So you’re in your final stretch of the pregnancy which is excittting and nerve wrecking at the same time! Sometimes it seems like there’s so much to do but such little time. Just know you’re not alone and not one person can do everything alone w/o making mistakes.
Hopefully this quick guide can give you a little assistance for your baby’s debut at the hospital!
My husband and I were lucky enough to take baby classes at the hospital so that helped my wheels start spinning in my mind for what to pack. There’s no right or wrong way to pack but I’ll definitely say there’s a ‘smart’ way to pack. 😉
HOW MANY BAGS DO YOU NEED?
If your birth place has a labor room/wing and a post-partum room/wing
I suggest making two bags. Why?
- When you arrive at the hospital there’s so much going on and it’s easier to carry a small ‘labor’ bag into the building.
- Once your done with the labor process that bag can be taken to the car so you don’t have to take up extra space in your post-partum room.
- During the labor process it’s easier for your spouse or birthing mate to give you things you need out of that bag. (Example) if you need your heating pad or headphones, you don’t want them searching forever in a large suitcase. It should be a quick grab and go situation.
WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF A LABOR BAG?
Your labor bag is your one stop shop to help you get through this journey! The main goal is to pack things that will help you relax and make the process manageable.
My plan was to not use an epidural so I wanted to pack things to get me through the contractions without feeling the urge to request the shot.
I’m here to tell you that it is 100% possible to have a natural birth if that’s your plan. What makes a natural birth easier to endure is if you have everything you need right by your side. 😊
WHAT TO PLACE INSIDE LABOR BAG?
Of course everyone has different needs but here are my suggestions:
- yoga ball: of course this can’t go inside the bag but you should bring it to help get through contractions
- headphones/ bluetooth speaker: some people like certain music during the birth process to relax them. I used soundscape(ocean sounds) music
- heating pad: your contractions feel like really strong cramps, so heat compression can help
- back massager
- dry wash cloth: that you can use for hot or cold water. At times I needed a cold wash cloth placed on my forehead and neck
- your favorite scent: can be essential oils or even a dryer sheet lol..the aroma can help soothe you
- blanket or robe
- snacks: you can’t eat during labor but you’ll definitely need something as soon as that bad boy pops out
- chapstick: random I know, but I hate when my lips are dry lol
- book/bible: if there’s something you read during your pregnancy that will soothe you, by all means take it and put sticky notes on the pages you love so your mate can read them out loud. I linked my book below that I read during the 2nd trimester and I absolutely love it
- picture of the baby’s ultrasound: I packed it but didn’t use it lol. Some people suggest having a picture that you can look at for motivation. Or having a picture to focus on during the pain or pushing
- handheld fan: I got super hot during the contractions and had my husband fan me with a book lol, poor things hand was super tired
- your birthing plan typed out: you may not have your planned doctor the day of, so it’s important to have everything you want/need typed out to hand it to the nurse. Your plan is what you would like to happen. Be mentally prepared for things to change on the spot and trust in God and your medical staff that they are doing what’s best for you in the baby. 💚
WHAT TO PLACE INSIDE POST-PARTUM BAG?
FOR THE MOM
- pajamas + slippers
- toiletries: soap/body wash, lotion, tooth brush, toothpaste, hair products/accessories, wash cloth, shower shoes, towel for you and partner
- favorite pillow: of course your center will provide you with pillows, but if you normally have neck/back problems it’s best to bring your own
- clothes: you’ll want loose clothes that are easy to put on since your body will be sore. I recommend a maxi dress if it’s not too cold outside.
- heavy duty pads: the place should give you pads but I say bring a couple of your own in case you don’t like theirs
- adult diapers: I’ve linked them below. If you have a vaginal birth you are going to bleed A LOT and there’s no need to get your pretty panties messed up
- nipple pads: some women’s milk comes in right away so it’s good to have these incase your breasts start to leak
- favorite snacks
- phone chargers: make sure you bring one with long cords because their outlet plug may not be close by
- medication: any type of meds you need or if you’re taking iron pills
*Check before your delivery date to see what will be provided for your partner. (Example: food, bed, blankets)
FOR THE BABY
- cute outfit: if their feet and hands are exposed in the outfit make sure you bring mittens and socks
- 1 swaddle blanket: the hospital lets you use their blankets during the stay but you can’t take it home
- hat: the hospital lets you keep the baby hats but just in case you want one to match their outfit
- car seat: your base should be securely placed in your car.
Please visit https://www.safekids.org/inspection-stations to have a free car seat instructional phone call to make sure you’ve installed it 100% correctly.
FREEBIES FROM YOUR BIRTHING PLACE
diapers, wipes, formula, baby hats, vaginal squirt bottle, pads,
large underwear, wipes for hemorrhoids
No one’s labor process is the same. We all tolerate pain, stress, and emotions differently. Prepare yourself mentally to be flexible to changes the day of because anything can happen! Make sure your birthing partner is prepped mentally to be your support system for the emotional ups and downs. Your partner will also need to be physically prepared to withstand long hours of being by your side and carrying for the baby while you rest up.
I hope that you have the delivery that you imagine and that you and your new bundle of joy are healthy as an ox!
The next steps after birth are not easy, please take time and view my how to get through post-partum blog post! (COMING SOON)
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