What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?

Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone – things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about what you may need or not need in your labor bag. Plus, packing lists usually center around the laboring person and may exclude the birthing partner and team!

So – we compiled a list of must-haves to get you through the labor and birth of your baby. Whether you’re headed to the birth center or staying in the hospital, its nice to feel prepared!

Snacks

Labor can be a marathon or a sprint – either way, both the laboring person and the birth team need to be fueled up and energized.  Pack snacks in your labor bag that you and your birthing partner would like during labor or after – when you both realize you’re famished after such an exhilarating experience! Be sure to pack things that will survive sitting in your car and and are packed with protein to keep your energy up. As a member of the birth team, consider skipping the onion bagel and also pack some mints for after the snacking!

Toiletries

Birth is unpredictable. You may be in and out of the birth center in a few hours, or you may spend a few days at the hospital.  Bring necessities like deodorant, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. You may also consider wipes to wash your face and a hair brush or comb. Even if you don’t use it, your birthing partner may appreciate it.

Change of Clothes

You don’t need to pack a ton of clothes, but having one fresh outfit is always a smart choice. If you’re thinking, “We don’t plan on being at the birth center too long,” we hear you! But we still recommend a change of clothes for the “just in case” scenarios. I.e. you don’t want to wear amniotic fluid or meconium on your clothes until you go home.  If you really want to level up, keep an extra pair of shoes in the car for the same reasons. 

Phone Charger, Camera, and a Speaker

At the birth, you’ll want to keep your phone charged so that you can take all the pictures you want and call all your people when you are ready. If you have a nice camera, bring it for those detailed photos (you will never regret all the photos you take of your brand new baby). A wireless speaker can amplify the birth playlist music you and your partner made during pregnancy.

The Birth Plan

Your partner in labor will be focused on contractions and getting their vitals taken. Having a birth plan in your labor bag and ready to hand off is helpful for your providers and your partner. 

 Hopefully this list provides some insight into what to pack! The fewer bags you have to bring in, the easier it is to leave with baby in their car seat when it’s time to go home!  Happy Packing!

Raquel MacDonald

Doula, Babymoon Inn

Raquel is a mother to three boys and a certified Babymoon Inn Doula. She loves working in her community to reach and educate new parents on all things birth and postpartum care.

You May Also Like These Recent Articles!

What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone - things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be...

Birth Hormones You Should Know!

Birth Hormones You Should Know!Understanding how birth hormones impact your labor and birth can help you make informed choices about how and where you want to labor, what you can do to help labor progress, and what you might not realize is slowing labor down! Oxytocin...

Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

5 Essential Tools for your Labor BagNo matter what your birth plan is, having tools packed in your bag to that can help manage labor is always a good idea. Whether you’re planning for a natural birth or you know you’d like medications for pain relief, these basic...

Visiting New Parents? Follow These Tips!

Visiting the New Parents? Follow These Tips!Congratulations on the newest member of your family or circle of friends!  We know you are so excited to meet this new little one and visit with his or her parents. Wondering how you can be helpful and make that visit...

How to be an Awesome Birth Partner

Five Ways You Can be an Awesome Birth Partner Pssst.  Hey you, yes YOU. The partner. The support person. The other half.I know right now a lot of the attention is placed on the pregnant person (rightfully so!), but YOU’RE super important, too. Right now more than...

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the Hospital

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the HospitalEvaluating birth choices while pregnant in the time of COVID-19.Take a deep breath.If you read that headline and bristled, let me clarify this before I even begin:  For people who are high-risk, ill, or who personally...
Birth Hormones You Should Know!

Birth Hormones You Should Know!

Birth Hormones You Should Know!

Understanding how birth hormones impact your labor and birth can help you make informed choices about how and where you want to labor, what you can do to help labor progress, and what you might not realize is slowing labor down!

  • Oxytocin

Often called the love hormone, oxytocin can keep you smiling as you’re headed to your birth location in the midst of contractions! Lamaze’s healthy birth practices remind us to let labor begin on its own and avoid unnecessary interventions, and oxytocin plays a crucial role in this process.

