Calling all mamas to be! Does it seem like you’re spending as much time figuring out what to pack in your overnight hospital bag as you have been researching pediatricians and creating elaborate stroller comparison spreadsheets? There’s a lot of information out there and everybody seems to have an opinion on what classifies as “must brings”.
Besides the obvious staples like toiletries, comfy clothes and an outfit for your little one, if you’re like me and planning a natural birth, there’s a whole lot more to think about. After attending hours of workshop and seminars from doulas and midwives, here a list of must-haves to help you on your labor journey.
Magnesium Oil – Makes a great labor aid by relaxing the muscles. This stuff will definitely come in handy during contractions. Have your doula or birth partner gently massage some magnesium oil into your skin during labor.
Honey Sticks – Labor has been compared to running a marathon, so you need to maintain your stamina for the long haul. The sweet honey stick helps by giving you a sugary burst of energy to power you through the valleys of a natural birth. If you’re delivering at a hospital with strict restrictions around food and drink, honey sticks are even more crucial since they’re considered a liquid!
Lavender Essential Oil – Not only does this essential oil smell great but its therapeutic benefits will help you relax, too, which is vital during labor. Lavender has also been found to reduce headaches and backaches too!
Coconut Water – You wouldn’t run a marathon without downing plenty of water on the way, would you? In labor, hydration is key! Coconut water is a natural isotonic – simply put, it helps quickly replace lost fluids — loaded with electrolytes.
Protein Bar – After your baby is born, chances are that you’ll be very hungry. Ravenous, even. If you deliver during the middle of the night, the hospital cafeteria will likely be closed, so plan ahead and bring a couple of protein bars along with you. Your body will need to replenish itself after all the hard work.
Ginger – No one wants to be nauseous or vomiting during labor, but it happens. Be prepared with some of ginger candies. Ginger has been shown to be effective in preventing and easing nausea. Plus, the sugar will give you some added energy when you’re feeling down.
Birth Ball – There’s a ton of pain management techniques for labor but a birth ball is a definite. It’s versatile and can be used in different positions to help turn and move your baby down the birth canal. During early labor, rocking and bouncing can decrease back pain.
Good luck with your natural birth. If you have an amazing birth story we’d love to hear from you!