Packing for birth is a range of experiences for every birthing mother. The first birth you may pack your entire home into suitcases and include the kitchen sink, just in case. While with the succeeding births you are lucky to throw in your toothbrush. Regardless of the birth, there are a few surprising additions every labor bag should possess. We are here to help you get ready for the big event.
- Tennis Ball
Tennis balls make a great impromptu massager. Your partner or doula can roll the ball over your back, shoulders and legs to relieve tension. You can also put the ball between your back and the wall and roll it around yourself during contractions.
- Honey Sticks
Honey sticks keep your blood sugar up and give you something sweet to suck on. Cough drops are another alternative. These are particularly helpful if you are feeling nauseous or need a quick hit of sugar in your system.
- Textured talisman
A talisman during labor can be anything. Something with some texture for you to hold onto is a good way to focus energy during contractions. Some people prefer a personal item, a crystal or even a small comb. Something to hold tightly can be better than balling your fists. It creates a good focus point during contractions.
- Bendy straws
Have you ever tried to sip water while lying down? It is quite a difficult task. Have some bendy straws handy to make sure your water intake is optimal. A water bottle with a built in straw works too. This way you can stay hydrated from any labor position.
- Lip Balm
Chapstick duty is good for your partner to handle. All the breathing during labor leads to chapped lips. After every few contractions have your partner offer you hydration and some chapstick every now and then.
There are many labors where bathrobes double as extra blankets. Overall, they are a great reminder of homey elements. Bathrobes are a good option to bring because your temperature fluctuates frequently during labor and they are easy to put on and take off.
- Flip flops and/or slippers
Hospitals are not always the cleanest places. Barefoot wandering in the halls, room and showers is not recommended. Bring a pair of easy flip flops for the shower, and a comfy pair of house shoes for getting up in your room. When you leave the hospital you will want a pair of shoes to easily slip on.
- Extra pillows
Extra pillows in hospitals are hard to come by, and especially if your labor occurs on a busy day in the hospital. Extra pillows are great for modified positions in labor and breastfeeding. Be sure to bring pillows with a non-white pillowcase as to not confuse your personal pillows with hospital property.
Aim to bring healthy snacks for your labor that are easy to eat. It is okay to have some sugary items as well because you might need that little boost to make it through the labor. Ease of use is key. Think juice boxes, easy-to-eat applesauce, crackers, or peanut butter packets. Check with your OB or midwife because some policies state you can only consume clear liquids like miso soup, chicken broth and water during hospital labors.
- Newborn diapers
The hospital is often well equipped with baby supplies, but there may be a diaper change needed in between leaving the postpartum floor and arriving home. It can never hurt to have a few extra diapers handy.
The above ten items are a must when you are laboring through the challenging contractions. From the waiting room to triage and delivery, all these items can help make you just a little more comfortable. Even the slightest shift in energy can give you a second wind during labor, and bring your baby into your arms.