You're doing it! You have survived the nastiest morning sickness, you have gracefully (maybe?) gained all the weight, you have weeped the tears. Nesting is in full swing. And now, you're going to have this baby, come hell or high water. (Thank you, Mom. I have no idea why that doozy of a saying is in my repertoire, but whatever.) But HOW are you going to have this baby? With all the myriad of what-you-need lists out there, how does a girl decipher what's essential and what.just.isn't? ARE YOU READY?? Is there such a thing?
(Panicked yet? No worries. We're going to undo ALL of that. Hang on.)
Whether you plan to bring your sweet angel into the world in the coziness of your living room in a wading pool or in the convenience of a hospital room, you may want to have on hand/bring along a few simple, inexpensive items to pave the way for you to be as present and as low on the stress and pain scales as possible. We've collected a list to help you along your way. Here we go.
1. Lip Balm.
Let's just be honest. Labor is taxing, and hospitals are dry deserts. Your lips may be crying for some attention, and though you may not be able to bring baby into the world on your own time, the least you can do is give your lips a little love. We recommend this lip balm.
Image source: Amazon.com
2. Red Raspberry Tea.
If you're a natural childbirth enthusiast, you already know the magic red raspberry leaf tea will perform on your uterus. Sipping warm tea sweetened with a little honey may be just the thing to keep you pacing with the contractions. Or try it iced with honey and a pinch of sea salt for an electrolyte boost as well as a way to cool off. We recommend this tea.
3. Coconut water.
Hydration is so important during labor, to keep your energy up during one of the most intense physical efforts you will make in life. Another hydrating option to have on hand is coconut water. This trendy drink is full of electrolytes to keep you buoyed during labor, as well as hydrated. We recommend this coconut water.
4. Magnesium Oil Spray.
Let's talk pain management for a minute. If natural childbirth is your goal, avoiding pain killers is important to you. So what will you do when the pain seems unbearable (because at some point, hopefully very near the end, it will. Sorry if that's a spoiler.)? Modern science has a solution: magnesium oil spray. Magnesium will work to relieve tired muscles, as well as to calm nerves. And magnesium-as-spray is quickly absorbed into your body, giving you relief as quickly as possible. We like this spray.
5. Tennis balls.
Too basic? Maybe not. For your laboring partner to continue rubbing that persistent back labor away, consider throwing a tennis ball or two in your birthing bag. Grab these balls on Amazon.
6. Nursing bra.
Ok, baby is here. What's the first thing you'll do? Nursing. While you most likely won't pop on a nursing bra in the first minute of your newborn's life, you'll want to slip into one eventually. We like this nursing bra.
7. Maternity nursing sleep shirt.
And after baby comes, eventually you will sleep. Maybe not for long stretches (but who knows! You can hope!), but you WILL close your eyes (promise). And open them to a lovely newborn ready to latch on. Wearing a sleeping shirt built with panels that open easily for nursing just makes sense. We like this nursing sleep shirt.
Image source: Amazon.com
8. Reusable nursing pads.
Whether you're full colostrum for days, or your milk comes in right off the bat, you'll want to think about the stop-gap. We like these from Bamboobies. What's not to like with a name like that, right?
9 . Nipple cream.
While we're on the subject of nursing, you may want to have in your bag of tricks a good nipple cream, in case you get sore from all that newborn suckling. We like this nipple balm from Honest Co.
10. Herbal Perineal Spray.
After the beating your bottom just took, have a bottle of this magic spray on hand to sooth stings from tearing or just from the wonderful (truly!) adventure of labor. We like this spray.
So there you have it. A handful of magic tricks for your birthing bag. May all the peace and confidence, low-stress and minimal pain be with you! You've got this, mama!