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:

  • Quiet
  • Peacefulness
  • Courage
  • Strength
  • Patience
  • Trust
  • Faith
  • Calm
  • Connectedness
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Excitement
  • Patience (not a typo)
  • Openness
  • Willingness

Be blessed and to all those who are pregnant – I hope for you to gestate peacefully.