Monday, February 9, 2009

Doula Digest - What to pack in your Birth Bag

Posted by Kim:

What should I pack in my Birth Bag?

Preparing for the birth of your child is one of the most exciting times for every mother, but what do you really need to bring with you? With my experience as a doula and mother of three, along with many experienced moms' opinions, we have the most comprehensive list along with many great tricks and inside tips. We hope this not only prepares you, but also educates and empowers you to create the best birth possible for you!

Labor Soothing Tools:
Massage Oil - not only does massage feel good, it also helps the body relax. If you like scents, massage oils are the best way to experience aromatherapy during your birth. But be aware, just because it smells good to you now, you may not enjoy the smell while you are actually in labor.

Massage Ball - using a massage ball creates pressure like a hand, but without the effort or stress on the massager. You will us it FOREVER!

Spikey Ball - rubbing a spiked ball between your hands (or on your feet) during contractions will relieve pain. The tactile stimulation focuses your pain receptors away from your contractions.

Barley Pack - wonderful to heat in the microwave or cool in the refrigerator to relieve sore spots (especially the neck and lower back).

Moist Heat Heating Pad - cordless microwaveable heating pad can soothe back aching. Be sure it is moist heat though!

Personal Items

Birth Outfit - don't be frustrated and intimidated by the hospital gown and environment. We at BINSI feel that you deserve the most practical and functional outfit possible on your big day. Check out our complete line of labor and birth apparel!

Robe - a soft, warm and comfortable robe will make a huge difference.

Slippers - slippers that slide on, are soft and cushioning and have a tread bottom are important. You want to be able to get in and out of them quickly and easily, all while feeling cozy and warm.

Personal Pillow - bringing your own pillow can be important, it is nice to have something soft and comfortable (not plastic) to rest your head on. Make sure you use a colorful cover, so it isn't mistaken for a hospital pillow. One mom even told us she brought a pillow with a red pillowcase to use as a backdrop for her pictures. Hey, its ok to want to look as good as you can!! You deserve it!

Music - bring all the genres of music you like. You may be surprised what you're in the mood for or need during your labor.

Flash Light or Night Light - turn off those horrible overhead lights (especially while you're in the bath) and relax with soft lighting instead of the harsh overhead lights.

Chap stick - the effort you exert, not to mention the breathing techniques you might use, will surely dry your lips.

Ponytail Holders - obviously very important during one of the most physically taxing events of your life. No one wants their hair in their face.

Sour Candy - labor can often create nausea. Having sour candy can help alleviate these symptoms.
Doula– be supported, encouraged and understood during your labor. A doula provides physical and emotional assistance for both you and your partner.

Baby Powder– labor can make you hot and sweaty. Baby powder can be an easy solution to helping you feel dry and fresh.

Bath Pillow – if you are able to labor in the tub, it is nice to have something soft to cradle your head as you relax.

Prenatal Vitamins – the amount of energy you exert during labor and birth is enormous. Remember to give yourself and your baby the best start by staying healthy and nourished.

Toiletries – all the basics (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, hairdryer, makeup, etc.)

For Birth Partners:

Change of clothes

Comfortable Shoes


Food – bring lots of non-fragrant snacks, granola bars and protein bars are great. Even though she won’t be able to eat, you need to stay nourished and in top shape to be there for her as best you can.

Video and/or Still Camera

Phone List

Cell Phone (and charger) – preload your friends’ and families’ email addresses into your phone so you can send pictures right from your phone.

Laptop Computer -

Books and Movies – for big brother’s or big sister’s visit.

Medicine – even though you’re in a hospital, if you get sick they won’t give you anything. Make sure to pack a pain reliever and upset stomach medicine – just in case.

Swimsuit – you may want to join her in the tub – which we highly recommend.

Pillow – pillows can be scarce in a hospital, and you’re the last in the line. Make sure you’re comfortable and bring your own.

For after the birth and the trip home:

Maternity Clothes – even though you are no longer pregnant you will most likely not fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes.

Nursing Bra -

Book and/or magazines -

Baby outfits – your baby does not have to only wear a diaper or t-shirt while in the hospital. Bring some outfits for your little one for your stay in the hospital and for the ride home.

Baby Blanket – a soft, cozy blanket helps everyone to feel more relaxed and ready to brave the new world.

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