A friend of mine asked about this the other day. I'll tell you the same thing I told her. I don't think its necessary to pack a 'just in case' bag. If you are really set on homebirth, then the only reason you would be transferring would be in the case of a true emergency, and at that point whoever is at home can grab a spare change of clothes and your toothbrush and hairbrush for you. Or they can go back after everything is done and get those things. If you want to set aside a set of comfy clothes, that would be great, but don't get it all set up as a 'just in case' bag because that will put the idea in your head that you have things ready and transfer is always an option when things get intense.
Best of luck to you!
My "Just in case" bag has some clothes to come home in, travel-size toiletries for cleaning up postpartum, and some nipple butter. I also have a cesarean birth plan and a hospital birth plan so that hopefully my wishes will still be respected just in case I have to go in. There are many reasons that moms transfer and they don't all have to be emergent. A transfer might occur for non-reassuring heart tones, which may not be an emergency but would still warrant the midwife wanting you to change locations. One of my friends had to transfer to a hospital birth at near full-term because she had too much fluid and her midwife risked her out.
In any event, I like to have everything in order just in case, which settles my mind. I packed it all up and put it away in the back of the closet. My husband and midwife know where it is, but I don't have to look at it. I think it's really important to have a bag so you don't have to stress out in the postpartum period about sending someone to your house to get some clothes to come home in, and if it's truly an emergency, nobody wants to be worrying about how to grab clothes for you. I know a JIC bag is on my midwife's list of requirements and I'm happy to oblige. I've had two hospital births and I know I'm not going back there unless I absolutely have to.
LABOR AND DELIVERY NEEDS AT THE HOSPITAL OR BIRTH CENTER
You are in labor and it is now time to go to the hospital or birth center. Since babies arrive on their own time it is a good idea to pack your bag at least one month before your due date. Here is a list of items that are recommended for you to bring when you go into labor.
Mother to be items:
1. SEVERAL PILLOWS: The pillows you bring may get stained with amniotic fluid and or blood. Be sure that you will be ok to possibly replace them if they get soiled (do not bring ones that are precious to you).
2. RELAXING MUSIC: Check with the hospital or birth center and see if they provide a way to play music (stereo, CD, or cassette player).
3. CLOTHES: Nightgown, nursing bra, robe, slippers (that are ok to get dirty), a change of clothes for your discharge home.
4. PERSONAL HYGEINE ITEMS: Do not forget lip balm. Mothers get dry lips when they are breathing in labor.
3. CHANGE OF CLOTHES
4. HIGH ENERGY SNACKS
5. CARDS, BOOKS OR VIDEOS
6. IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
7. CAMERA & VIDEO WITH FILM AND BATTERY OR CHARGER.
1. NEWBORN OUTFIT: including hat and booties.
2. RECEIVING BLANKET
3. INFANT CAR SEAT: Be sure it is properly installed prior to your discharge.