“Allowing this process to unfold on its own, and providing space for the complete symphony of hormones to play out, as is done in a physiologic (normal, naturally occurring) birth, can offer the following benefits (Buckley, 2015, page xii): 

  • Rising estrogen levels before labor, help prepare the uterus to be more efficient in labor 
  • Increasing oxytocin and prostaglandin to help ripen cervix before labor
  • Increased oxytocin receptors in the uterus before labor to create more effective contractions during labor and after birth, which reduces bleeding after birth
  • Increased beta-endorphin receptors before labor, which provides natural pain relief in labor 
  • Increased oxytocin and prolactin receptors, which encourage successful breastfeeding and bonding with baby after birth”

It’s also important to remember that while there are some similarities, Pitocin is NOT the same as oxytocin! 

  • Pitocin is synthetic.  Oxytocin is naturally occurring in the body
  • Pitocin does not cross the blood/brain barrier as oxytocin does, which means it does not stimulate the release of pain-relieving endorphins
  • Endorphins

A woman labors in the shower at a freestanding birth center.The pain of labor isn’t the same as pain from an illness or injury, in part thanks to endorphins! Lamaze teaches us that, “your body makes hormones that both cause and counteract pain. The human body truly is amazing. A laboring person’s body creates the hormone called oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone,’ which is responsible for keeping contractions going throughout labor. At the same time, your body also produces endorphins, which are hormones that increase feelings of calm and provide pain relief. The level of endorphins gradually rise throughout labor to match labor’s intensity. Your body makes its own specially-formulated pain medication — whoa.”

  • Adrenaline

When we feel safe and loved, we produce oxytocin.  In labor, oxytocin = contractions.  But if we feel stressed, unsafe, afraid, or in danger during labor, adrenaline (the stress hormone) is going to interfere with all that oxytocin! The flash of bright lights or loud equipment, strangers in your birthing space, or disruptive interventions could all cause an increase in adrenaline and potentially slow or stop contractions as part of your body’s natural response. 

Focus on keeping a calm and relaxed environment surrounded by a team that will speak positive words of encouragement and provide you with information needed to make evidence-based decisions about your care and allow your body to work naturally. 

  • Prolactin

Your birth hormones are still hard at work after your baby arrives. Prolactin is often called the mothering hormone, and it has many roles including being central to milk production.

You can likely promote your body’s production of prolactin by:

  • Waiting for labor to start on its own.
  • Minimizing stress during labor and after birth.
  • Honoring the golden hour and staying together after birth.
  • Breastfeeding early and thereafter on cue from the baby.

Finding a care team that honors your body’s natural process and a birth space that supports physiological labor can help the hormones in your body work in the way they were meant to. Babymoon Inn midwives support your body’s natural process by providing a comforting and safe environment in the birth center with minimal distractions and no unnecessary interventions, and respecting the postpartum period and providing lactation support throughout your journey.

Michelle Petkovic

Social Media Manager, Babymoon Inn

Michelle Petkovic received her degree in International Affairs from Sweet Briar College. She is a mother of one energetic toddler and one newborn, and she loves spending time outside camping, hiking and traveling with her family.

You May Also Like These Recent Articles!

What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone - things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be...

Birth Hormones You Should Know!

Birth Hormones You Should Know!Understanding how birth hormones impact your labor and birth can help you make informed choices about how and where you want to labor, what you can do to help labor progress, and what you might not realize is slowing labor down! Oxytocin...

Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

5 Essential Tools for your Labor BagNo matter what your birth plan is, having tools packed in your bag to that can help manage labor is always a good idea. Whether you’re planning for a natural birth or you know you’d like medications for pain relief, these basic...

Visiting New Parents? Follow These Tips!

Visiting the New Parents? Follow These Tips!Congratulations on the newest member of your family or circle of friends!  We know you are so excited to meet this new little one and visit with his or her parents. Wondering how you can be helpful and make that visit...

How to be an Awesome Birth Partner

Five Ways You Can be an Awesome Birth Partner Pssst.  Hey you, yes YOU. The partner. The support person. The other half.I know right now a lot of the attention is placed on the pregnant person (rightfully so!), but YOU’RE super important, too. Right now more than...

