I write this as my midwives keep assuring me that my daughter will be here “any day now” and I grow more and more physically and mentally uncomfortable as each day passes. I lovingly titled this list for the type-A hippie mama because I’m a firm believer that it’s best to go with the flow during labor and delivery itself but you’d better believe that my bags have been packed for almost a month so I can be prepared for lots of scenarios and I thrive on making and checking off all. the. LISTS. If this sounds like you or someone you know and love, read on!
As we began compiling our packing list I couldn’t for the life of me remember what we’d taken to our first daughter’s birth. I was stuck on things like toothbrushes, salt lamp, uhhh…knowing there must be more. So, after several weeks of obsessing contemplating, I came up with this and I hope it genuinely helps some of you who are gearing up for labor day or at least amuses those of you who just want to see my priorities. Also, if there are labor essentials that YOU have that I didn’t think of, please add them in the comments.
- Comfortable clothes (3 changes for myself and husband)
- Nursing bras
- Lightweight robe
- Big sis gift (for us to present to our older daughter when she comes to meet little sis for the first time)
- Hair ties
- Brush and comb
- Lip balm
- Bubba (huge water cup) and straw
- Betablockers, prenatal, melatonin (any medicines or supplements you need)
- Camera and camera charger
- Tucks pads (hemorrhoids are evil)
- Pads, disposable underwear, and big ol’ granny panties for after labor
- 3 newborn outfits
- Newborn socks (for feet and hands to prevent her scratching her face with her tiny, razor sharp baby nails)
- Receiving blanket
- Newborn diapers and wipes (provided at hospital but it’s nice to have extra). If you’re planning to cloth diaper from the get go, then more power to you & include those on the list. We’re planning to transition her after a few months.
- Car seat (already installed…our first daughter came unexpectedly early and we hadn’t even bought one yet). Trust me and save yourself that panic.
- Trial size shampoo, conditioner, body wash
- Phones, chargers
- Wallets, insurance cards
- Hard copies of birth plan (there’s an excellent free format for one that you can download on the Earth Mama Angel Baby page).
- Salt lamp (it just relaxes me a lot and makes a hospital room feel more like home)
- Essential oil diffuser
- Bag of oils (including: peppermint, lavender, rose, geranium, orange, lemon, clary sage, texas cedarwood, ylang ylang, and chamomile)
- Laptop, iphone, headphones, and external speakers with Labor playlists on Spotify (with the help of my amazing friend who is a board-certified music therapist and offered us a Birth Music Consultation …I created 4 lists to use loosely in the different stages of labor. For early labor I made a “Labor Folk” list with favorite folky, pop, singer-songwriter tunes with lyrics. For active labor and transition I made both a “Labor Harp” list (because I love the sound of the harp and didn’t want to hear many vocals during the most intense parts of my first birth) and a “Labor Vocal” list that includes mostly relaxing choral or chanty songs. Finally, I made a “Bonding” list for during placenta delivery, the first skin to skin time, nursing, and postpartum herbal bath. During the birth of our first daughter, I only listened to one song (Deep Peace set by Bill Douglas) on repeat during all of early labor and one instrumental album (String Quartets by Peter Garland) during all of active labor and transition. That was more due to her unexpected arrival, but the music helped me significantly. We have many more prepared options this time, so I’m curious to see how they play out during the actual labor and will report back.
- Sound machine (we had ocean sounds on during labor beneath the music and in the hospital room and our room at home for the first 2-3 weeks of our eldest daughter’s life). The womby sounds and white noise were really comforting for me and her.
- Favorite pillows from home
- Favorite blanket
- Coconut oil
- Birth Affirmation book (a sweet shower gift where friends wrote quotes and affirmations for me to meditate on during labor)
- Birth ball
- Birth stool
- Herbal bath supplies
- Coconut waters
- Gatorade (or your favorite hippie equivalent)
- Veggie jerkies
- Honey sticks
- Peanut butter pouches
That’s it (so far!) I may tweak it a little up until go time, but I think this covered all the big bases for us. I hope this helps you. May we all have wonderful, relaxed (but prepared) 😉 labors and deliveries!