Pregnancy / 27 April, 2023 / My Baba
So you are due to give birth in the next few weeks and you’re getting your bag packed for hospital. You have probably packed your dressing gown and giant pants but there are things you won’t have thought of packing in your hospital bag.
Simple things to help you have a a calmer labour, a more comfortable birth and a stress free recovery. These essentials can make the difference between a good birth and a great birth.
Believe me as a mum of four these 7 things made a huge difference to me, and as a midwife there is nothing I haven’t seen packed into an overnight bag but with limited space you need everything in there to be valuable.
Yup. Pack yourself a tennis ball and an old sock. Tennis balls are the best massage tool going. Stick one in the end of a sock and use the sock to secure the ball into dad’s/ birth partner’s hand. They then have a good grip on the ball to be able to give a great massage to lower back and hips without it hurting their hands if mum decides this is what will help her through labour.
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Not to sort your make-up after birth, but to look at your baby’s head! Yes really. There is nothing more encouraging than seeing how your baby’s head is advancing through your effort. As a midwife I have seen this be the make or break between a mum having a normal delivery and a forceps delivery.
To use in the shower, enough said.
Yes, the hospital will provide paracetamol but only for you, not your partner. Labour wards can be very hot and stressful, perfect recipe for headaches so make sure you have some with you so your helpers are in tip top form for you.
Something you may have packed for after the birth, but don’t wait till then. Using an eye mask and ear plugs to block out light and sounds is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself in labour. You may have heard people talking about being in “the zone” or their own “little bubble.” In this zone own bodies are much more effective at labouring. Eyemask and earplugs are a must for an undisturbed easy labour.
Our minds are strongly influenced by smells, having your own soft pillow that smells of home does far more for our relaxation than the simple comfort factor. Your mind is triggered to relax when you are in your own familiar environment and taking your own pillow is like taking your mind back home. Relaxed mind = easier birth.
HS toilet roll is not the softest, pack yourself a nice cushy one, you’ll thank me for it.
Birth preparation and birth plans are also really key. Hypnobirth, Parent ed classes, books and your own midwife can help you prepare for birth and write a birth plan that is tailored to you and your baby’s ideal birth. Wishing you a fantastic positive birth.
Article by Emily Street, Midwife Manager at The Birth Company, part of The Portland Hospital (HCA Healthcare UK)