery and baby girl decided to STAY IN and I could not be more thankful to have that in the past and these days of getting healthy again accruing before the ‘big day’.  

In terms of cravings I am still on a FRUIT kick but have definitely been craving sweets in these last few weeks which is new. I’ve been indulging in all of the old wives tales about “what to eat” to prepare your body for labor…like dates, pineapple, spicy foods and supplementing with evening primrose oil… and not that I can tell you anything’s working or not working but it’s fun to pay more attention in this way (again, please consult your care provider before adding in any supplements or anything new to your regime).  I am still able to go to SoulCycle and do the elliptical a few times a week and always feel good and sleep better on the days I workout. Oh, sleep. This one is pretty rough as I’m getting bigger and more uncomfortable by the day, but all for a good cause! :) Other than that our weekly appointments have been mostly uneventful in the best way possible and we are getting more and more eager to meet our sweet daughter very soon! 

Self-care has been tremendously important for allowing me to feel good as my body, mind and soul continue to change everyday. For me that looks like exercise, good nutrition, early nights in bed, manicures, baths and scrapbooking the Baby Book which has been a really fun experience (thank you to my sweet friend Kelly for giving us this book!). I also snuck in a haircut since I knew I wouldn’t have a chance for some time postpartum

 A fresh cut/color pre-baby sure makes a mama feel good! 

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The NESTING instinct has picked up HARD and we’ve really spent the last few weeks preparing the nursery, our home, our work and our minds for what’s to come soon. You’ll soon see as you keep reading just HOW MUCH we have actually done to prepare but now, at 39 weeks pregnant I really don’t have much to do but “feel well“, get lots of rest, eat well, enjoy prenatal massage, visit my chiropractor, enjoy the last few days as a twosome (threesome if you’re counting Harlow) and stay comfortable. Which is exactly the place I wanted to be at. I know that so much of labor and delivery and having a newborn will be unpredictable and chaotic (and beautiful) so it has helped me to relax by getting all of these ducks in a row. 

 So, I warn you. Super long post. Lots of products, packing and preparations (mostly necessary but surely some unnecessary). But, I feel great about it all and that’s all that matters.

Read at your leisure, use this as a reference if you find it helpful, skim, bounce around and if you’re a mom and I am completely missing something obvious — help a sista out and let me know! :) We are giving birth at a Birth Center so some of what we did/prepared for is geared towards that experience which may be slightly different than a traditional labor & delivery situation at a hospital. So just keep that in mind if you’re thinking “wow, that’s a lot!” If you have any questions about why we did something or packed a certain item, let me know. Happy to share my thought process it reasoning with you if it will be helpful.

Otherwise, know that you don’t really neeeeed most of this “stuff” or to prepare like we did. It’s SUCH a personal thing and whatever fits your personality and preferences. So…please please please listen to your body, your heart and connect with your partner about what will work best for you. What you’ll read below works best for us but may be too much (or too little) for someone else and I can totally respect and appreciate that. 

“Prepping for baby is exhausting!” -Harlow 

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For my Hospital/Birth Center bag I chose this one from Vera Bradley that I had on hand because it’s a large duffel that will fit a ton, it’s very light as a bag so won’t add extra weight or bulk (for Karl who will be handling) and most importantly it can easily be tossed in the washing machine afterwards. I didn’t want to bring a nicer bag or our diaper bag for that last reason specifically. I’m happy with this choice because it sure is big enough for everything you’re about to see on my list below! 

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I’ll start with what we packed….

For Baby:

• (2) newborn outfits (with feeties and mitts) • (2)  newborn white onesies • (3)  0-3 outfits • (4)  pairs of socks • Headbands (because…pictures ) • (2)  cotton hats + (1)  cozy going home hat • Going home outfit + puffer onesie (because it will still be winter here) • Burp clothes (disposable + cotton) • Swaddles (so we can use our own) • Organic coconut oil (for baby’s bum before meconium) • Newborn pacifiers for car ride home • Cozy receiving blanket

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For Me (mom):

• Labor outfit ((2) super soft robes — one old that we can chuck and one new for postpartum, cotton bras, cozy tanks, loose boxers + maternity leggings) • Extra Cotton Bras + Nursing Bras • Comfy hipster style undies (for postpartum) • Grippy socks • Slippers • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, face wash, face cream, comb, deodorant, etc.) • Nursing pads, nipple cream, bottom spray (I am already a lover of Earth Mama Angel Baby) • Fridet Mom Washer • Maternity Belly Band (for postpartum support) • Extra socks • (2)  comfy outfits (Gap Body Maternity leggings, maternity tanks, cozy zip-ups and open front sweaters) • Going home clothes • Pillow with colored pillow case • A roll of my own soft toilet paper • Phone chargers • Digital camera with extra battery • Polaroid Instapix camera with extra film

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For Hospital/Birth Center:

• Pre-registration Confirmation paperwork • Copies of license and insurance cards • Copy of medical records that we go at out last prenatal appointment• Copies of birth “preferences” + Who to Call/Text list • Snacks • Drinks • Nursing Pillow (My Brest Friend) • Bluetooth speakers • Toxic-free ink pad + Baby Book

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For At-Home Labor:

(Since we are going to a Birth Center, at-home labor will be a longer than tradition L&D)

• Birth ball • Essential oils (lavender, peppermint + lemon) • Massage oil • Bendy straws (for easy hydration) • Baseball cap for ride to birth center • Headphones • Snacks + Beverages (hydration!!!) • Copies of different labor positions + contraction management techniques

 For Karl:

• Extra clothes • Bathing suit • Toiletries • Pillow • Snacks for hospital

This should say 38.5 weeks or “Just shy of 39″ ;) But, who’s counting??

