A doula’s Hospital Bag Tips…

There are so many blogs out there with lists of “hospital bags must haves.” However, if imagesyou are like me, you may have found that many were just too basic and others had things on the list I have never even heard of! So I decided to make a list of my own. A list for women hoping for a natural birth, who aspire to begin motherhood with a calm, prepared mind, body and spirit.

Labor & Delivery Bag…

  • 2 copies of a Birth Plan signed by your doctor
  • A small gift basket for your nurses to bribe their affections and care:) You may consider including fresh oranges, nuts, healthy bars, gift certificates ($10 or less), lip balm, hand cream….Don’t over do it. Just something sweet and simple that says “please take good care of us”
  • Phone chargers, camera + charger
  • Comfortable night gown to labor in. Try to find something that has buttons down the front, or loose straps. Think of easy access for skin to skin upon delivery. You may consider Pretty Pushers
  • Socks with grip pads on the bottom, slippers or flip flops
  • A light robe or long sweater that you can cover with for walks around the hospital halls
  • Your spouse may want to bring a bathing suit if you want them to accommodate you in the shower or tub
  • Toiletries that include: lip balm, a few hair ties, face wash, your favorite scented lotion for massage, toothbrush and paste. You may consider bringing your own shampoo and conditioner for both you and baby’s first bath. The hospital has only cheap chemical based options
  • 2 tennis balls in a sock for massage and counter pressure during labor
  • A thick scarf (rebozo) for re-positioning the baby if necessary
  • Essential oils for labor
  • Honey sticks. Studies have shown that sipping on honey can build energy significantly during labor
  • Snacks. Although the hospital will tell you that you cannot eat or drink during labor for emergency reasons, most birth advocates will tell you thats crazy! You just need to be sure to snack on things that are safe and easily digestible. Consider the following: peeled cucumbers,  apple sauce, watermelon, baby food pouches (with fruit and veggies), juice blend (with fruit and veggies), coconut water and gatorade for hydration. Plus your favorite healthy meal for after baby comes! You will have just undergone a marathon and then be given hospital food. Bring something that will really nourish you!
  • 2 pillows with cases you don’t care about
  • Consider a birth ball & yoga mat for kneeling on
  • Playlist (make sure you have a minimum of 15 hours of music) with speakers & charger
  • Flameless candles can really help to keep the environment calm and serene
  • Drivers licence, insurance card and cash

Postpartum bag….

  • Maternity leggings, nursing shirts and bra. You will look about 6 months pregnant after delivery, as your uterus shrinks back down to its pre-pregnancy size
  • Comfortable nightgown
  • Your own pads. The hospital will give you a diaper!
  • 3-5 pairs of old or reusable undies
  • Spray bottle with witch hazel to use on pads until you get home. Then replace with padsicles (see below). Also I strongly suggest bottom balm
  • Magnesium for the constipation that usually sets in post birth
  • Receiving blanket and organic cotton newborn clothing
  • Reusable or non-toxic baby wipes
  • Nipple balm and any other healing tools. I LOVED these silver nipple caps. They were SO amazing!
  • Hand pump in case you need to build up supply should there be any nursing issues
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Possibly a nursing pillow

Before leaving for the hospital consider….

  • Make or purchase bone broth. Freeze for freshness upon return
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. I’ve made a very concentrated batch using this mixed with honey and put into ice cubes. When you get home you can pop several into a cup and add water. You can find recipe for a strong, labor day brew here
  • Make padsicles for postpartum recovery

You can also find great ideas on Pintrest….

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Happy packing!!!

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