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the Hospital

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the HospitalEvaluating birth choices while pregnant in the time of COVID-19.Take a deep breath.If you read that headline and bristled, let me clarify this before I even begin:  For people who are high-risk, ill, or who personally...
Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

5 Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

No matter what your birth plan is, having tools packed in your bag to that can help manage labor is always a good idea. Whether you’re planning for a natural birth or you know you’d like medications for pain relief, these basic tools and tricks can help you work through labor with a little more comfort and are a must for every labor bag!

Snacks

Protein-packed small snacks are essential. We also suggest honey sticks for a quick burst of energy. Labor and birth are a lot of work! You likely won’t feel like eating a huge meal.  To keep your energy up, having small snacks you can eat in early and active labor will help you to keep going. Think trail mix, almonds, and protein bars – they pack a nutritional punch but won’t spoil and have a neutral taste that are unlikely to cause nausea.

Cooling Towels

Temperature fluctuation in labor is common, and it’s normal to feel hot and break out into a sweat. Cooling towels can help you to keep from overheating. Wash cloths will work too, but cooling towels keep their temp without needing to be wet and are a nice option for those who do not want water on the upper part of their body or head. 

Essential Oils and Vitamin E Oil

Aromatherapy can help with nausea, anxiety, and exhaustion during labor. As a doula, I pack essential oils and cotton balls together. Having a diffuser going may be appealing in one moment and repulsive in the next – and it’s difficult to get rid of a smell that has been pumped into the room, whereas a cotton ball with a few drops of oil can be tossed in the trash. Vitamin E oil is also great for the skin, with no odor, and can be used to massage sore backs or feet, or aid in a relaxing hand massage while you labor.  Helpful essential oils include:

  • Citrus – to boost energy
  • Clary Sage – to stimulate contractions (use ONLY in labor, not during pregnancy)
  • Lavender – to promote relaxation

Having a diffuser going may be appealing in one moment and repulsive in the next – and it’s difficult to get rid of a smell that has been pumped into the room, whereas a cotton ball with a few drops of oil can be tossed in the trash.

Water Bottle (with a Straw)

Staying hydrated during labor is essential. Small cups of water just won’t cut it. Bringing a large water bottle or tumbler will keep you hydrated and keep your partner from running for frequent refills.  I highly suggest a straw because it’s much easier to lean your head to the side and sip water rather than exert mental and physical effort to lift a glass and drink.

Lip Balm

“Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.”  This common mantra helps people prepare for labor and breathe through contractions. Deep breathing can help you through those sensations but often chap your lips in the process. Applying lip balm will prevent your lips from becoming dry during labor and instead keep them soft for those sweet baby cheeks you’ll soon be snuggled against and kissing!

If you’re hired a doula, she likely packed all of these tools in her bag. If you are giving birth without a doula, these items are easy, effective tools you can slip in your Baby Day bag! Be sure to also check out our list of ways to be a great birth partner!

 For more ideas of what to pack in your labor bag, sign up for our mailing list below and get a free printable that also includes helpful tips for labor!

Babymoon Inn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Raquel MacDonald

Doula, Babymoon Inn

Raquel is a mother to three boys and a certified Babymoon Inn Doula. She loves working in her community to reach and educate new parents on all things birth and postpartum care.

You May Also Like These Recent Articles!

What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone - things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be...

Birth Hormones You Should Know!

Birth Hormones You Should Know!Understanding how birth hormones impact your labor and birth can help you make informed choices about how and where you want to labor, what you can do to help labor progress, and what you might not realize is slowing labor down! Oxytocin...

Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

5 Essential Tools for your Labor BagNo matter what your birth plan is, having tools packed in your bag to that can help manage labor is always a good idea. Whether you’re planning for a natural birth or you know you’d like medications for pain relief, these basic...

Visiting New Parents? Follow These Tips!

Visiting the New Parents? Follow These Tips!Congratulations on the newest member of your family or circle of friends!  We know you are so excited to meet this new little one and visit with his or her parents. Wondering how you can be helpful and make that visit...