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Now let’s talk about HOW we prepared…

Aside from packing our bags and the car for the delivery day, we’ve been busy in the weeks leading up to our due date. We wanted to be mindful of other life responsibilities and take as much off of our plates for those first few weeks/months in the “newborn vortex” as possible. It was a great opportunity to go through our lives and think ahead to what might be needed/due and handle as much as we could now as to minimize any distractions later on.

Of course with delivery services like InstaCart (for groceries), Target.com /Amazon.com /Diapers.com for baby and household essentials and Chewy.com for pet supplies, it’s really VERY easy to get most of our needs met without more than the push of a button (which is very comforting). But there was more on our list as we took inventory of our life and apartment and it feels good to know that this is all taken care of and that our baby will get our full attention when she arrives. Also because the nesting instinct is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and it kept me calm to focus on some of these things the last few weeks without just sitting around and waiting.

Other things we did to prepare our lives (and create mental capacity) for this new life change and the inevitable beautiful chaos that’s about to ensue:

• Karl got the car’s oil changed, checked and filled up car with gas (checked insurance coverage and inspection dates so nothing falls through the cracks) • Put car seat in car beforehand with base, seat cover and rear-facing mirror • One word: “padsicles” (Google if curious) • Arranged Harlow (pet) Care “on call” basis / stocked pup with food and treats (checked with vet for any upcoming vaccines that are due) • Meetings with our Doula • Completed Bradley Method Childbirth Ed classes • Completed birth center orientation • Talked extensively about our birth preferences + views on newborn procedures + postpartum preferences • Books, documentaries + positive stores • Expectful.com meditations + YouTube • Stocked fridge + freezer with healthy meals / options for postpartum • Picked our pediatrician • Set expectations with family/visitors • Prepped the nursery / washed all baby clothes and blankets and swaddles, prepped diapering station at changing table and one “to-go” for our bedroom • Stocked the apartment with essentials and cleaning products so we wouldn’t have to think about it for a while • Paid bills / filed taxes (since our baby is due during tax season!)

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Reflecting on what’s to come…

Now that I’m 39 weeks I’ve been doing a ton of reflection about this whole pregnancy and what’s to come. I love to sit in the nursery which is so filled with love already. I look around and see all of the beauty, love, support and generosity from everyone in our lives and the positive energy is truly remarkable. It’s been an emotional week. It feels like it’s 24/7 that I think about how she’ll arrive any day, whenever she’s ready, however is meant to be and what it means to let go of control, expectation and put full trust in something greater than myself.

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I’m learning new lessons in patience, unpredictability, unconditional love and acceptance of the unknown. I know that the journey is only beginning and that I have A LOT to learn but I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in any of this. Which is absolutely a mindset shift as I reflect back to discovering we were pregnant and having all of these anxious and isolating feelings appear. I’m proud of the growth I can see in myself, in Karl, and in US, throughout this journey that was FULL of a spectrum of emotions and experiences. Now more than ever I know that there is a reason pregnancy is approx 40 weeks. It really has taken all of that time to feel all the feels, prepare mentally and physically and fully embrace the life changes that are coming.

One more thing before I wrap up this VERY LONG post which is my final pregnancy update(next up a baby update!)! I need to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this entire journey. The love and support we continue to receive in abundance has allowed us to truly welcome this new chapter in our lives with open arms and hearts, and know that this journey will be amazing, real and one where we are never alone. Because I really do believe that it takes a village, and I am sooooo thankful for our village! 

It’s been so much fun to share this journey with you and to connect with all of the new-mamas to be that I’ve met along the way. I’m looking forward to more updates, baby updates, sharing new mama struggles and successes and OF COURSE getting back to some regularly scheduled “GREAT LIFE” programming like clean eating recipes, wellness tips, and much more, here soon. With LOVE + gratitude… Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

 And now… we wait. ♥

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In case you’ve missed any of the other PREGNANCY UPDATES, here are links to all of those posts! 

Big News: We’re Expecting!!  {Update Weeks 1 – 18}

10 Pregnancy Essentials {Weeks 1 – 19}

It’s a…….!!! Gender Reveal + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 19 – 22}

Hello, Third Trimester! PREGNANCY UPDATE {Weeks 23 – 28}

Baby Celebration + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 29-35}

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DeAnna Lynn Englezos is a Brooklyn-based Certified Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach. Her core mission is to share accessible information on health and happiness that actually works and healthy recipes that taste great. DeAnna is the proud owner of an adorable rescue pup named Harlow and posts pictures of her often.
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