Now that I have gone through labor I can finally tell you all a final verdict on what I packed in my labor bag. I can tell you what I actually used and what I wish I had brought along with me. This list is specifically for labor and delivery. The postpartum bag and baby bags will be in subsequent posts.
For my labor bag, I chose to use a backpack that we already had at the house. It’s actually the backpack that my husband used as a carry on bag when he went to California on a work trip. I chose the backpack over a suitcase or duffle bag because it’s easy to transport and carries just what we need.
The back pack worked really well. It was easy to grab on the go and held everything we needed. I wish I had advised my husband on where everything was in the bag but he was able to find what he was looking for eventually.
1. Birth plan – I included numerous copies of our birth plan in the bag. I have enough copies that hopefully everyone who will be working with us on the labor and delivery floor will have one, as well as anyone working with us on the maternity floor. While my husband and my mom both know what it is I want/don’t want I want to be prepared for others to know.
The copies of the birth plan came in handy. This will be a different post but I’m glD we had this.
2. Copies of a list of allergies with their reactions and health issues – Every time I go to OB screening I am asked these two things. To speed things along and make it easier on the nurse I have compiled a list of the things I am allergic to, and the reaction that I have. I also took the time to list all of my medical conditions so that I don’t forget anything. While you would think that it is all in the system by now (and that I would remember them all) I still forget things. It’s difficult to remember every little issue when you have been living that way for so long and are in the midst of contractions and whatnot.
I’m so glad I took the time to type this up! It saved so much time and confusion and allowed me to focus on what I was doing rather than trying to fill in medical info.
1. Hubby’s tablet/my iPad – both of our tablets will come in quite handy for numerous reasons. We can stay connected to the outside world, take pictures, keep occupied, and use a relaxation app to play soothing music.
To be honest I didn’t touch any technology the entire time I was in labor. My husband may have been on his tablet, but I have no idea. My nephews played on my iPad, and we didn’t use the app at all to play soothing music.
2. iHome rechargeable speaker – I found this speaker at Walmart on the clearance aisle and thought it would be perfect. We can connect any electronic device with a headphone jack to amplify the sound. It is currently fully charged, and lasts for up to 10 hours on one charge. Hopefully we won’t need it that long.
We didn’t use this for labor at all and only used it once during our post partum hospital stay.
3. Chargers – with all the electronic devices that we have (phones, computers, tablets, speaker) an obvious choice was chargers. I don’t know how long this whole labor and delivery thing is going to take, but didn’t want to risk losing devices due to a lack of battery power. I actually went out and got 3 lightening chargers, a mini usb charger and extra usb outlet plugs so that we don’t have to rush to pack chargers on the fly.
Chargers came in really handy for my family, but I personally didn’t use them. Phones and tablets were charged multiple times in the 22 hours we were in labor.
4. Portable battery packs – I got 3 portable chargers (that are fully charged) so that if we don’t have access to an outlet for whatever reason, we can still charge devices. I think this will come in most handy for me, allowing me to charge my phone and iPad next to me in bed rather than having to get up and walk to a wall.
We didn’t actually use these during labor at all, but I did use them during post partum recovery.
5. Cameras – My larger (and better) camera, along with extra batteries and an extra SD card are already packed in the bag. I am hoping to get some of the birth video taped, but at the very least I want pictures of the whole thing. My new, much smaller, camera is in my purse for the time being so that I can still vlog and take pictures.
We did use the large camera, but my small camera got take. To my parents on accident.
6. E cigarette and extra cartridges – this is actually for my husband. Yes he currently smokes, yes he is quitting when Luke comes (I would not let him quit while I was pregnant because I couldn’t handle the nicotine withdraw and pregnancy hormones at the same time). This way he can remain in the room with me for as long as possible before needing to go out and have an actual cigarette.
Ronny did use this quite a bit throughout our hospital stay. The nurses were completely fine with it, and it kept the edge off for the most part.
7. Battery operated tealights – these are strictly for relaxation purposes. Our hospital has a strict policy on not allowing open flames, but the battery operated candles are fine. Turn the lights down low, hook the ipad up to the speaker with some relaxing tunes and flick on the candles……birth will be like a day at the spa (hahaha)
Labor was nothing like a day at the spa! We didn’t use the candies at all, and I actually have no idea where they went.
1. Swimming suits – I have a two piece packed for myself ($8 for the top and bottom at Walmart) and swim trunks for my husband. It sounds like a weird thing to have packed, but actually makes sense. Our hospital has large tubs for labor (you can’t use it for actual delivery though). Since my family is welcome in the room at any time while I am laboring, I want to keep things as least awkward as possible for my dad, brother or mother in law, if they are in the room and I am in the tub.
2. Flip flops – they will probably make me wear the non-slip hospital socks, but I packed a pair of flip flops from the dollar store so that if I’m leaking fluid I don’t ruin a better pair of shoes. I don’t particularly want to walk around the hospital floor barefoot.
We didn’t use these at all. I wasn’t allowed out of the bed and couldn’t use the tub because my water was broken.
3. Chewing gum – this was a suggestion from quite a few new mommies. Your mouth apparently gets dry and chewing gum can help with that.
I didn’t chew gum but the rest of my family did.
All in all we could have survived without the majority of the things I packed. As long as we had my birth plan, medical history cheat sheet, phone cords and camera we would have been fine. There isn’t anything I wish I would have packed. I was too busy to really do much of anything.