Hi BB Friends,
Birth Beat Mums are always wanting to know what do they actually NEED in their labour bag….. so here it is!
In our Online Ultimate Prenatal Course our video modules show exactly what needs to go in each bag and provides you with a downloadable list.
Here I’ll sare with you what goes in one of these bags. Yes, you will need multiple bags. Three actually and that does not include the bag for your support person.
Welcome to being a parent/packhorse. I use to hate carrying a handbag. When I was younger and heading out with girlfriends I would always throw my wallet in a girlfriends bag (no phone in those days – eeeck, showing my age). Now I walk out the door with a nappy bag, my bag, swimming bag, snack bag, etc etc.
Sorry I get distracted very easily. Labour bag. Focus.
This is your grab bag, your “have it packed ready to go NOW bag”. The bag that is there if your waters break at the supermarket. You do not want your support person to be packing this bag for you in a rush!
You will need;
A BIG COMFY T-SHIRT
– The majority of women I support through birth do so naked. It is a very primal experience. However, in early labour it is lovely to have something very loose and comfortable. I encourage dark colours. White is not your friend in the birth suite.
– These are great, grab a 5 pack in a dark colour. Choose some cheap ones that you are happy to dispose of, remember your blood loss can be quite heavy in the first few days post birth. I also encourage a size bigger than normal to fit your surfboard size maternity pad. Secondly, if you have a caesarean section you want your underpants to sit comfortably above the scar. Bikini style will sit on your scar line.
– Think you have enough? Buy more.
SHOWER HAT/ HEADBAND
– Heat and water are such fabulous forms of pain relief during birth. You will most likely find yourself in and out of the shower. This will keep your hair dry and out of your face. Trust me your hair will annoy you at some stage in your birth.
MASSAGE OIL / MASSAGE TOOLS
– Your support person may find their hands get tired. A quick word of warning to said support people, do not complain about your tired hands – EVER. A scented oil that is familiar to you and comforting can be a great way to make the birth suite feel familiar and less medical. Use this oil at home during your pregnancy and it will help relax you during your birth.
– Women, interestingly get cold feet often in labour.
TOILETRIES AND MOUTHWASH
– A little pack of toiletries means if you have to get to the hospital to birth quickly you will have some basic toiletries with you for after the birth. A little note, if possible don’t wash your chest area. It is very comforting for bub to smell the liquor he has been swimming in for the past 9 months on you. I also encourage women not to wear strong smelling deodorant or perfume. Bub is getting used to lots of new smells in this big wide world. Let’s not overwhelm them. Mouthwash is because often women will vomit at some stage in their labour. Trust me, you will thank me for that one.
– Again, create a safe, comforting environment with your own playlist.
FOOD AND DRINK
– For you and your support person. It is important to keep hydrated and your energy up. Pack a water bottle with a pop-up sip valve. This makes it easier to sip in between contractions. This also has a second great use. After birth, your vagina has been stretched and will often have grazes on your labia. Wee is acidic, think of lemon on a cut finger! To reduce the acidity of the wee, and the stinging sensation, do your first wee in the shower. The water helps to dilute the acidity. The pump bottle can be great to poor warm water over your fanny when doing a wee on day 1. This will help with the stingy feeling.
BOARD SHORTS / SWIMMERS FOR SUPPORT PEOPLE
– Us midwives expect the birthing women to be naked in the shower. We rather the support person is not naked. Believe me, it happens!
CAMERA / PHONE
– For taking pictures of your precious baby. Note to support people. It is not cool to sit and play on your phone. Be present, be supportive, let her know how AWESOME she is.
There are many more things you could add, this is just your labour bag, your grab bag.
You will also need a bag for you for after the birth and a bag for your newest family member.
I hope this helps Birth Beat friends,
If you are wanting to access our full Online Prenatal Course, full of practical tips and videos just like this, click here.