Hi BB Friends,
In each Birth Beat class mothers want to know what do they actually NEED in their labour bag….. so here it is!
In each Birth Beat class I hand around a smallish sized bag. Inside that is everything you will need for the birth of your baby.
Don’t get me wrong this is only one of the bags you will need! 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 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;
– 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.
– 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.
– Your support person may find there hands get tired. 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.
– A little pack of toiletries means if you have to get to 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. Lets not overwhelm them. Mouth wash 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.
– 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 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.
– Us midwives expect the birthing women to be naked in the shower. We rather the support person not be naked. Believe me it happens!
– 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,