Welcome to Week 39 of our pregnancy, and that point at which we all start to think, okay, baby, any day now……..right? However, instead of sitting around biting my nails and stressing in anxious anticipation over meeting our little one, I have decided it’s a good time to write up the final part in my Prepping for D-Day trilogy.
In my previous two posts, I detailed our Birth Plan, and went through the contents of our Hospital Bag. Now, I bring you a list of important things to bring in your Labor Kit.
As a refresher, here’s what we learned about the difference between a Hospital Bag and a Labor Kit at our Birthing Class with Chiqui:
- The Hospital Bag — the large overnight bag/hand carry that goes with you to the hospital and is where you keep the things you will need for yours and your husband’s 1-3 night stay there (clothing, basic toiletries, baby’s outfits, diapers, and footwear)
- The Labor Kit — the duffel or large tote that goes with you directly into the delivery room and includes all the things that are more immediately needed (snacks, some towels, baby’s first outfit, receiving blanket, basic toiletries, and the like)
Chiqui’s green handbook came with a helpful checklist of things to bring, and during the class we went line by line to discuss which needed to be prioritized.
Pictured above: the checklist!
If you’ll notice, we put check marks next to everything we found particularly important that we wanted to ensure we had ahead of time just ready in the bag and on hand. Here is our final list synthesized/filtered/cleaned and cleared up:
- Class manual / baby info reading materials (the green handbook from Chiqui + a new book that was given to us as a gift: Baby 411)
- Lip balm (I will be bringing Burt’s Bees with me)
- Breath Spray / Mouthwash (I use Sensodyne, alcohol free mouthwash)
- Ponytails (unless you want to whip yo’ hair at your husband throughout labor)
- Heat Pad/Pack (for your back in case of back labor; I use the kind filled with herbs like lavender that smells nice and is relaxing and is more commonly used by women when struggling with dysmenorrhea)
- Socks (they always say it gets cold in the room)
- Alcohol / lysol / disinfectant (this is just good to have on hand in general, particularly for moments when waiting in triage before being taken to your private birthing suite)
- Lunch / dinner / snacks for coach/partner (and in our case, for me too! Light snacks for mommy! Whoop!)
- Mobile phone (for obvious reasons, including the fact that my contraction tracker is attached to my app [I use Pregnancy+])
- Hand fan (it gets cold in the room, but pregnant women are not great with body temp regulation in general and sometimes we get hot flashes too. It can be unpredictable so it’s good to be prepared)
- Toilet Paper (this is for bathroom use as some hospitals only provide a roll, and it’s good to just have one on hand just in case. You might also notice that we also added chuck pads/diaper pads — these are those thick foam pads you can put on a bed underneath someone just in case of bed-wetting/leaking/etc; these pads are just to keep mommy comfortable on that birthing bed in case of leaks/water breakage/etc while already on there. Keeps you from getting too messy/cold/uncomfortable)
- Money / ATM cards / etc (rationale for this is obvious, and beyond that if you have insurance, bring your insurance card too and any Letter of Guarantee of Payment from you provider for good measure)
- Hospital Registration Forms (the hospital will obviously supply these on the day, but if able you can see if you can receive them ahead of time as well)
- Doctor’s Admission Slip (you will need an official admission letter from your doctor so that you can be admitted to the delivery wing at your hospital; be sure you get this ahead of time. We’ve had ours for the past week and keep it on hand in case of anything)
- Proof of Insurance (see #12)
- Personal Toiletries
- Baby’s First Outfit
- 3 Copies of Birth Plan
- Not on list: portable speakers (I have created a “Birthing Playlist” [mostly of praise music] that we will be able to play in the room to help motivate me; I will share that in another post another day)
NOTE: You might have noticed that we initially checked Ice Chips and Thermos and Cup as one of the must-haves — this is a method many women in the past have used to stay hydrated throughout labor – particularly when they are not allowed to eat in the birthing room. However, after doing additional research we felt it wouldn’t be necessary – especially given that our doctor is okay with us having (LIGHT) food and drink throughout labor up until the epidural gets put in.
Pictured Above: Baby’s First Outfit: We also packed mittens, a hat, and a swaddle
Pictured Above: Snacks for the labor journey. High fiber bars, crackers, pretzels, freeze dried fruits, and protein bars to help with energy. We will also be bringing (no-sugar-added) Coconut Water, regular drinking water (maybe an additional flask infused with lemon), a little Chamomile Tea, and sandwiches for daddy.
It seems like a lot, but it isn’t all that much. Everything fits comfortably in a gym duffel, so it isn’t too bad. If we’ve brought too much or too little of anything, I will update after the big day with a lowdown on true necessities!
Wuhoo! Baby and Christmas right around the corner, much to be excited about. If any of you have your own advice over what to have on hand, let me know!