Word power can be a strong way of helping yourself firmly believe in something, especially yourself. What we are feeding our brains become our reality, so fill yourself with good expectations and beliefs about birth! You can look online for affirmations that resonate with you, or you can create your own. By writing your affirmations on paper and posting them in the hospital everyone in the room can see words that inspire you. Through their repetitions you will more deeply feel their truth and reality when you may be vulnerable and not able to call their existence upon you.
Music can truly take you to many different places. During labor music can easily change the vibe of the room, making you feel more comfortable or distracted from a particular issue or pain. Also the hospital can have a lot of their own noises, machines and people for example; so it is nice to have background music to set your own space. It is a good idea to come up with a variety of playlists as you never know what moods you will be in and what you will feel like listening to while in the hospital.
Comfortable clothes easy to nurse in
After you have the baby you want to be sure to have warm clothes you can easily nurse in, meaning your breast are easily assessable. It is best to pack cotton sleeping pants, plenty of nursable shirts and nightgowns with buttons or a slit in the front. You also will appreciate a robe that you can just throw on whenever you need/want. Bring both postnatal undies and underwear of your own that you don’t mind getting rid of if need be.
When you are not in your normal environment you can miss the simplest of things, such as a hair elastic or a particular soap. Make sure to pack your basics:shampoo and conditioner, soap, moisturizer, and then also extras such as hair ties, nail clippers, razors, etc.. If you usually wear makeup or any particular products, bring those as well! Avoid things with too much of a heavy scent, as you do not want to irritate the baby.
Smelling a new scent can completely change how you feel. You can bring uplifting scents such as peppermint, or relaxing oils such as lavender. These can be used to help with a headache, to help with comfort and relaxing, or simply to just give you a change and quick boost of energy to get through a contraction.
Cameras and Chargers
Although it may seem that labor may never end, it will and you will want to remember it. It is such a special moment, as your child enters this realm. You can use a camera/videocamera or camera phone to capture the birth of your baby. Have some designated to take pictures and even go over ideas of types of photos you would like to have.
Warm Socks and Flip flops
You want to take care of yourself, including your feet! Hospital floors can be cold and you want to keep yourself warm and cozy. If you also want to bring slippers that is a good idea, just make sure they are not loose so you do not fall. Some people prefer to wear flip flops in shared showers, so if so then bring a pair you don’t mind getting wet.
Special snacks and beverages
You may want to bring any special food you usually crave, enjoy, or feel good after eating. Some examples of good choices are : nuts, protein bars, coconut water, kombucha, and fruit. You probably should not eat anything too heavy during the more active parts of labor, but snacks are always wonderful to have laying around! Especially once you are nursing, you will be much hungrier. The hospital may not have the foods you like so you can ask people to bring you food or have carryout menus with you.
Yoga balls can be used for comfort in many different positions in labor. Heating pads are good for back labor and pains as well as your stomach or really anywhere on your body! Tennis balls can be applied to your lower back to give counteractive pressure towards pain. Massage tools can help when maybe people cannot. Before the labor look up what techniques work for you and create a small bag.
Vitamins, Sitz Bath, Herbal teas
After you have the baby you want to continue to take very good care of yourself, as breastfeeding is very demanding. Drinking herbal teas such as red raspberry leaf, nettles, marshmallow, fennel, alfalfa, fenugreek, and dill will help your milk supply and your own healing. The hospital may provide a sitz bath, if so, leave yours home! Bring your prenatal, or postnatal vitamins and continue taking them with lots of water!
Preparing for the hospital is very important, as you will need to create your own personal space of comfort and healing. Think about the things you may enjoy having during the birth and right afterwards. Pack your bag well in advance and have it ready for birth at anytime!
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