Are you planning a hospital birth and are trying to figure out what to pack in your hospital bag? Worried you might forget something? With the birth of my daughter, I forgot some important items! Learn from my mistakes and read on for 5 Easily Forgotten Labor Essentials
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If you read my post, 5 Things I Regret About my Labor you know that I procrastinated so much with packing my bag for the birth center. For someone that is extremely over prepared for every occasion but for whatever reason, this didn’t translate over to my hospital bag. I was determined to just bring the bare essentials. Why? I have no idea. My perspective on labor was more of a “get in, get out” scenario and not the loonnnngggg journey that it actually was. As a result, I packed my hospital bag more like a typical overnight bag and not a labor bag. I really wish I had thought ahead more about how I wanted to treat myself while in labor and directly after the baby was born. Read on to see the things that I forgot about but won’t be forgotten next time around!
Labor Essential #1: Eye Mask
My hospital room was really bright, even with the lights off. I found it really difficult to sleep the night I was induced partly because the room was so bright, and partly because nurses kept coming in to check on me. Every time my hospital room door was opened bright hospital light came flooding in. This is the eye mask that I use at home when I’m having trouble sleeping. It blocks out so much light and is super comfortable. Fair warning: It’s not the cutest but if it gets the job done then who cares?
Labor Essential #2: Tennis balls or back massager
Back labor is awful. Truly awful. If you don’t know what back labor is, let me be the one to fill you in on the awful truth. Back labor is extremely intense low back pain that is felt during contractions and often even between contractions. Back labor can be caused by the baby’s head pushing against a woman’s spine during labor. It can also be caused by tight/weak muscles, bad posture, or if you have a short torso.
One of the best ways to ease the pain from back labor is through the use of counter pressure. Counter pressure is a strong steady force applied to the laboring woman’s back during contractions. Counter pressure can also be used by pushing inward on each of the woman’s hips.
When contractions hit all I wanted was for my husband to push as hard as he could on my back. His hands got really tired really quickly. Of course, I had the worse end of things but it would have been extremely helpful if he had something like this to give his fingers a break. If you don’t want a back massager I have heard that tennis balls work great also!
Labor Essential #3 Not one robe BUT two!
I think you need two robes for the hospital. It might be overkill but hear me out… I brought one really comfy, but boring, gray robe that I wasn’t too concerned about getting blood and guts on and I definitely did wear it at the hospital. BUT I wish I had thought to bring the beautiful maternity robe that a sweet friend had given me when I got pregnant.
Now I drool over pictures I see of women with their brand new babies in those gorgeous flowery robes. I HAD ONE OF THOSE ROBES! Why didn’t I bring it?!?! Here is a beautiful birthing gown that would look amazing in pictures!
Sidenote: I have gone back and forth over whether I wish I had bought a delivery gown. I brought some nursing bras and tank tops that I had wanted to labor in. I quickly threw those out because they were too hard to get in and out of while hooked up to an IV. I ended up wearing the regular hospital gown. It might have been fun to have a cute laboring gown like this one.
Labor Essential #4: Lip Balm
Be prepared for your lips to get extremely chapped during labor. Whether this is from dehydration or all the heavy breathing you do while in labor I’m not sure. Believe me, when I tell you, you DO NOT want to be without lip balm during labor. I strongly recommend that you use an unscented lip balm because you can’t be sure if the smell of your regular berry lip balm is going to make you nauseous or not. You might want to bring a couple in case one gets lost.
Labor Essential #5: essential oil diffuser
For those of you who know me, I’m a realist and semi-nonbeliever when it comes to essential oils. I do believe that essential oils can affect your mood and outlook because, hello! smells have a major effect on how people feel! The smell of coffee makes me hopeful for the day, the smell of lavender in the shower relaxes me for the evening, the smell of onions and garlic roasting makes me hungry and excited for dinner.
I think our relationship with smells can have a huge impact on our emotions and mental state. That being said, do I believe all the health claims that come with the essential oil movement? Not really, not yet. Maybe someday I will. But for the purpose of my emotional and mental state, I am happy to diffuse oils that smell good and make me happy.
Since certain smells relax and make me oh so happy, I wish I had brought my diffuser and some oils to the hospital. At the very most I might have been more relaxed. At the very least the room would have smelled good!
Bonus #1: Labor Kit!
The Belly Bandit has a ready-made Labor and Delivery Kit with some of these items already included!
Bonus Tip: If you are planning on going back to work and are going to need a pump bag I highly suggest getting this one early and using it for your hospital bag! Its huge and will fit everything!
There you have it! The items that I forgot to pack in my hospital bag but really wish I had included. Comment below and let me know some of your labor essentials!