Whether you're having a hospital or homebirth, what are you putting together in your natural birth kit? Things for you and things for baby. Did you forget something that you wish you had added? I always forget to pack my bag until the absolute last moment every.single.time. You'd think that whole 9 months to get ready would give me plenty of time. Nope!
What's in your natural birth kit?
DVDs are a must for me. When I was in labor with #4, I watched episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV series) on DVD. With #5, I sent dh to a friend's house to play a board game and watched Baby Mama while I timed contractions. It gives me something to focus on other than being in labor.
I had a birth center birth last time but didn't manage to get there til last minute so my whole labor was at home, this baby came faster than my others. What was useful and important for me: pillows, socks, hair tie, shampoo and conditioner (for showering after birth, and/or showering in labor because my hair gets tangley and stringy if wet but not conditioned), handy water and juice, disposable underpads. And for after: my clothes with a nursing bra, baby clothes, favorite disposable diapers, warm larger baby blanket. If you're stuck in the hospital a while, add toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, deoderant.
My longer labors I needed meals and snacks too. Early on I had a project to do with them all, with #1 a cake, #2 dyeing playsilks, #3 cupcakes. It's hard to bake when you have to sit down every few minutes for a contraction, but keeps things light until they can't be anymore.
I always packed plenty but used almost nothing. With DD I was at the birth center for 4 hours, then she was born and 4 hours later we went home (around 8pm). With DS I was there for an hour- he was born and 4 hours later we went home (6 pm). I never showered there- didn't want to be away from my baby at that point and really didn't feel gross (DD was water birth) and DS was too quick to be nasty!
The things I did use:
* food- chocolate pudding snacks and cheese sticks, drink boxes
* change of clothing (nursing tanks and baggy t-shirt to wear home)
* phone to call friends
* blankets, hats and outfit for baby
Things I prepared carefully and never touched:
* shower supplies
* birth CDs (I ended up preferring silence and quiet focus)
* birth affirmation cards (had them memorized, so they were in my head anyway)
It's never going to hurt to pack MORE than you want- better to be prepared than to wish you had something you didn't. Everyone's birth experience is different and that will probably change what you use and don't use. We're just pretty simple- birth the baby and go home- type people!
I will seriously and honestly say that in my birth kit for labor was:
A bendy straw.
That's it :) Now there was more for my midwives. But that's the only thing I used. My birth tub, my hubby, and a cup with my bendy straw! Well, I did put together a playlist of favorite songs for his birth ;) We had the camera and video camera on hand, too.
After birth I had tons more ready to go. Things I really liked:
Chux pads for under bottom and leaky breasts
Chapstick (must for me)
Emergen-C packets for the first few days
Gowns for baby
Comfy shirts for me
Cloth dipes (this is the first baby I did cloth from newborn period, before I had newborn sposies)
Books to enjoy during my couple of weeks of taking it easy ;)
Lots of prefolds/burp cloths to catch leaking milk!
My beloved bendy straws!