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I met a doula when I was 24 weeks with Chunbao. She told me some of the not-so-typical hospital bag essentials that make total sense. There are 2 bags – LABOR BAG and POSTPARTUM BAG. To make it easier for hubby to carry, use wheeled luggage. Keep reading to find out some of the not-so-typical items you must pack in your bag!
Essentials for Mom
♥ Insurance Card/ Registration documents – Even if you have already registered with the hospital, always bring your insurance card with you.
♥ Lip balm – Hospitals are known to have dry air. Keep your lips soft with lip balm (hubby can help you apply) so you’ll look amazing in your first mother and baby picture! I use the Mama Mio Superstar in a Jar for everything from lips, cuticles, dry patches, to split ends. I keep a jar of this pregnancy safe AND baby safe miracle worker in all of my bags! Highly recommend 🙂
♥ Mom’s favorite music – Create a labor playlist with your favorite tunes. As labor can be a long process, I recommend no shorter than 20 songs.
♥ Hair tie – You want to get your hair out of the way when you get sweaty from labor.
I don’t use any other types of hair tie other than these traceless, ouchless hair rings. Even after a full day of high top ponytail, these hair ties leaves no marks! It’s also easy to take out of wet hair without tangling and unlike other hair ties, they don’t pull my hair when I take them out. Perfect for postpartum hair loss too!
♥ Hairbrush – You probably own one of the wet hair brushes, if not it’s a must for your labor bag. It detangles wet or dry hair without pulling or tugging. I’ve also noticed a difference in less hair fallout after using this brush when I was going through my postpartum hair loss crisis.
♥ Water bottle that has a straw system: This comes highly recommended from an experienced doula. You will be very thirsty during labor so enjoy spill proof sipping as opposed to drinking from a cup.
♥ String bikini top: This is also recommended by the doula. If you are planning to do skin-to-skin right after your baby is born, you can easily pull your bikini top off and do skin-to-skin/breastfeeding.
♥ Witch Hazel: The pain after you’ve birthed your baby can linger for weeks, especially if you have tears or repairs. Witch hazel contains chemicals called tannins that can help reduce swelling and fight bacteria, which in turn decreases pain and helps prevent infection. It also has hemostatic properties, which means it can help stop minor bleeding. For me, I pour it on the maxi pad provided by the hospital. I had tears and repairs and I recovered in just a week! I recommend a 100% natural and alcohol-free like this very popular brand.
♥ Dermoplast spray (red cap): This numbing spray brings sweet relief for painful, itchy stitches, and nerve-wracking hemorrhoids. Just spray a fair amount whenever you go to the restroom. It does sting a little when you spray but the relieve if pretty much immediate. Note that there is the blue Dermoplast without antibacterial medication. I used the red packaged ones with antibacterial medication to fight off potential infection from my wound.
♥ Pre-written thank you notes (5-10): Show some appreciation to your nurses and doctors with some thank you notes.
Essential for Dad
♥ Comfortable shoes.
♥ Chargers for phone and camera.
♥ Cash for the vending machine.
♥ Snap cowboy shirt: Cowboy shirts usually come in colorful prints. This can help you focus when going through the painful labor process. Also, a snap shirt makes skin-to-skin easy for dad. After the baby is born, he can snap open his shirt and put baby to his bare chest in seconds. No need to take off his shirt!
♥ Smart Water (6 bottles): I love SMART water because it contains electrolytes to give you some extra boost while in labor.
♥ Coconut Water (6 bottles): Coconut water is naturally hydrating. It’s jam-packed with vitamins, nutrients, and ELECTROLYTES to give you extra energy.
♥ Energy bar: As labor can be a long and intensive process. Munch on energy bars (especially those with extra protein) will help keep you going.
♥ Peanut butter sandwich
Essentials for mom
♥ Nursing bra.
♥ Going home 2 pieces outfit: In case you need to nurse on the way home, you can easily nurse your baby with a nursing top in the car.
♥ Memory foam seat to sit on after birth: This memory foam cushion saved my life! The unique doughnut shape relieves pressure on the perineum, making it a nice cushion following childbirth and episiotomy. I just leave it in my hubby’s car and I sat on it on our way home and going back and forth to the NICU.
Essentials for dad
♥ Snap cowboy shirt (for skin to skin with baby): It is equally important for dads to do skin-to-skin with the baby as well. To make it easier, dad can unsnap his cowboy shirt and put baby on his bare chest without taking his shirt off.
♥ Money for incidentals.
♥ Sweats for sleeping: be prepared to spend overnight stay with mom and baby.
♥ Change of clothes.
Essentials for baby
♥ Sleep sacks: To make baby super comfortable while in dreamland, put him in a sleep sack will help reduce startle reflex. I have a few of these since Chunbao sleeps in them until he’s 6 months old. My favorite is the Halo sleep sack because the 2-way swaddle ensures baby’s best sleep and an easy transition when it’s time to stop swaddling.
Also, the hip-healthy design allows hips and legs to move freely. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute recommends to not swaddling babies tightly around the hips and legs to avoid developing hips issues later in life. Love To Dream sleep sack is another great choice.
♥ Water Wipes: Baby wipes at the hospital may contain nasty ingredients and unnecessary additives. Give your baby the purest wipes possible from birth with Water Wipes! The wipes are 99.9% purified water and a drop of fruit extract. It has won numerous awards and is accepted by National Eczema Association. I use it on my baby from head to toe ever since he was born! Don’t forget to stock up on some travel size wipes to carry in your diaper bag!
♥ Safflower oil (in travel size container): Safflower oil is a miracle baby oil! I never heard of it until a doula told me about it. She recommends it to every mom because it cures baby’s dry skin. The oil is rich in linoleic acid, moisturizing and soothing for inflamed skin. Chunbao has pretty bad eczema and we really saw a difference when we put safflower oil on him. Safflower oil is also popular amongst baby massage oils. You can check out this post on some infant massage tips. Whichever oil you choose to use on your baby, make sure it is cold pressed, unrefined vegetable oils!
♥ Aquaphor Healing Ointment: This is a stable for baby skincare and you probably have a jar of these for yourself! As newborn’s skin is very delicate, a good moisturizer will nourish and prevent dry chapped skin to develop. The Aquaphor ointment is a bit greasy but you don’t need a lot. A little goes a long way!
♥ Butt Paste (40% zinc oxide): Even a little red spot on your newborn’s diaper area can make them uncomfortable. To tame diaper rashes, apply a generous amount of Butt Paste. Unlike other diaper rash cream, All Natural Boudreaux’s Butt Paste treats and helps protect against rash with natural ingredients like soothing aloe and a natural scent.
♥ Going home outfit.
♥ Blanket and cap.
♥ Car seat cover. You never know if your baby will be going home during the day so give some shade with a car seat cover! I highly recommend this one since it can also be used as a nursing cover when you bring your new baby home!
So here it is! I hope you find this list helpful. Leave a comment below for any questions 🙂