You’re in your 9th month and all you want to do is check things off the list before the big day. The day you know is coming, but you don’t know when. Like a big question hanging over your head whose answer you wish you could grab whenever you want to. Like, two weeks from next Tuesday, because you know there’s nothing scheduled for that day that you might miss.
Wish I may, wish I might.
We can’t plan the time of birth. Even a scheduled c-section might be preempted by contractions starting, or could be delayed. What we can do, of course, is to be as prepared as possible. This is not only logistically helpful, but more importantly, feeling prepared provides you peace of mind, which in turn helps you relax. And since relaxation is the key to an easier birth, the more prepared you feel, the easier your labor might be.
One major way to prepare is to pack The Bag. That is, the hospital bag. Here are some tips for what to include:
– Paperwork: Pregnancy medical records from doctor and midwife visits, ultrasounds, blood work, and any other test results or reports.
– ID for you and the baby’s father
– 3 hot water bottles (purchasable at any drug store) for easing the feeling of contractions.
– Plug-in tea kettle for refilling hot water bottles in the delivery room (and making your own tea, why not?)
– Money, including small change for food/drink machines in the middle of night.
– Cold-pressed almond oil, unopened. Whoever delivers you might use this for the birthing (“pushing”) stage.
– White grape juice (as in real grape juice) – one bottle. For sipping during labor.
– Snacks for you before admission, and after the birth: Grapes or other non-citrus fruits, crackers (preferably whole grain, yet easy-to-digest), and a few juice bottles or juice boxes with straws.
–Healthy snacks for others accompanying you, such as granola bars.
– 3 mineral water bottles
– 2 bath towels
– Plastic trash bags for wet towels
– Shower shoes
– A pillow
– Plastic cups
– Hairbands which are very comfortable
– Comfortable nightgown with wide sleeves, that you like, yet you won’t mind if you need to throw it out after the birth. Otherwise you can wear the hospital’s garments.
– Warm socks for after birth
– Music player with speakers, with mantras/hypnotic birthing files/other music
– Inspirational texts/prayers/poems
– Anything else that will make you feel most comfortable.
Bonus tip: Here’s a site/app for timing contractions – it’s free: http://www.contractionmaster.com/
We wish you the easiest labor possible and hope that the above tips will help you prepare your hospital bag, allowing you to check that off the list, and relax more because of it.