How to be an Awesome Birth Partner

Five Ways You Can be an Awesome Birth Partner Pssst.  Hey you, yes YOU. The partner. The support person. The other half.I know right now a lot of the attention is placed on the pregnant person (rightfully so!), but YOU’RE super important, too. Right now more than...

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the Hospital

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the HospitalEvaluating birth choices while pregnant in the time of COVID-19.Take a deep breath.If you read that headline and bristled, let me clarify this before I even begin:  For people who are high-risk, ill, or who personally...
Visiting New Parents? Follow These Tips!

Visiting New Parents? Follow These Tips!

Visiting the New Parents? Follow These Tips!

Congratulations on the newest member of your family or circle of friends!  We know you are so excited to meet this new little one and visit with his or her parents. Wondering how you can be helpful and make that visit enjoyable for everyone? Check out these tried and true tips on how to support a new family!:

Keep good boundaries.

Whether two people are becoming a family of three, or a family of 10 is expanding to 11, adapting roles and finding a new rhythm can be challenging!  Try to imagine the family as the inner dot in a circle, surrounded by you and other family members or friends in increasingly wider circles.  Everyone in the outer circles should be sending support into the center. This way, the new family can rightfully be a little selfish and focus on their new addition, without trying meet the needs of anyone in the outer circles. Looking forward to that precious four-generation photo? Let’s keep those special and loving ideas to a minimum in the first few weeks. 

Imagine the family as the inner dot in a circle, surrounded by you and other family members or friends in increasingly wider circles.  Everyone in the outer circles should be sending support into the center.

Provide supportive, no-pressure communication.

Know what works best for parents (i.e. text messages, phone calls, or other), but remind them there is no obligation to respond! Set up a schedule where you reach out to them and they can answer whenever they are ready. Pick a designated “communicator” whose job is to send out news and updates or solicit help from the rest of your tribe.   

Check their to-do list.

Ask if the new parents have a to-do list you can help with. (If not, help them write one!) They can put their to-do list on the front door or on the refrigerator. Ideas include chores, pet care, a grocery run, or anything that weighs on a mind and keeps it from napping! Visitors can check the list to see what they can help with.

Follow these guidelines for good visits:

  • Before you visit, call to find out if they need you to pick something up on your way over (diapers, groceries, etc).  If nothing else, meals are always appreciated!  You can provide a whole meal, but some chopped-up fruit or veggie sticks in baggies or a peanut butter sandwich ready for one-handed snacking is a big treat.
  • When you arrive: Put your food offering away, or set it out if they’re hungry. Ask if the newly postpartum (and probably parched) mom would like a refill on her drink.   

  • Check the to-do list and offer to complete a chore. They may not know what to assign you or may not feel comfortable asking (i.e. they’ll never ask someone to pick up the dog poop!) but helping with those small tasks will be greatly appreciated.
  • Admire the baby and take some pictures to give the new parents (who often forget to take pictures that include themselves). We know it’s so hard, but try not to ask to hold the baby! Baby needs this skin-to-skin time with his parents more than anything else in the first few weeks.  However, if they ask you to hold the baby so they can shower or move a little bit – lucky you! Wash your hands, please, and refrain from kissing newborn babies!

  • Keep the visit short.  Unless otherwise requested, limit the length of your visit so the new family can have time to bond, breastfeed, and rest!

Offer emotional support.

Both parents can suffer bouts of anxiety, irritability, or depression in the days and months after baby is born.  Ask how they’re feeling emotionally and lend an ear to listen.  If you’re concerned, it is okay to say so and to suggest they call their midwife or doctor. You can even call us on their behalf!  Postpartum Support International’s hotline is 1-800-944-4773.  There is loving and professional treatment available.

Offer one-on-one time with older siblings.

Consider coming prepared with an idea for an activity that you might both enjoy: a card game, a game of 20 questions, I spy, finger-knitting, a trip to the zoo, and so on!

Think outside the visit.

As much as new  parents love to show off their bundle of joy, they’re trying to balance that with establishing a rhythm in the home. Let’s get creative about ways to share the love but not the germs!

