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bobcat 05-18-2013 02:11 PM

This will be our first baby, and planning on doing as natural of a birth as possible, which OB supports. The hospital we chose also has a reputation of being natural-birth friendly, but keep in mind, it's a hospital!


Anyways, the doula who lead our birthing classes recommended some things to bring to the hospital. I liked all these ideas, but now that I'm packing the bags, it seems like a lot! I don't want to bring "too much" either. I thought I would run the list of the things I'm on the fence about by you guys, and maybe you have opinions on what will just be added clutter and what would be useful. Thanks in advance!!! :)


Note that the doula will not actually be there, this is just what she recommended.



-portable battery-operated fan for hubby to hold (instead of him fanning me with a magazine, she says). But I guess the rooms will have their own A/C, so how helpful would that be?


-yoga ball to sit on, because the position of sitting on it opens up the hip bones (hospital doesn't have them). Is there another position I can do where I don't have to lug a yoga ball?


-flameless candles: doula says it causes the nurses coming in and out of the room to speak in a quiet voice and be soothing (subconsciously) it's not necessarily just to calm me. However, I"m like....should I really bring these things?!?!


-someone said Preparation H, but would hospital provide that?


-plug-in heating pad. I feel this would be good.



Supposedly we should plan on at least 2 nights? I have some of the obvious things, like my own pillows/stuffed animal!, clothes, toiletries, snacks, drinks for me in a cooler (coconut water, Gatorade), laptop and other distractions. Any other suggestions are welcome. I would like to be prepared to be comfortable for the work of labor, so that I don't just kinda break down and then loose my stamina/focus, and then need more interventions (though I realize it's not that simple).....that is the mindset I am going for. I can be high maintenence when I'm in pain...but who isn't?


I plan on moving around as much as possible in my room.


Beyond that, I am just not really sure what "I" will need/want to feel comfortable. Thanks!

eabbmom 05-18-2013 02:28 PM

The birth ball is nice, too bad the hospital doesn't have them. I liked having a spray that smelled really good to me. You can just turn off the lights if you want it mellow, I'm not buying flame-less candles I will only use once. Your partner can always go home and get more clothes if needed. A nice picture or focal point to focus on through contractions are nice. Many other moms will have more advice I hope.

JamieCatheryn 05-18-2013 02:57 PM

For one of mine the birth ball was wonderful through the whole labor to sit on, have one at home at least and if you find you *need* to bring it when you go in, then bring it. For my next baby I had the ball but didn't like it.


I don't understand Preperation H or a need for it, but maybe I just lucked out with my births? An herbal compress for inflammation might be nice though.


My face gets hot and the rest of me gets cold, fanning might be nice sometimes.


Setting the scene for the nurses' sake makes sense, most are used to the medical thing and moms on epidurals. Dimmer lights would help, and music, and EO room spray in a favorite scent. But if it won't help *you* feel comfortable then skip it.


Extras aside, my #1 labor supply is pillows, many of them to prop me up however is comfy at the moment. And lots of water and juice or whatever. And the patience to hold on and know however it goes I'll get to the end of it - turns out mine are powerful, loud, and nothing like graceful, but it gets the baby born.

michelleepotter 05-18-2013 06:42 PM

I've had four of my kids in the hospital, and we'll be having this one there, too. I'm kind of a minimalist, so I doubt I'll be bringing much with me. The main things that are important to me are:

* My own clothes to labor in. I'm going to be bringing a couple pairs of pajama pants, mainly to encourage the hospital staff to think of me as a woman in labor and NOT a patient, and to remind them that they can't just do a cervical check whenever they want. A couple pairs because I know I'll want to change after my water breaks, and that's usually later in labor for me. Obviously, at some point I'll take them off, but not until I'm ready.

* A yoga ball. This is to encourage ME to stay out of bed as much as possible. I kinda like to lay around in bed in labor, but this slows things down and promotes the whole "woman in bed on her back in labor" thing. A lot of things I don't like go along with that, like IV, continuous monitoring, and people thinking they can stick their fingers in my cervix whenever they feel like it. I feel like providing myself a comfortable place to sit AWAY from the bed sort of disrupts all of that. Especially if I'm wearing pants. :P

* Distractions like laptop, tablet, e-reader. Obviously.

That's pretty much all I like to bring, other than obvious things like clothes to wear home, clothes for the baby to wear home, carseat, etc. If I get hungry, I send my DH to get me something to eat. If I got hot, I think a magazine would work as well as a battery-operated fan (though usually I get cold in the hospital! It's always cold!!) I don't think I'd want to lug along flameless candles, and I'd definitely think the hospital could provide Prep-H if you needed it. They always gave me witchhazel pads after the birth, but I honestly didn't need them.

