Hospital Birth Bag Basics
As your due date gets closer you’re probably wondering, “What are the hospital birth bag basics?” It’s one of the questions that inevitably comes up any time we get to talking about birth. You’ll likely get some ideas from your mom friends and your sister, but here’s a peek at the list we put together just for you. Having a birth professional who is also a mom share her point of view is kind of a perk!
I’m including a breakdown of why each of these items made the list! Bonus items added near the end! Don’t forget to grab your free printable!
Hospital Birth Bag Must Haves
Laboring is hard work. Expect your mouth and lips to get dry.
Fluids and Snacks!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the here and now of labor. This goes double for the birth partner. Back by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it’s important to stay hydrated and provide your body with nourishment to endure the marathon. Not to mention if the kitchen is closed you won’t have to wait forever for food after you give birth. If you’ve never been hangry before, you’ll likely feel that way after birth!
1-2 Bendy Straws
There’s nothing like wanting that sip of water or juice and having to change positions just to get it. No way, toss some bendy straws in your hospital birth bag!
Mints or Hard Candy
No one likes stinky breath, especially someone in labor! It could be their own breath or the breath of someone around her, having mints on hand is a quick way to freshen up. Bonus: when/if you feel nauseous, mint can help settle the stomach.
1-2 Hair Ties
Those lovely locks are amazing, but not hanging down in your face as you’re trying to focus inward and relax. It’s distracting, to say the least. It also helps to get the hair up off of her neck when labor reaches the second stage (pushing or breathing baby down). Tie the hair up off of the neck and apply a cool, damp cloth and you’re golden!
Matted hair is a new mama’s nightmare, but having to use a hospital comb is just basic torture. Having your own brush with you will be a creature comfort that is small and easy to carry along.
For the birth partner! I bet when you started thinking about your hospital birth bag basics, you weren’t considering a swimsuit! The water is a great tool for comfort and relaxation in labor. Getting into the water together and dimming the lights help to create an oxytocin (the love hormone)-filled birth ambiance. There’s nothing wrong with both of you being naked. Wearing undies will work in a pinch!
Phone and Charger
You probably won’t forget your phone, for most people, it’s like their third arm. The charger is an entirely different story! Pack one now! Invest in an extra just for your bag, eventually you’ll need it anyway.
Your phone doubles as a camera! I know, some of you are thinking, nope, no pictures. That’s understandable, but insider info here: more times than not parents who said no pics, but took pics said they were so thankful to have them. They just deleted what they didn’t want and have the others to cherish forever.
Rain Sounds or Relaxing Melody App
By now your hospital birth bag basics might feel like they are toeing the line on “essential”. Apps on your phone are a glorious thing! Go ahead and add the Contraction Timer App to you your phone while you’re at it!
The sounds of a hospital are less than relaxing. It’s not home. The beeps, the door, and strange voices can break your concentration and focus. Getting into a good rhythm and groove only to be disturbed is a bad place to be. Prepare ahead by using your app to bring you to a state of relaxation at the end of pregnancy! When you practice you’ll be better able to tune into your relaxed state in childbirth.
Do Not Disturb Sign
You may want to make and take a sign for your door letting those who enter your room know before they enter that you are doing the damn thing and need some P-R-I-V-A-C-Y, sung to the tune of Aretha Franklin’s hit song, Respect! Get creative here, no right or wrong way!
Every Minute of Every Hour Baby Update
And, while you’re at it, for all those well-meaning friends and family members who are definitely more ready for you to have your baby that you are [insert eye roll here] when you get those texts just have them go here: Automatic Baby Update
Going Home Outfit
All the fun doesn’t have to be centered around just baby! After all you grew your little bean, therefore you should come home comfortable and as stylish as you wanna be! Maybe toss in your favorite lip color too!
Lower back pain is no joke! Heat and ice are tools in your comfort bag. These work great to fill with hot water from the sink or ice from the freezer!
You don’t have to be Serena Williams to get in on this game! A tennis ball is a great massage tool. It can be used to apply direct pressure to areas of the lower back and butt. This tool can be used unassisted against a wall or behind your back on a bed or with a birth partner.
Lotion can make massages more enjoyable, but UNscented is important! Your favorite scents could quickly become the most wretched smell you have ever experienced.
The ball is a phenomenal way to keep you in motion, don’t lose your rhythm! Get the correct size for your height and inflate it correctly! You’ll want a good slow release or anti-burst ball to be safe. The great news is that you can use it throughout pregnancy, labor, and even postpartum as you bouncer or sway with your baby.
Positive Birth Affirmations
The body is more apt to achieve what the mind believes so practice the affirmations that resonate with you and toss them in your bag for positive reinforcement through labor!
Placenta Transport Kit
If you are doing placenta encapsulation your Postpartum Placenta Specialist makes this process easy peasy! Remind your nurses and provider at the time you give birth that you are keeping your placenta to be made into capsules.
Here are a few extras to consider when going over your hospital birth bag basics:
- Grab that baby book or keepsake for feet prints
- A comfy gown for your post-pregnancy body.
- Slippers keep your tootsies comfy and clean.
- A nursing bra if you’re planning to breastfeed and maybe a few pads if you are already leaking colostrum.