Here I’ve compiled a list of some things that can ease the discomfort of those first 13 weeks.
“I love your post on having a baby in the hospital naturally. I will be having my first baby in about a month and would love to hear your suggestions on what I should take in my birth bag. Thank you!”
Hi Anna- thanks for the question. The post you are referencing is How To Have a Natural Childbirth in a Hospital. It can be done! I’ve done it twice. And yes, it’s a good idea to be prepared with a well stocked birth bag!
Here is a list of things to have in your birth bag:
1. A music player and a great playlist. This was SO important to me and got me through some tough moments. It is now such a joy to remember the songs that were playing when each of my babies was born. My playlist had empowering songs, some hard rock, lots of Hawaiian, Willie Nelson, hymns, classical music, singer/songwriter, you name it. I can not recommend this enough! And now with all of the great wireless speakers on the market, it will be super convenient. We love this Jam Box.
2.Organic Preggie Pop Drops, lollipops, gum, etc. I found I needed a variety of these with my first baby.
3. Lavender essential oil- lavender dulls and eases uterine pain, increases the strength of contractions and has an incredible calming effect.
4. Rescue Remedy . I used this with my second baby, and I was so calm while I was in labor. Even during transition. It was pretty unexpected, but I welcomed the feeling!
5. Organic Lip Balm- Important! Labor makes lips chapped!
6. Hair ties or a head band. Just be prepared to want your hair out of your face pronto. I went with about 10.
7. Socks. My feet got super cold during labor and delivery. Though I must not have been wearing any socks during my second baby’s birth, because I still remember the delivery nurse complimenting me on my pedicure. The color was Meet Me On the Star Ferry by OPI (I love that OPI has take the top three toxic chemicals out of their polish!)
8.Nursing pillow. Mine is organic, and I’m convinced it is the best one on the market. I used this to get comfortable during labor, and then when I had my baby I used it immediately to position him during breastfeeding. Since it is all organic with no fire retardant chemicals I felt comfortable putting my brand new baby on it, AND I had laundered the case in safe, non-toxic laundry detergent!
9. Organic and Natural baby products to use on the baby for his or her first bath. I’m not sure what the hospital uses, but I can be pretty sure it’s not the first chemical I want touching my sweet baby’s new skin. The nurse at the NYC hospital where I delivered my firstborn cackled with delight that I had my own baby shampoo, lotion and oil. She said in her 22 years as a baby nurse, this was the first time she’d been requested to use specific products. I’m sure it’s become more common in the last 5 years.
10. Nipple Cream. Breastfeeding a new baby hurts. A lot. It gets better (to the point where you won’t feel a thing) but in the first few days, use this!
11. Nightgown and robe. I did not want to have to wear those awful hospital gowns for my whole stay, so I bought a black nightgown and robe one size larger than my usual size and wore that.
12. Middle of the night snacks- Unless you want to eat the graham crackers the hospital supplies (the ones they gave me had trans fat in them, which I know passes into breast milk so I couldn’t eat them.) I had trail mix, dark chocolate, and a variety of whole food bars.
13. Hot water bottle- the old fashioned kind. It comes in useful for lower back pain during labor. I also used it to warm up the baby’s bed before laying him in it, so he wouldn’t be shocked by cold sheets. Put it where he will lay for about 5 minutes, then remove it before laying him down (obviously.)
14. Toiletries and cosmetics- you’ll want your own shampoo, conditioner, body wash and razor. Especially if you have to share a shower with another new mom like I did in New York City. Side note- that first shower is amazing. Don’t forget your make-up: think visitors, photos, etc.
15. Slippers- (what non-Hawaiians call flip-flops). Very important for walking around the hospital floor- especially after that first shower!
17. Clothes for the ride home for you and baby. I prefer anything in a kimono style for baby, as putting clothes over their little heads was terrifying to me in those early days. Try KicKee Pants or Kate Quinn Organics
What have I missed?
For more than one reason, I was overcome with excitement when I saw the title of Jena Pincott’s latest book, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy.
This book was written for me. And if you love little known facts and interesting information about everything from how what we eat influences our child’s gender to the effect Mozart has on the baby, this book is for you, too.
There are so many factoids I’ve spouted off over the years from things I’ve read in books and magazines and conversations I’ve had with doctors and midwives. Little gems such as, “it’s been proven if you eat chocolate while you’re pregnant, you will have a child with a sweeter disposition” and, “studies show that if you consume breakfast with a higher fat content you’re more likely to have a boy.”
I’ve read the studies and love to relay the facts, but I never knew the “why” of many of these tidbits.
Pincott compiles the information and fleshes them out in great detail. She explains the “surprising science” with humor and wit as she weaves in her personal pregnancy story.
In this book some of questions answered are:
- Why are our pregnant dreams more vivid?
- Is a little tipple really so terrible?
- How are all sons are mama’s boys?
- Will exercise strengthen baby’s mind?
- What happens in the golden hour after birth?
- Do we really forget the pain?
- Are breast-fed babies really brainier?
and of course:
- Do chocolate lover’s have sweeter babies?
I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed reading a pregnancy book as much as I enjoyed this one.
Remember to eat lots and lots of chocolate while you’re pregnant- your child will have a sunnier disposition. This is a proven fact and not just an excuse to gorge on chocolate. I found a new favorite-Green and Black’s dark chocolate with whole cherries-and to quote my hub’s cousin Amanda, “I never want another day to go by without having a piece of that chocolate.” Since I’m buying a lifetime supply, I found a coupon for a dollar off, so I thought I’d share it with you! Just don’t plan on finding any in my ‘hood.