  • Create a chain of prayer flags or well wishes that can be delivered to the house and express the greetings of each family member or friend in a colorful yet quiet way!

  • Schedule a video call for extended family to visit and see the new baby. If there are siblings, you can set these calls up for every day, but let mom and baby play hooky and stay in bed if they need to.   

  • Set up delivery of meals, and designate a delivery person who is comfortable getting it to the front door and not staying! 

  • Send mail. We’ve lost the art of letter writing and patience in waiting for physical mail, but it feels so good to get real mail!  Bonus – it can be saved in a baby book for reading later!

  • Create a family time capsule for baby to open years from now. You can include pictures, notes, and things that you’re enjoying as a family. Top ten lists of your favorite movies, books, music, family recipes, and restaurants can be fun. Have fun with this!

  • Pitch in together on a gift that may be outside anyone’s individual budget. A lactation consult, a massage, a postpartum doula package, a housecleaning package, diaper service, portrait package, a month’s car payment or home rent – these are all ways to team up and help the new family feel the love of their tribe.

 Thank you for supporting your friends, family, and their new baby!

Olga Ryan MS-NL, RN

Director, Babymoon Inn Tucson

Olga has been in Perinatal nursing since 1995 and in birth center nursing since 2006.  She has been studying leadership her whole life and recently joined the Babymoon Inn team as director of the Tucson location.

You May Also Like These Recent Articles!

What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone - things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be...

Birth Hormones You Should Know!

Birth Hormones You Should Know!Understanding how birth hormones impact your labor and birth can help you make informed choices about how and where you want to labor, what you can do to help labor progress, and what you might not realize is slowing labor down! Oxytocin...

Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

5 Essential Tools for your Labor BagNo matter what your birth plan is, having tools packed in your bag to that can help manage labor is always a good idea. Whether you’re planning for a natural birth or you know you’d like medications for pain relief, these basic...

Visiting New Parents? Follow These Tips!

Visiting the New Parents? Follow These Tips!Congratulations on the newest member of your family or circle of friends!  We know you are so excited to meet this new little one and visit with his or her parents. Wondering how you can be helpful and make that visit...

How to be an Awesome Birth Partner

Five Ways You Can be an Awesome Birth Partner Pssst.  Hey you, yes YOU. The partner. The support person. The other half.I know right now a lot of the attention is placed on the pregnant person (rightfully so!), but YOU’RE super important, too. Right now more than...

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the Hospital

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the HospitalEvaluating birth choices while pregnant in the time of COVID-19.Take a deep breath.If you read that headline and bristled, let me clarify this before I even begin:  For people who are high-risk, ill, or who personally...

How to be an Awesome Birth Partner

How to be an Awesome Birth Partner

Five Ways You Can be an Awesome Birth Partner

Pssst.  Hey you, yes YOU.

The partner. The support person. The other half.

I know right now a lot of the attention is placed on the pregnant person (rightfully so!), but YOU’RE super important, too. Right now more than ever.  You’ve been running out for those late-night snacks, you’ve been there for the pregnancy milestones and now you’re wondering how to prepare for labor.

You may have just learned that no one else will be allowed to come to your birth location with you. Perhaps you were planning to have a doula present alongside your mom and mother-in-law. Maybe you had plans all along for it to be just the two of you. Either way – you may be wondering, “What can I do? How can I provide the best support?”

I’m a doula – a person trained in supporting people through labor and birth –  and I’m here to share with you some of the best tips I have for supporting a person in labor.

  • Take care of yourself

You may have read that and thought, “What?! What about the person having the baby?” But seriously, you have to take care of yourself too.  Eat, drink. Bring lots of snacks. Please. Use the bathroom. Many, many times I have had to remind partners to eat and use the bathroom during labor. Rest if she is resting, or take a break. Nurses and birth assistants will be your best friend. Let them know you need just a moment to step out in the hall. I promise you won’t miss the birth of your baby during this brief moment. PRO TIP: Pack breath mints or gum – your partner will thank you for it.

  • Offer physical support

As the birth partner, you likely you already know where the laboring person appreciates touch when needing comfort. 

