Planning to birth at a hospital or a free-standing birth center? Keep your packing simple with these Spinning Babies® tips. First, find out if your hospital or birth center provides a birth ball, essential oils you may know work well for you, or headphones to stream music.
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Birthing Parent Essentials:
- Three printed copies of your birth preferences/birth plan (see Week 33 for tips)
- List of Spinning Babies® techniques to use in labor
- Rebozo (if your doula has the training and background)
- A printed copy of the Spinning Babies® Quick Reference Digital Download (solutions for common issues of long or painful labor, or stalls in the birth of a head-down baby)
- Labor snacks that are easy to chew and digest. Great options are fresh cut fruit, oatmeal, simple soups, smoothies, yogurt, and honey sticks. Don’t forget food for your birthing partner, too
- Emergen-C is a packet of powder you add to water that makes a flavored drink with electrolytes, Vitamin C, and other antioxidants (2) with B Vitamins and electrolytes. Great for labor!
- A birth ball (if not provided) and peanut ball.
- Lip balm
- Hair ties or a soft headband to keep hair out of your face
- Birthing day clothes, if you’re modest: an inexpensive cotton skirt you’re not attached to allows for movement, squatting, and cervical checks as necessary
- Comfortable clothes for your postpartum time (similar to what fit your 5-month pregnant body): Nursing tank tops and bras, a comfortable robe, and shirts that button down or open in the front for easy breastfeeding access
- Partner clothes: comfortable pants you can move, kneel, and squat in. A button-down shirt allows you to easily snuggle your newborn skin-to-skin, if you don’t want to remove your shirt entirely.
- A camera
- Personal, travel-size toiletries. You can fill these with your favorite or find pre-packaged travel-size toiletries.
- Witch hazel. Apply to postpartum pads to soothe hemorrhoids or swollen tissue
- Homeopathic Arnica 30C to soothe swollen tissues
- Phones and phone chargers
Non-essentials (but nice to have):
- Essential oils (lavender for calming, for example)
- Music: Depending on what’s offered at your birthing location, you may need to bring your own music streaming device. Some women never listen to music, even if they intend to, but it’s nice to have the option, especially if you want to dance your baby down or if music soothes you.
- A gardening knee pad (cushion for when you’re on hands/ball and knees, or for your support person)
- Non-skid socks. Most hospitals provide them, but you may want your own; birth centers may not provide them.
- A favorite pillow or blanket for postpartum resting and snuggles
- Postpartum sitz bath herbs
Affirmations are short, powerful statements that can affect your conscious thoughts. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and repeat the following to yourself each day throughout the next week. Fill yourself with breath and feel the joy:
“I prepare for birth emotionally and physically.”