What do I need for my birth?
How many towels will I need?
How many nappies do I need to bring to Hospital?
What should I wear?
These are often questions I hear from mama’s planning their births. Whether they are planning a Hospital Birth or Home Birth.
Click here for The Essentials Part 1 (Homebirth)
So I thought I would answer all your questions in a super simple quick reference blog.
Whether you are planning a Hospital Birth or a Home Birth. Just remember 90%of what you need is carried with just YOU, the rest is not really “Essential” but it can make it more of a pleasant/less messy experience.
Your skin. Your touch. Your voice. Your breasts are usually all a baby needs.
But for the purpose of bringing your “Home” to the hospital to set a calming environment, and for the purpose of not having too many “stains” on your favourite couch for a Home-birth.
BRING EVERYTHING THAT CALMS YOU (so NOT the kitchen sink)
I mean, we all know how amazing our sense of smell is, and how it takes us back to fond memories, moments in time. You could be walking down the street in the middle of hustle and bustle, next minute a certain smell wafts past you and BOOM – you are taken back to a Holiday, or you are taken back to your childhood – your favourite family meal.
So bring things that bring you peace and comfort!
- BIRTH PREFERENCE / PLAN – on ridiculous bright paper so no one misses it. Even stick it on the door of your labour suit.
- Your favourite pillow from home
- A cosy blanket
- LED Candle Lights
- Affirmation Cards / Vision Boards / Prayer Flags
- Twinkle lights
- Bluetooth Speaker
- MUSIC! Make a playlist or check out Spotify “Born at Bentley” have really nice playlists. Music can change an environment so quickly. You could walk into a high strung room, place some relaxation music on and watch the environment change. It will also be a good reminder for staff that this space is to be quiet / calm / no loud talking.
- TENS Machine – you can hire them. If you want to purchase one, be sure they have the “Boost” option. This is a freebie for families I work with. 🙂
- Heat pack
- CUB (Comfortable Upright Birth) or make sure your hospital have Yoga Balls / Birth Balls / Peanut Balls available
- Bring a DOULA
Extra’s if this is something you believe in / use yourself
- Essential Oils (if you are into oils) I will always bring oils as part of my package
- Homeopathics (if you are into Homeopathics) I will always bring homeopathic as part of my package
- Crystals for labour (if you are into crystals) Again, I will always bring my crystals as part of my package
I always bring food to births. Whether for myself or the families I work with. It is so important to ensure you are keeping your body hydrated, and nourished with energy to keep on keeping on.
Food that is quick and easy – during labour you don’t necessarily want to “Chew”
DO NOT LET ANYBODY TELL YOU, YOU CAN NOT EAT OR DRINK DURING LABOUR – HUMAN RIGHTS!!!!!
- Chopped up strawberries
- Bone Broth (is really amazing for nourishing and hydrating at the same time)
- Coconut Water
- Bliss Balls
- Mixed Nut -Trail Mix
- Chocolate. Have some chocolate chopped up. Dark Chocolate can help release those endorphins.
- Pack some crackers and cheese
- Or favourite sushi
- Bone Broth
- Something you know mama has been craving but has been avoiding during pregnancy.
You want to be comfortable during birth and after. I mean lets be honest – you will probably end up naked.
“What gets baby in, gets baby out”
Less is more for after birth too – if you do end up needing to stay in for longer, ask family or friends to grab you extra.
- Comfortable maxi dress or Maxi skirt with Tank
- Comfortable undies
- Warm socks
Post Birth / Hospital Stay (Power of 2 – except for undies)
- Comfy Jammies x 2
- Crop tops or Bra’s x 2
- Tank tops x 2
- Warm Socks x 2
- Maternity Leggings (YES)
- Oversized T/shirt
- Comfortable undies x 6 (Full briefs)
BABY (Depending on weather. Winter or Summer Baby)
If you are a FTM (First time mum) you won’t know this, but AVOID BUTTONS like the plague – they are awful. Imagine trying to change a baby octopus on ecstasy………………………..that is what it is like trying to change a newborn (especially in winter)
- Short Sleeve/ Long Sleeve baby onesie (ZIPPERS) size 0000 x 4
- Short Sleeve / Long Sleeve baby onesie (ZIPPERS) size 000 x 2
- Baby singlets size 0000 x 4 (you can squeeze them into this size for AGES)
- Beanie (Smaller than you think size) x 1
- Mittens x 2 (their little nails are like eagle talons)
- Socks (if the onesies don’t have socks in built)
- Something Warm
Babies don’t need 100 changes of clothing as newborns – they don’t get dirty (unless particularly spewy or pooey babies) .So keep it simple. Even if you only bring size 000, you can always roll things up if they are smaller
Depends on how long you stay in Hospital, but again – lets aim for less is more. And if it does so happen that you need to stay longer, call upon your Family and Friends!
- You can get little travel pack toiletry bags / they are great
- Medi Honey (helps heal any scratches/tears on your perineum or labia)
- Ural (helps alkaline your urine which will lesson any sting if you have any grazes or tears etc from birth)
- BIG FUCK OFF PADS (With wings)
- TUBI GRIP (ask the staff for some) – it feels like a warm hug around your newborn postpartum belly.
VERNIX! Leave it on – don’t rub it off. First of all, babies don’t need any perfumed toiletries. Heck, please just let them linger in their own vernix for a few days / a week before considering a bath.
Their skin is only getting used to the outside world, and any vernix they have on them will help that transition.
- Nappies (newborn) grab a small bag of nappies – most hospitals will have some in stock to give if you’re running low so DON’T stress
That is all. Literally.
Boobie milk can help a lot of skin ailments /coconut oil.
Seems simple right? We have Breasts! The end? Whole different blog – you can check out my top 10 tips here if you want to know more.
- You will 100% need a car seat to get your baby home from hospital…………… (If you drive a car)
- Otherwise a good Baby Carrier (Baby stretchy wraps are great for newborns) otherwise other carriers I recommend are Tula / Connecta / Mei Tai / Ergo 360.
I hope this has given you a little sense of security, answers to know what to pack. I really truly believe bringing less to the hospital is healthier for you. Healthier in a sense it’s the start of a process of learning to “ask” others to support you, for help.
So if someone calls and wants to visit – don’t hesitate in saying “Yes, but could you please stop into shops and get some more nappies/ breast pads / Lanisoh”.
Learning to ask for help is a huge step to a healthier postpartum period.
ACCEPTING HELP IS EVEN BIGGER!
My name is Jackie O’Neill, I am a Doula & Independent Childbirth Educator. I am inspired to help and support Women through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I strive to keep myself informed with the most up to date evidence based information and resources.
“Live your life, Love your body, Birth your way”
If you want to know more, feel free to contact me here
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