Preparing for The Big Day!

What to Pack?
 
As a Doula one of the most common questions posed to me is "what do we pack for the birth?". Sounds simple, and it should be, but each person is different so every answer is unique. Here are a few helpful hints to get you started.

Where's Your Mind At? Bring items that can relax as well as bring your mind into focus.
  • Music Mix- calming and energizing tunes. A great site for this: www.pandora.com
  • Focal Points- Some Mothers use visuals to help guide them through labor. This can be as simple as a tile on the ceiling to a printed labyrinth. I once unpacked a onesie so that the mother could visualize bringing the baby into this world.
  • Relaxation Scripts- Partners may read relaxation scripts throughout the pregnancy and have this tool during labor to calm Mama.
  • Scents- Aromatherapy, Naturally. Choosing a soothing scent such as lavender, chamomile or sandalwood has been found to relax. Steer clear of chemically manufactured scents and spend the extra few dollars on essential oils. Just a few drops goes a long way, so use sparingly and on something that can easily be removed from the room such as a handkerchief.
How Does Your Body Feel? Physical comfort measures help release tension from muscles and distract from  less pleasant sensations. When a woman can relax her body and mind, she is able to release herself and birth her baby with more ease.
  • Comb- Combing through hair and massaging the scalp can be heavenly. I have  given women combs to hold tines inward on the palm and instructed to squeeze their fists during a contraction. The sensation of the comb can assist in distracting from the labor pains.
  • Lotion Potion- Massage is awesomeness and never better than when in early labor. A non greasy unscented lotion to rub feet, legs, arms and hands in a downward stroking motion can help a woman envision bringing her baby down the birth canal. Chapstick is also a great moisturizer for lips parched by deep breathing.
  • Rice Sock- Easily made, you simply fill a sock with uncooked rice or flax and knot at the end. This can be microwaved and used as a heating pad.
  • Nourishment- A laboring Woman expends an incredible amount of energy. A hiker on a day long journey wouldn't go without food or drink, so why would a Mother who is burning even more calories? Protein bars, honey sticks, liquids and breath mints are some popular choices.
The Typical Essentials Both Mother and Partner What would you bring on a weekend trip?
  • Toiletries, for Mama and Partner
  • Cozy Socks
  • Nightgown (you can wear your own clothes and forgo the paper gown)
  • Change of clothes and bathing suit, Partner
  • Elastic waist pants, night nursing bra and loose shirt for journey home.
  • Baby's going home clothes!
  • CAMERA and Cords
Packing early and placing in the car at 38 weeks can free up time and worry.
It is important to remember that no matter what is packed, Mom will birth her baby and no suitcase in the world will matter at that miraculous moment!
 
Awesome Partner and Family To Do List Before the Birth
  • Pay bills early or have scheduled to be paid for the next month
  • Have dinners in the freezer
  • Install carseat and have checked by your local Fire Department
  • Assign a friend the task of caring for your pets or transporting pets to daycare. Personally, we have used Camp Bow Wow.
  • Assign two close friends/family members to care for your children. A back up plan is essential for childcare and will be a great relief. Pack kid's bags early.
 
Gifts That Can Really Help in Those First Months

  • House cleaning- even better- deep housecleaning before arriving home! Nothing like coming home with your little one to an impeccable house.
  • Gift certificates to favorite pick up/delivery restaurants
  • Dog walking service We love Fellow Mama's Biz Peak City Puppy!
  • A meal train ready to go when arriving home. We have used Meal Train