Now that my baby has arrived, I wanted to share with you what I brought to the hospital with me. Not everything is essential, but the items below will cover all of your bases to be prepared for a natural birth. This reduces stress and makes the whole experience more comfortable.
Pain Relief/Labor Progression
- DIY rice sock to apply to pain – check out video below!
- Thick socks rolled up tightly or thick sock filled with tennis balls to apply to back for counter pressure
- Homeopathy – Arnica 200C and Hypericum 200C for pain relief, Caulophyllum and Cimicifuga for dilation, Ipecac for nausea, Pulsatilla to help with labor progression (work with a homeopath to be sure these remedies are appropriate for you)
- Essential oils – helichrysum, black pepper, ginger and peppermint for pain relief – be sure to dilute with a carrier oil! (do not use peppermint or other aromatic oils if also using homeopathy); lavender for relaxation
- Birthing ball (check with the hospital to see if they provide this)
- Peanut ball (check with the hospital to see if they provide this – it helped me progress in my labor!)
For the Hospital
- Your natural birth plan
Food and Snacks
- Honey sticks
- Homemade or all natural popsicles packed in a cooler with ice
- Coconut water and/or labor aid
- Nut butter or nuts
- Homemade larabars
- Celtic sea salt to add to water
- Rescue Remedy to add to drinks
Electronics (all fully charged beforehand)
- Camera and charger
- Video camera and charger
- Phones and chargers
- Comfy clothing – sports bras, nursing bras, slippers, flip flops, your own laboring gown, comfy pants and tops, hair ties
- Labor playlist – I recommend creating an upbeat and a slow one
- Natural shampoo and conditioner
- Natural soap
- Natural toothpaste
- Natural deodorant
- Natural makeup (optional)
- Nursing pillow – I highly recommend this one, which was a lifesaver to my back after beginning nursing! (yes, the hospital has pillows, but the bed puts you at a bad angle that got nursing started off on the wrong foot for me)
- Nipple cream or simply coconut oil
Things for Baby
- Receiving blankets
- Newborn outfit to leave hospital in
- Diapers and wipes (reusable or disposable) – my favorite cloth products are Smart Bottoms, Bum Genius and bamboo wipes; my favorite disposable products are Bambo Nature, Seventh Generation and Water Wipes
- Installed car seat (check with your local fire department or police department for proper installation)
After Birth Care
- Sitz spray – I filled up a glass jar with witch hazel and essential oils – lavender works great!
- Non-toxic postpartum pads or reusable overnight pads and postpartum underwear
- Peri bottle (if not a hospital birth – they will provide this!)
- Baby nail clippers/scissors or nail file
- Nursing pads (I didn’t start leaking until at least 4 days after birth)
- Nursing bras and nursing tank tops (you can wear the hospital gown instead, like I did, but this is your preference)
- Memory book to capture the first moments and baby footprints!
- Pillow (the hospital provides them, but you may prefer your own)
- Doula – I did not hire one, but I hear they are invaluable!
- Prayers – I found that praying and meditating on Jesus’ suffering helped me get through painful contractions
Good luck to all you mamas out there! May God bless you with a wonderful birth! Know that you are not alone and that many women have gone before you to have good and natural births. It helps to have a lot of support around you.