Friday, March 9

Hospital Check List:

I have a few posts coming up soon which are geared around birth & pregnancy but today I want to share with you guys a few of my favorite birth essentials.

A good friend of mine is preparing to give birth in a few weeks after having had a previous cesarean with baby #1 so instead of giving her another cute baby outfit, I decided to give her items that I found totally essential during my VBAC.
-First of all, bring a doula to the hospital. All of the items listed below are essential in their own right, but having a doula is my number one birth essential. I don't know what I would have done without my doula.

-Yes those are diapers. Yes, I wore them as long as I possibly could. Yes, I believe I started to form an unhealthy relationship towards them.... Yes, my husband finally had to tell me to wear normal girl under wears instead of old lady diapers....I loved them way too much. BUT, here's the thing, they're AWESOME! They were soft, stretchy, & comfy. I never had to worry about leakage. They're a MUST.

-The plastic container isn't just for looks, it actually has a purpose. My favorite FAVORITE thing was to have cold rags rubbed on my neck and face during labor. The plastic bucket is for icy water & rags. HAVE YOUR DOULA bring it with you along with some clean rags to the hospital and she'll ask one of the sweet nurses to kindly fill it with ice & water. Then, when shit starts to hit the fan, you can cool down OR bite on a cold rag through pushing if that is helpful to you.

-Boxes of apple juice & a honey bear. I know you're not allowed to eat/drink in the hospital, but whose gunna know? I would agree with my midwife when she said that giving birth is comparable to running a marathon. You get tired, you have highs and lows & you go through emotional ups and downs. It's not easy. It's work. It's hard. That's why they call it labor. You need energy! I've ran 3 half marathons now and each time right at about mile 8 I always had to pull energy goo & electrolyte jelly beans out of my sports bra and have a snack to get me over the hump to finish the race. Could you imagine running for over an hour without having even a sip of water? Sneak some kind of juice or honey. You'll thank me later.

-Tums. Most woman get nauseous during transition. Some woman crap their brains out or throw up....Tums may help settle your tummy. You are likely to birth a Baby Ruth before you birth your baby.... it's all good. Everyone poops. Just expect it to happen and get over yourself.

-Peppermint essential oil. They sell it at Whole foods. Buy some. My friend got through her whole labor by having a jar of peppermint oil to smell when she felt like she was going to throw up. It has many other helpful uses. We use it as a fever reducer, in cleaning, scalp massages for tired heads & head aches around my house.

-Music! For the first few hours of labor we listened to happy, loud, & energizing music (Radiohead, Florence & the machine, & Jesus Culture....) Then when things got more challenging, I wanted silence, then a little while later, during transition and the pushing stage, I wanted to hear this awesome birth mix that my friend gave me that sounded like monks chanting or humming, but they were actually saying, "Hallelujah" and other lovely words. (Other than my cursing & yelling) It was an extremely peaceful atmosphere. Have a birth mix made. Make a cd with your favorite upbeat songs and a cd with really relaxing music also in case your mood changes like mine did. Bring your ipod doc to the hospital.

-VBAC or natural birth preparation/ meditation cd's. I was told that even if I only spend 20 minutes a day, I needed to give that time to myself to rest and get my heart ready for birth. This was MY time to love on my baby, pray & imagine the birth process happening in my mind.

-Tucks wipes! Tucks are great because they have witch hazel in them and they sooth burning butt holes.
       Ahem.... next item on the list?

-Hemorrhoid suppositories! Again, because your ass might be on fire afterwards. Let's just be real. Rhoids happen.

-Ice pack! Because your vagina will likely be on fire afterwards as well.... BUT it's worth it. Trust me.

-Birth affirmations & or scriptures to encourage you. Bring them with you. Have them memorized. Soak them up into your heart and soul. Have them on flash cards, even if you just hold the flash cards and glance at them in between contractions, it will help. Have your husband whisper them into your ear. One of the best moments was hearing that I was beautiful (during labor with Elle) and that he was proud of me. It gave me energy to keep going. Plus, it will give your husband a job & purpose during labor so that he feels like his role is vital. He doesn't just have to hang on the side rail of the hospital bed as people scramble around (that was Dustin's experience during Conrad's birth).

-A birth ball. Some hospitals provide them but you should already be using one during pregnancy if you aren't already. Use it during your computer or TV time to help encourage your baby to make good contact with your pelvis and to also encourage baby to be head down. Slouching in a couch or laying on your back is not the best position for baby. Get on that ball! Use it for birth. Bring it with you for labor! It was WAY helpful to me.

-Chocolate! You know when you're having a particularly crappy day, just the taste of chocolate just kind of makes it feel better somehow? Bring a piece of chocolate or some candy that you love, if not to have a nibble during labor than have it to celebrate all of your hard work when that baby is in your arms.

Other items that I would have liked to have during my hospital birth were candles, a running skirt and sports bra or something comfortable to labor in (rather than that hideous hospital gown), a silky robe, dry shampoo, my own pillow & my own baby hat & blanket for baby rather than the pink and blue ones. My own things would have just made it feel more "me" or more homey.

Click {here} for a more in depth hospital check list.

***And because this video gets me all weepy & excited to become a doula, 
a birth video to put a smile on your face!

[Happy Friday]


  1. This is a great list, thanks for the tips. (You are so adorable!)

  2. What an amazing care package! You are a brilliant friend!

    For those who don't like peppermint, lemon (or other citrus) essential oil can help with nausea as well. And unrefined coconut oil is the best thing I've ever found for hemorrhoids. Seriously, I kept a jar of it in my bathroom for weeks after my son was born.

  3. I've had 2 natural childbirths in the hospital and the best thing that happened to me was my nurse during my first labor bringing me a plastic glove filled with ice water. It was the only thing that got me through pushing and during my second labor I asked for one the minute crap got real and by the end I had about ten laying in various places on my body. Chewing on one helped alot too!

  4. What a great gift!!! So thoughtful!! Man! Labor is serious business!

  5. i think you got it all covered. of course have never done vbac -- but seems like you got it all covered!

  6. Love this list! Thank you for posting! I will definitely be making some notes and you are soo right about the snacks during a marathon! I can only imagine it as far as birth goes! Love the idea about the running skirt and sports bra too. Thanks Chels!