Useful items for labor and delivery
I am often asked what someone needs to take to the hospital or birth center. I am going for items that may not be normally thought of along with some tried and true items. Wherever a mother is going to have her baby – it is her space, her labor cave as it were. Now for a hospital or birth center birth painters tape could be a good idea for some items on the list as not to mark up the walls.
Appealing to the senses: Items that speak to sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste. Try and figure out where the items fit!
- Pillow case that smells like you or your partner, really like your normal normal environment. I eschew the thought of taking an actual pillow outside your home simply for the germs that are anywhere else you may deliver.
- Your own clothing:
- For her: robe, a sports bra, bikini top, tank top – something that can get wet and not be ruined. Two piece outfit, a Binsi or bathing suit cover skirt. Sandals, slippers, socks or flip flops.
- For him/labor partner: sweats, shorts, pajamas, hoodie, pullover, socks, underwear – items other than just a pair of jeans. Swim trunks in case she wants you in the shower or labor tub with her. Nakedness outside of a homebirth is generally reserved for the laboring woman. Flip flops or other waterproof foot covers.
- A favorite blanket
- Essential oils or scented lotion.
- Pictures of other children, pets, favorite vacation, anything that is her happy place in thought, spirit and mind.
- Flashlight and/or night lights to give subtle low light illumination.
- Posters or phrases to put on the wall.
- Music – soft, slow, upbeat, fast – whatever is relaxing for the individual.
- Lip balm
- Mints and lollipops
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Colored items that soothe and encourage.
- Affirmation cards or cd’s
- Scripture or encouraging religious texts
- Fresh herbs.
- A cooler with easy to digest foods for her- smoothies, yogurt, ices, peanut butter sandiwches, protein bars…..
- A cooler with his favorite foods and drinks (again remember the toothbrush)
- Special symbolic or religious pieces
- Phone numbers of those who can encourage, pray, etc.
- Something to cover the clock with.
- your labor doula
Finally some of the inangibles that are not items:
- Patience (not a typo)
Be blessed and to all those who are pregnant – I hope for you to gestate peacefully.