What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for a Vaginal Birth
When you're entering your 8th month of pregnancy, everyone starts asking, “Have you packed your bag yet?” It's not unreasonable to wonder — you could go into labor and if you're planning on giving birth in the hospital, you don't want to be caught off guard and either have nothing packed or just have all the wrong things.
As I was getting ready to pack my first bag, I really had no idea what to put in there. I heard all these suggestions on what to make sure I included, but really was all that necessary? I didn't want to roll in there with two or three bags of stuff I'll never use, but at the same time, I didn't want to be in the midst of all the contractions and real-deal birthing and be thinking, “I wish I had _____ with me.
I didn't get it quite right during my first birth because I had a lot of items I didn't use and some that I didn't bring but wish I had. By the time I had my third vaginal birth, my hospital bag was just as I wanted it to be. It had all the items I needed for labor, for delivery, and for the short time I was in the hospital after. You'll want to check with your hospital to see what they provide (pads, diapers, etc) and if they're not provided, you'll want to make sure they're in your bag. I'm sure you'll have your own items that you'll want to switch out, but here are the items I found to be most useful to have in my hospital bag for a vaginal birth.
Music: I don't know if music has the same calming effect for everyone, but for me it certainly does. I wouldn't have been able to comfortably labor and bear the pain if it wasn't for my iPod filled with all the calming music – or “pump me up” music – and my headphones.
Comfortable robe: Chances are you're going to be in labor for a little bit and while at the hospital you may want to aid things in moving along by walking, which is where the robe will come in handy. The hospital gowns are not the best at coverage, so you'll be warmer and fully covered with your robe.
Lip balm: Hospitals are dry and you'll be doing a lot of work while you labor so trust me, it will come in handy!
Disposable underwear: I know it sounds weird and if you've not had them before you'll likely thinking “gross”, but oh they are so lovely after you have a vaginal birth. They're totally stretchy, to fit any postpartum body and they're roomy so you can have the bulkiest pad or ice pack and still feel put together. If your hospital doesn't provide these it's worth bringing your own.
- socks or slippers
- books and magazines
- relaxing scents
- maternity clothes to wear home
- onesies and sleepers for baby
What to have ready at home:
Tucks wipes: Hemorrhoids from pregnancy, pushing, or just soreness from birth itself can be relieved with these wipes medicated with witch hazel.
Frozen maxi pads: Even if you didn't experience any trauma such as tearing or an episiotomy, you're likely to be a little sore. Before you leave for the hospital, take some of your maxi pads, put water on them, and place them in the freezer to use as ice packs when you get home.
Peribottle: A water bottle that you can fill with warm water and use to spray on your perineum as you use the washroom will stop the stings and ensure the area stays nice and clean.
Epsom salt: Adding epsom salts to your bath water will not only help healing and aid in comfort, it's relaxing too.
If you're looking for more suggestions, check out our checklist.
Already know that you’ll need a c-section? Check out those tips here.
:: What did you find useful in your hospital bag after a vaginal birth? ::