Counting down the days until your baby arrives? Don't forget to pack your birth bag! Your birth bag (also called a labour bag) contains the supplies you'll want to have with you at the birth.

Here are the "basics" to have in your birth bag:

  • health card and health insurance information
  • cord blood collection kit and forms (if you have decided to donate your baby's cord blood)
  • birth or labour reference books
  • birth plan
  • calling card or change for the phone and vending machines
  • phone numbers and emails for family and friends
  • camera (with extra batteries)
  • comfort items" for labour: massage oils, tennis balls (can be put into a sock and used for a back massage during labour), picture of a loved one, favourite pillow, MP3 player, old warm socks
  • items for your partner: change of clothes, watch for timing contractions, books or magazines to read, toiletries, snacks
  • baby gear: baby's "going home" outfit (and a backup outfit), a couple of sleepers and onesies, hat, a few pairs of socks or booties, newborn size diapers, baby wipes, a few receiving blankets, diaper rash ointment, baby nail clippers, diaper bag
  • your clothes: old pyjamas, old bathrobe, slippers, "going home" outfit (choose something that fit you when you were 6 months pregnant because you'll be about this size after the birth), 2 nursing bras, breast pads, a few pairs of underwear (larger than your usual size)
  • your toiletries: maxi pads (the super-absorbent kind), deodorant, soap, shampoo, lotion, lip moisturizer, hair elastic or headband, hairbrush or comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, facecloth
  • car seat
  • pen and paper
  • garbage bags (helps protect your car in case your water breaks during the drive)

You may not use all of these items, but they're good to have just in case. If you're planning a home birth, check with your doctor or midwife about other supplies that you may need to have on hand in your home.