Massage: The neck or lower back are good places to start. You can offer foot rubs or temple rubs too. More ideas here.

Counter pressure: Place force with your hands on the lower back or hips to alleviate pressure. YouTube can help you out beforehand with how-to videos.

Movement: Help her stay moving. SO important. Even if pain management is used, work with the care team to help her change positions in bed. Maybe she is out of bed and you’re slow dancing back and forth.

  • Offer emotional support

Perhaps your partner is getting tired/worried/stressed, or maybe she is rocking right along! Encourage her! When she says, “I can’t do this,” remind her “You ARE doing this.” 

Other ideas:

“You are so strong and capable.”

“You are safe.”

“Your body knows how to do this.”

“We are a great team. I love you.”

“We’re going to meet our baby soon.”

You will know what to say in the moment. Perhaps you have a shared inside joke. It’s okay to joke in labor – do it! At some point in labor she may not laugh at your jokes anymore. Don’t worry – it’s not because you aren’t funny anymore, it’s because things are moving along wonderfully.

  • Breathe

Easy right? Well during labor, a birthing person may feel the urge to tense up and hold their breath, and you may do the same. Encourage her to do this with you. Develop a rhythm. Slow deep breath in through your nose and deep exhale out. Encourage her to make noise while doing this if needed. You can place an affirmation here too “Nice, big, deep breath for you and baby.”

  • Hire a doula, and take childbirth classes!

If your hospital has instituted a one-support-person rule, you can still hire a doula for virtual support. “Virtual doulas” can meet with you virtually before the birth to help you plan and prepare. They can walk you through the tips I have mentioned here (and more!). They can support you with finding evidence-based information to make decisions. They can be available as an emotional outlet before, during and after labor. They can call, text, and/or be continually present through video chat during labor to support not only the birthing person but you as well.

Don’t skip the childbirth classes! You’ll both learn about the ins/outs of labor from start to finish, comfort measures, how to navigate medical interventions, breastfeeding, newborn care, and more. Good childbirth classes are designed to help you be the best support person you can be!  A lot of times, fear comes from the unknown. Childbirth education classes can fill in a lot of those unknowns for both of you. And thanks to technology and online learning and meeting platforms, you can now take many classes from the comfort of your living room.

You’ve got this.

You can and will be an AMAZING support person.

Danielle Shelton

Doula, Babymoon Inn

Danielle Shelton received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Arizona State University. She is a wife and mother of two, and a Babymoon-Inn Certified Doula.

You May Also Like These Recent Articles!

What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone - things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be...

Birth Hormones You Should Know!

Birth Hormones You Should Know!Understanding how birth hormones impact your labor and birth can help you make informed choices about how and where you want to labor, what you can do to help labor progress, and what you might not realize is slowing labor down! Oxytocin...

Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

5 Essential Tools for your Labor BagNo matter what your birth plan is, having tools packed in your bag to that can help manage labor is always a good idea. Whether you’re planning for a natural birth or you know you’d like medications for pain relief, these basic...

Visiting New Parents? Follow These Tips!

Visiting the New Parents? Follow These Tips!Congratulations on the newest member of your family or circle of friends!  We know you are so excited to meet this new little one and visit with his or her parents. Wondering how you can be helpful and make that visit...

How to be an Awesome Birth Partner

Five Ways You Can be an Awesome Birth Partner Pssst.  Hey you, yes YOU. The partner. The support person. The other half.I know right now a lot of the attention is placed on the pregnant person (rightfully so!), but YOU’RE super important, too. Right now more than...

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the Hospital

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the HospitalEvaluating birth choices while pregnant in the time of COVID-19.Take a deep breath.If you read that headline and bristled, let me clarify this before I even begin:  For people who are high-risk, ill, or who personally...
Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the Hospital

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the Hospital

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the Hospital

Evaluating birth choices while pregnant in the time of COVID-19.

Take a deep breath.

If you read that headline and bristled, let me clarify this before I even begin:  For people who are high-risk, ill, or who personally feel safest in a hospital setting, then the hospital IS the absolute best place to have your baby. 

