I posted this to my personal blog when I was preparing for the natural hospital birth of my first baby and I've gone back to reference this list with every pregnancy. With each baby I've added to my list with each baby, and figured out what I don't need (pads, diapers for baby, they'll have that stuff). Many couples preparing for a natural birth plan to leave for the hospital late in labor to avoid routine interventions, which is smart, but sometimes baby has other plans and you may labor at the hospital longer than expected. Come prepared, most hospitals are not equipped to help naturally laboring mothers so what you bring is important. Is there something you found comforting in your natural birth that I left off? Share your story!
October 13, 2009
I've been talking about packing for the hospital like every day for 2 weeks. I got the bag, I got the stuff, I just need to introduce them, but for SOME reason this is hard to do. I guess my laziness is pretty epic right now. I am nearly positive that I will not start packing until I'm in labor... Eric agrees. I just keep thinking, "Well I need to pack this... oh but I might need it, I'll wait." I think that makes sense.
Anyhow how, to create the illusion of progress, I'm going to blog about packing... instead of doing it. I'll pack tomorrow... maybe.
I have two smallish bags, a labor bag and postpartum bag. This makes it much easier for your partner to find whatever mom needs quickly.
In my labor bag I have:
• My birth plan, a few copies
• Tape so I can tape a birth plan to my door
• Birth Boot Camp Field Manual for affirmations
• Something for Dad to occasionally time contractions, there's an app for that
• A pad and pencil to write down questions for staff
• A super comfy robe & slippers
• Something to wear in the tub
• Hair ties and butterfly clip
• Lip balm (deep breathing = dry lips)
• Super soft wash cloth, for sweaty face wiping
• Tennis ball for counter pressure and massage
• Awesome smelling massage lotion or essential oil (fave: peppermint!)
• Hard candies (faves: peppermints and orange)
• Snacks: protein bars (fave: Luna Bars), oranges, drinkable yogurt, honey sticks
• Coconut water (has electrolytes!) and chocolate milk (great recovery drink!)
• Small ice chest (we have one that is a bag) with cold packs, hospital may be able to supply them so ask at the tour. We brought our own.
• Small crockpot and at least 2 herbal rice wraps (one can be warmed in the crockpot while mom uses the other) You doula might have these
• Birthing ball, ok I can't really pack it, but it's coming. You might find the size or softness of the hospital's ball uncomfortable.
• iPod, ear buds, & dock
• Camera & charger
• Cell charger
*If you have hired a doula (highly recommend) she may have a lot of this stuff, so talk to her about what you should bring.
In my postpartum bag:
• Nursing bras and pads
• Leggings (fave: Secret Belly Leggings)
• Slippers (in case the others got wet)
• Cute sweatsuit set for going home
• Contacts & contact stuff
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Travel shampoo, conditioner... etc
• Make-up, brush, hair dryer and straightener (yes, I use them)
• Mirror to put on bed tray, so I can get pretty in bed
• More snacks! Breastfeeding moms are hungry!
• Change of clothes & toiletries for Dad
• Going home outfit for baby
• Receiving blanket
• Laptop, in case we have a long stay
Well, those are my favorites! Please share yours!
Natural Birth Series
Sept 28 – Nov 15
Infant Sleep for Expecting & New Parents
6:30pm - 9:00pm
Gentle Cesarean: Planning & Recovery
Toro Park, 3-6:30pm
Natural Birth Refresher
Salinas, 1– 4pm
Preconception & Early Pregnancy Class
Salinas, 1– 4pm
Sibling Prep for Parents & Kids
November 4th & 5th
Toro Park, 2:-4pm
Fall Home & Birth Center Birth Series
Nov 7 – Dec 12
Natural Birth Series
Nov 29th – Jan 17th