Top 5 things to pack in your hospital bag
(that you may not have thought of)
1) A 1L One Handed Water Bottle
This will be very useful in labour, but it’s time to shine will be during breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is thirsty work, literally! The hormone oxytocin is responsible for releasing the milk from the breast (amongst, many other amazing functions) and another effect it has is to dry the oral mucosa of the mouth to encourage you to drink and stay hydrated, which in-turn keeps your milk supply up, as your supply will be diminished if you are dehydrated. Pretty cool huh, so well designed!
It’s recommended to drink approximately 3L a day when breastfeeding – this will also help prevent constipation.
2) TENS Machine
A TENS machine is a great tool for your labour tool bag and is a medication free pain reliever. It’s a small device that has wires, connected to sticky pads that you stick to your mid and lower back. The device emits a tingling impulse sensation and features a boost button for during contractions which has varying intensities.
These impulses are thought to interfere with and block pain messages sent to the brain whilst encouraging our own natural pain blocking sensors called endorphins to elevate.
They can be hired for roughly $60 for 6 weeks.
3) Adult Nappies
Lady Tena has adult pull nappies that are an absolute god send for immediately after the birth and the following days. Not so you don’t have to get up to wee but for the bleeding after birth (called lochia). Bleeding post birth is usually quite heavy (no matter the mode of birth) and maternity pads just don’t cut it for the first 3 days. They always seem to wiggle to the side or bunch up! The pull ups are nice and stretchy but also a bit firm helping hold your belly in, which I found comfortable. One pack of pull ups should do the trick and I bet you won’t want them to run out!
4) Your own pillow
Research has shown that having things around that feel familiar and make you feel safe can help shorten labour and promote a normal physiological birth, so bring along your pillow. Battery operated fairy lights can be a beautiful addition to the labour room as well an oil diffuser with your favourite blend and soft, relaxing music or guided mediations.
5) A Doula
I guess technically you won’t be packing them in your bag, but a Doula is a MUST!
You will meet them in your pregnancy to get to know each other. They will then be on call for you for the birth, come to your house during labour, attend hospital with you and then visit you postnatally as well.
According to the Australian Doula College (where I did my training), having a doula has a
- 50% reduction in caesarean rate
- 25% shorter labour
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 40% reduction in oxytocin use
- 30% reduction in analgesia use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
- Improved breastfeeding
- Decreased incidence of postpartum depression
- Greater maternal satisfaction
- Better mother-infant interaction
It is said that ‘if a doula was a drug, it would be unethical not to use it!’
Please contact me should you be on the hunt for a doula and I can make some wonderful recommendations (I am currently not offering doula services)
Was there anything you wish you had packed or something that was surprisingly great? I would love to hear, share below!
Thanks for reading
Happy New Year 2022