But for healthy, low-risk people, I’ll say again: 

Birth doesn’t – and never did – need to be in the hospital.

Thanks to COVID-19, people are rushing in droves to explore out-of-hospital options.  Some common concerns we have heard repeatedly from people planning hospital births:

  • A pregnant woman in labor at babymoon birth center leans on the edge of the tub during a contraction.Concern that they will no longer be able to bring a doula to their birth
  • Concern that they will no longer be able to bring their partner to their birth
  • Concern that their partner can be present for the birth, but not allowed in the recovery room afterward
  • Concern that if a partner is allowed in the hospital, they won’t be able to return if they leave the building for any reason
  • Concern that they will be exposed to viruses or illnesses and become sick while in the hospital
  • Concern that they will be separated from their baby if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms or test positive
  • Concern that they will be subjected to mandatory epidural anesthesia, Cesarean surgery, or other unnecessary interventions

News outlets report on this current trend toward out-of-hospital birth as if pregnant people are trading one risk for another. 

And I get it.  I know that: 

PREGNANT IN A PANDEMIC: “I STARTED TO THINK THAT MAYBE I SHOULD JUST GIVE BIRTH IN MY BATHTUB”

is a far more compelling headline than: 

MORE PEOPLE CHOOSING BIRTH CENTERS – AN OPTIMAL AND TOTALLY SAFE PLACE TO HAVE A BABY. 

But the reality is that people aren’t trading one risk for another. There is less risk in birthing at a licensed and accredited birth center. And that’s true all the time, not just during a global pandemic. Accredited birth centers repeatedly and consistently demonstrate improved outcomes for moms and babies – outcomes that translate across race and socioeconomic status.

There is less risk in birthing at a licensed and accredited birth center. And that’s true all the time, not just during a global pandemic.

Do we like that fear is driving people to consider birth options outside of the hospital? No. It’s sad that fear has to be any kind of driving factor for pregnant people. But do we like that something, ANYTHING is driving people to consider birth options outside of the hospital? Absolutely.

In the (hopefully near) future, social distancing guidelines will be relaxed. We will return to grocery stores and birthday parties and sporting events and begin to find our new normal. And we hope that a part of that new normal is a paradigm shift in the way we view birth. We hope that new normal includes a greater appreciation for the incredible work doctors and nurses do caring for sick people in the hospital.

And we also hope that more people will begin to realize that pregnancy isn’t a sickness.

And that birth never needed to be in a hospital.

Diana Petersen M.Ed., LCCE

Director of Education, Babymoon Inn

Diana Petersen received her journalism degree at the University of Arizona and her Master’s degree in education at Northern Arizona University.  She is a DONA-certified doula and Lamaze-certified childbirth educator at Babymoon Inn, an accredited birth center and full-scope midwifery practice in Phoenix, Arizona.

You May Also Like These Recent Articles!

What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone - things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be...

Birth Hormones You Should Know!

Birth Hormones You Should Know!Understanding how birth hormones impact your labor and birth can help you make informed choices about how and where you want to labor, what you can do to help labor progress, and what you might not realize is slowing labor down! Oxytocin...

Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

5 Essential Tools for your Labor BagNo matter what your birth plan is, having tools packed in your bag to that can help manage labor is always a good idea. Whether you’re planning for a natural birth or you know you’d like medications for pain relief, these basic...

Visiting New Parents? Follow These Tips!

Visiting the New Parents? Follow These Tips!Congratulations on the newest member of your family or circle of friends!  We know you are so excited to meet this new little one and visit with his or her parents. Wondering how you can be helpful and make that visit...

How to be an Awesome Birth Partner

Five Ways You Can be an Awesome Birth Partner Pssst.  Hey you, yes YOU. The partner. The support person. The other half.I know right now a lot of the attention is placed on the pregnant person (rightfully so!), but YOU’RE super important, too. Right now more than...

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the Hospital

Actually, Birth Never Needed to be in the HospitalEvaluating birth choices while pregnant in the time of COVID-19.Take a deep breath.If you read that headline and bristled, let me clarify this before I even begin:  For people who are high-risk, ill, or who personally...

Pin It on Pinterest