Although, if you think you'd like a heating pad, you should definitely bring that. Getting the hospital to bring you one will most likely be a PITA. They might even try to tell you that you can't use the one you brought, but I'd do it anyway. wink1.gif

3lilchunklins 05-18-2013 07:19 PM

The little fan sounds handy, although a cold wash cloth is fine too, I sweat profusely in transition

phathui5 05-18-2013 07:24 PM

"But I guess the rooms will have their own A/C, so how helpful would that be?"


Do they? When I've been in hospitals, I haven't found that it's easy to change the temperature.

eabbmom 05-18-2013 07:47 PM

At two hospitals I've been in there were thermostats I was welcome to change. That is 6 rooms + the ER rooms at my local hospital. Definitely worth verifying for your hospital.

cileag 05-18-2013 07:48 PM

I can't speak for all hospitals, but at the hospital where I work, we have birth balls (two kinds, regular and peanut shapes), tucks pads (witch hazel) for your bottom which would be similarly helpful like prep h, electric candles (and if they are all being used, we wrap a paper towel around a flashlight, and it creates a nice ambiance), and heating pads. Maybe you could call your maternity unit and ask about these things? I generally encourage fewer items and keep in mind they will provide all that is needed to care for you and baby regarding diapers, pads, burp rags, swaddle, shirt. You can certainly bring your own things but you don't have to.

Good luck!

bobcat 05-19-2013 09:59 AM

Thanks for all the great advice! It sounds like some of those items are more common to use during labor than I realized!

about the pj pants u think anyone will ask me to not put them on, or not wear them? Just wondering. I like the idea of wearing them. Especially while on a ball!!!

I like the idea of pictures to focus on too. Wasn't sure if putting up a poster is excessive?

Thanks a bunch!!!

One last thing... Someone told me to bring my own maxi pads because the hoSpital ones are from the Stone Age. Was that your experience??

michelleepotter 05-19-2013 12:03 PM

Originally Posted by bobcat View Post

about the pj pants u think anyone will ask me to not put them on, or not wear them? Just wondering. I like the idea of wearing them. Especially while on a ball!!!


One last thing... Someone told me to bring my own maxi pads because the hoSpital ones are from the Stone Age. Was that your experience??

They might not be thrilled about you wearing your own clothes, and might suggest you'd be more comfortable in something else, but it's not like they can say it's unsafe or anything. They might not care at all.

TThe hospital pads that I've gotten were really huge and uncomfortable, but I felt like they worked better considering the amount of blood. When I get home, I usually switch to Depends rather than regular maxi pads.

3lilchunklins 05-19-2013 12:46 PM

Yea they're pads aren't top of the line, but bleeding is pretty heavy the first 2 days, so I always use the hospital pads, take advantage of the freebies! Something u didn't mention that I always always found useful was ez on/off slippers,and cheap flip flops for the shower...

Sol_y_Paz 05-19-2013 01:19 PM

Nursing clothes, nursing pillow, nursing lanolin, camera, comfortable clothes including slippers, your own care products if you want to take a shower, phone, laptop, outfit for baby 


DH - snacks, more snacks, beverages, laptop, phone, snacks. 

Vaske 05-20-2013 10:33 AM

I had a bad experience with being passed over by the hospital dinner cart, and, after waiting for hours, getting nothing but a dry sandwich and an apple.  So I would bring some canned soup or something like that, just in case.  The hospital might have a refrigerator and microwave available for patients to use.


Being in the hospital was a lot like camping--no comforts except the ones I brought myself.

LeighPF 05-20-2013 06:57 PM

I also recommend the pj pants, for labour as long as you want, then postpartum with nursing tanks.
Yoga ball uninflated and a pump is quite pack able and the nicest to sit on for my births.
Get Earth mama angel baby bottom balls instead. Feels nicer, smells nicer, better ingredients. But they have everything to treat heroics there.
Bring snacks. I was starving after.
Your own water bottle. Just nicer to drink from.

michelleepotter 05-21-2013 10:15 AM

LOL, I realized that saying I'd rather get food there than bring snacks is a privilege of where I live. If I wanted Thai food at 2am in the middle of labor, that's an option where I live / where my hospital is! There are lots of restaurants and stores nearby. So to me, that sounds better than granola bars or lugging a cooler. wink1.gif

askins 05-21-2013 01:13 PM

Does the hospital have a tub for either labor or birth?  I wanted to labor in the tub, but got very hot.  With my first birth I needed two fans blowing on me while in the tub, and with my second I needed a constant stream of cold washcloths on my neck.  The fan is a pretty good idea.


I LOVED the yoga ball for my first birth.  I'd say it's a pretty good idea.

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