A friend asked about my suggestions for what to pack in a hospital bag-thought I'd share it :)
Just try to think through what sounds the most comfortable when you're not feeling super great- think "If I had a bad head cold- what would I want to wear, listen to, watch, snuggle up in, etc." Usually those same things will feel good and comforting during labor :) so some of the things on my list may not sound nice to you but they were what I wanted- just take what you like and leave the rest.
One more thing to keep in mind-there's a possibility of getting some *ehem* bodily fluids on anything you wear during delivery of your baby so don't bring something that you'd be totally bummed if it gets stained-most anything will wash out if washed quickly but you'll have a fun new baby you're focusing on instead of laundry.
Packing for the birth of your baby :)
****Slippers****/tennis shoes these are almost a necessity if you don't want to be caught in the heel-less hospital slipper/socks
warm socks- feet get chilly because usually you're working so hard that the rest of you is roasting so they adjust the temp in the room for you (if you ask)
Comfortable t shirt and pants to labor in/pj's you don't have to wear a gown unless you'd like to- choose whichever YOU will feel most comfortable in
Sports bra comfort/modesty
Granny panties laboring/to wear home while you're still dealing with a lot of lochia (afterbirth period)
Nursing bra/tank top if you plan to nurse
Yoga ball ask your hospital if they provide one first- but it's super comforting to sit(rock, bounce, roll) on (while it's wrapped in a towel) during labor, it definitely helps the baby move down and helps your hips relax
Movies ask if your hospital provides a DVD player in each labor room. I took a few action movies that I loved, and some comedies so that I could either have the loud action help distract me or laugh at a comedy- Laughing through contractions is SUPER SUPER helpful-not even kidding you
ipod + docking station/speakers +charger OR cd player and cd's music that you can relax to. Start turning on a specific playlist and focusing on your breathing and relaxation each night at the same time- have your hubby help do it too so that he can help rub your back, hips, and feet. This way when you're in labor you have a playlist that helps you relax automatically and focus on your breathing.
Chapstick self explanatory- lips dry out quickly when you're working out.
Lotion/essential oils anything that helps you relax- getting a nice back rub with some relaxing scented lotion can work wonders
Snacks (most hospitals don't allow you to eat so they just give you fluids in your iv. Ask your dr point blank if they're cool with you having some protein bars and such to sneak in between nurse visits so you keep your energy up- after all this is a work out of a lifetime. Plenty of research shows that women in labor do better with nourishment-vs the lack of research done on what happens when you force a woman in labor to fast.)
Basic overnight stuff contacts/fluid/case, glasses, toothbrush, paste, deodorant, etc. (the hospital usually provides a lot of these things in a bag but some are different from others- you can call and ask which of these things they provide)
Don't be afraid to ask for something if you forgot to bring it. ex: water jugs are usually provided but a water bottle is easier to carry while you're walking through labor. They usually send you home with some really hot mesh underwear things to go over GIANT pads- request to take some extras home- even though they're atrocious they're super comfortable while hips, stomach, and things are all still tender. Ask your nurse to grab extra "GIANT pads" too- the less you spend on buying the little pads at the store the better- you'll need lots and lots. Think mega period for up to 5/6 weeks. Any of the supplies they use to help the comfort level of your lady parts postpartum are good things to stock up on and usually your nurse is more than happy to grab extras for you if you ask.
Don't balk at them asking you to take a stool softener- you'll want that first..._____ afterwards as soft as possible because that's when most new moms kind of freak out-it's not bad, you just need to wrap your head around it- your body knows what it's doing and as long as you stay really hydrated, eat lots of fruits and veggies, and get your fiber you'll be fine. relax :)
Remember that most of the atmosphere in the hospital can be changed with some assistance- temp, lighting, volume of tv, music, etc- tell your husband or birth attendants what you'd like to have happen so you are as comfortable as possible. You are the star of this show- (until baby gets here) and you deserve anything and everything that will help you bring a happy healthy baby into this world. Don't be afraid of asking for a different nurse if the one you have is uncooperative with your wishes or desires. Offending one nurse so you can be more at ease with who is attending your birth is an EXTREMELY small thing to worry about.
Remember to have faith in what your body is made to do- trust your instincts and feelings.
You'll be great!!
You can do this!!!