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As I reached the end of my pregnancy with Sammy I remember my desire to give birth in the comfort of my own home becoming stronger. I had started my hypnobirthing course Read about it HERE- the first step on my journey to falling in love with all things birth and babies - and felt confident and ready to experience a positive birth and meet my beautiful new baby.

At about the 36 week mark I decided to start getting things ready for the big day. Determined to hold on to my dream of a home birth I decided to leave my hospital bag empty and instead packed a drawer with all my must haves for labour. That way all my things were in one easy to access place and if anything did change during the birth, and we had to make the three minute trip to the hospital, Alex could just empty the drawer contents into the bag. I’m sure you’re thinking why not just pack the bag? Well for me it was a mental thing. After going through the hypnobirthing program I felt confident that when the time came my body would know what to do and I would be able to see out my birth plan. Keeping that bag empty on my bedroom floor was its very own positive birth affirmation - for me anyway!

Of course, here at Wonder Birthing we are all about doing birth and motherhood your way, so whether you’re packing a hospital bag - or a drawer like me - prepping your things is just one other to way to feel relaxed, calm and ready for birth. Here are my top tips for the essentials and some extras you might like to include, organised into three lists - mum, birth partner and baby.

 

Mum

  • Lip Balm - that hospital aircon can be intense!
  • Loose clothes for birth or something you’re happy to get wet in the shower or bath.
  • Thongs for the shower
  • Hair ties or bobby pins to hold your hair back and keep cool. (I had my partner feed me ice and use a hand held fan on my face but at one stage my hair got caught in the propeller - ouch!) I definitely recommend some hair ties - or better still skip the fan and use a small water spray bottle!
  • Birth Plan - bring a few copies so your partner can hand them out to the midwifes/nurses on staff.
  • Some music and a music player. Pack some ear phones too if you would prefer to block out other noises in your environment. You might choose some relaxation music or prefer something that will make you feel empowered and lift you up. I had my positive birth affirmations playing on repeat toward the end of my labour. These really helped to reassure me and stay in the zone!
  • Plenty of food and drink for you and your support person. Muesli bars, fruit, nuts and crackers are good. I had plenty of lollies set aside for that much needed energy boost! A water bottle with a straw is also a great idea so your birth partner can help you drink during labour.
  • Your ID, Medicare Card and any other documentation you need
  • Camera, phone and charger
  • Nipple cream to heal sore nipples (It does improve!)
  • Plastic bag to take home any soiled clothes in
  • Dark underwear or let’s face it any underwear you are happy to bin or burn after your stay!
  • Maternity pads or maternity underwear if you prefer
  • Pyjamas, slippers, robe, warm socks and comfortable clothes for after labour. Remember you will still look at least twenty weeks pregnant in the days following birth.
  • A maternity bra, nursing pads and tops you can easily breastfeed in. (If you choose to breastfeed). Nursing pads can be helpful for catching leakage when your milk first comes in.
  • Toiletries - apart from the essentials (toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant etc.) I recommend also packing something that is going to make you feel pampered and more at home. A really nice body wash or your favourite moisturising cream for example. You have just achieved an amazing thing so a little self care is definitely deserved!
  • Money for incidentals eg. (Vending machine Mars Bar at 2AM)
  • Your own pillow with a brightly coloured pillow slip so it won’t be taken from your room. This is optional but certainly a great way to feel more comfortable and at home.
  • TENS machine - this is an optional extra too but many of my clients swear by them for natural pain relief in the early stages of labour.

 

Birth Partner

  • A watch/timer, pen and paper to take note of the time between contractions. You’ll be asked to fill out forms too no doubt so having a few pens on hand is useful.
  • Swimmers and Thongs so they can help you in the shower
  • A change of clothes and toiletries - especially if they will be staying overnight or longer.
  • A phone and charger - you don’t want a flat phone when trying to capture those first special moments or when it’s time to share the happy news with your loved ones!
  • Magazines or a book if there is any down time. (If you’re being induced there might be a lot of waiting.)

 

Baby

  • Clothes for the baby - 4 to 6 suits is a good number, plus socks, singlets and some mittens if you like. Remember if you have a caesarian you could be in the hospital between 4 to 6 days.
  • A beanie only for sleeping. Why? Cool fact - cuddling and smelling you’re babies head is not only great for bonding but also releasing oxytocin the feel good hormone. Oxytocin - or the love hormone as I like to call it - is also great for breastfeeding. Aren’t our bodies awesome!
  • Wraps, nappies and wipes - most hospitals will supply these but it’s a good idea to check with them before the big day so you can pack appropriately.
  • Properly installed baby seat in the car for the trip home

 

OTHER TOP TIPS…..

If you already have other children it’s a great idea to take them shopping so they can buy a present for the baby before they’re born. You can also give the older sibling/s a present from your newborn. This is a great bonding activity and a nice way to introduce them to their new family member.

Whether your birthing at home or in the hospital it’s a great idea to bring things into your environment that are going to make you feel safe, secure and relaxed. This could be a mug from home, essential oils or a support person who is going to help you have a wonderful birth YOUR WAY. To learn more about feeling confident in your own birthing journey and plans check out the birthing programs I teach here.

I was lucky enough to birth Sammy Read his birth story here exactly the way I had wanted. After this experience it became my mission and passion to help other women fell empowered and have a positive birth experience too. The wonderful news is you CAN absolutely have the birth you want. If you would like to learn how please get in touch here. I would love to connect with you. If you’d like more practical tips for a wonderful birth download now my comprehensive guide 7 TOP TIPS for a Wonderful birth here.

 

 

 

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