Have you written a birth plan? If so, you may have a very specific idea of the way you hope your labour will progress. Part of the plan may involve the assistance of labour and birth aids – something as simple as a bendy straw to make easy access to refreshing water during the hard business of pushing. Or, it might be a portable CD player and your favourite music to distract or calm you.
Rather than rummage around through your hospital bag for all the important bits and pieces you might want during what could be a rushed labour experience, it’s a great idea to pack a separate bag just for labour and birth aids. Make sure your partner knows where it is and that he is expected to remember it if you don’t.
What to pack for labour and birth?
Fill your labour and birth bag with whatever you think will make your personal labour experience more enjoyable. That might include snacks for your birth partner (maybe fruit or biscuits), reading material (a favourite book or magazine to entertain yourself (or partner) if things aren’t progressing, massage oils to help ease contraction pains, essential oils and a burner (but do check with the hospital in case you are only allowed electric burners for safety reasons), and a wheat bag (again check with the hospital because some hospitals won’t let you heat them for safety reasons).
Your partner may need to get into a shower with you to help relieve your contraction pains so, just in case, pack a pair of bathers. Other labour aids might include pillows from home (but remember they could get stained), a birthing ball, visualisation pictures, or other things that might help you stay calm and focused.
And make sure that you also pack your birth plan if you have one!
This article was written by Claire Halliday for Kidspot NZ.