What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?

Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone – things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about what you may need or not need in your labor bag. Plus, packing lists usually center around the laboring person and may exclude the birthing partner and team!

So – we compiled a list of must-haves to get you through the labor and birth of your baby. Whether you’re headed to the birth center or staying in the hospital, its nice to feel prepared!

Snacks

Labor can be a marathon or a sprint – either way, both the laboring person and the birth team need to be fueled up and energized.  Pack snacks in your labor bag that you and your birthing partner would like during labor or after – when you both realize you’re famished after such an exhilarating experience! Be sure to pack things that will survive sitting in your car and and are packed with protein to keep your energy up. As a member of the birth team, consider skipping the onion bagel and also pack some mints for after the snacking!

Toiletries

Birth is unpredictable. You may be in and out of the birth center in a few hours, or you may spend a few days at the hospital.  Bring necessities like deodorant, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. You may also consider wipes to wash your face and a hair brush or comb. Even if you don’t use it, your birthing partner may appreciate it.

Change of Clothes

You don’t need to pack a ton of clothes, but having one fresh outfit is always a smart choice. If you’re thinking, “We don’t plan on being at the birth center too long,” we hear you! But we still recommend a change of clothes for the “just in case” scenarios. I.e. you don’t want to wear amniotic fluid or meconium on your clothes until you go home.  If you really want to level up, keep an extra pair of shoes in the car for the same reasons. 

Phone Charger, Camera, and a Speaker

At the birth, you’ll want to keep your phone charged so that you can take all the pictures you want and call all your people when you are ready. If you have a nice camera, bring it for those detailed photos (you will never regret all the photos you take of your brand new baby). A wireless speaker can amplify the birth playlist music you and your partner made during pregnancy.

The Birth Plan

Your partner in labor will be focused on contractions and getting their vitals taken. Having a birth plan in your labor bag and ready to hand off is helpful for your providers and your partner. 

 Hopefully this list provides some insight into what to pack! The fewer bags you have to bring in, the easier it is to leave with baby in their car seat when it’s time to go home!  Happy Packing!

Raquel MacDonald

Doula, Babymoon Inn

Raquel is a mother to three boys and a certified Babymoon Inn Doula. She loves working in her community to reach and educate new parents on all things birth and postpartum care.

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Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

Five Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

5 Essential Tools for your Labor Bag

No matter what your birth plan is, having tools packed in your bag to that can help manage labor is always a good idea. Whether you’re planning for a natural birth or you know you’d like medications for pain relief, these basic tools and tricks can help you work through labor with a little more comfort and are a must for every labor bag!

Snacks

Protein-packed small snacks are essential. We also suggest honey sticks for a quick burst of energy. Labor and birth are a lot of work! You likely won’t feel like eating a huge meal.  To keep your energy up, having small snacks you can eat in early and active labor will help you to keep going. Think trail mix, almonds, and protein bars – they pack a nutritional punch but won’t spoil and have a neutral taste that are unlikely to cause nausea.

Cooling Towels

Temperature fluctuation in labor is common, and it’s normal to feel hot and break out into a sweat. Cooling towels can help you to keep from overheating. Wash cloths will work too, but cooling towels keep their temp without needing to be wet and are a nice option for those who do not want water on the upper part of their body or head. 

Essential Oils and Vitamin E Oil

Aromatherapy can help with nausea, anxiety, and exhaustion during labor. As a doula, I pack essential oils and cotton balls together. Having a diffuser going may be appealing in one moment and repulsive in the next – and it’s difficult to get rid of a smell that has been pumped into the room, whereas a cotton ball with a few drops of oil can be tossed in the trash. Vitamin E oil is also great for the skin, with no odor, and can be used to massage sore backs or feet, or aid in a relaxing hand massage while you labor.  Helpful essential oils include:

  • Citrus – to boost energy
  • Clary Sage – to stimulate contractions (use ONLY in labor, not during pregnancy)
  • Lavender – to promote relaxation

Having a diffuser going may be appealing in one moment and repulsive in the next – and it’s difficult to get rid of a smell that has been pumped into the room, whereas a cotton ball with a few drops of oil can be tossed in the trash.

Water Bottle (with a Straw)

Staying hydrated during labor is essential. Small cups of water just won’t cut it. Bringing a large water bottle or tumbler will keep you hydrated and keep your partner from running for frequent refills.  I highly suggest a straw because it’s much easier to lean your head to the side and sip water rather than exert mental and physical effort to lift a glass and drink.

Lip Balm

“Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.”  This common mantra helps people prepare for labor and breathe through contractions. Deep breathing can help you through those sensations but often chap your lips in the process. Applying lip balm will prevent your lips from becoming dry during labor and instead keep them soft for those sweet baby cheeks you’ll soon be snuggled against and kissing!

If you’re hired a doula, she likely packed all of these tools in her bag. If you are giving birth without a doula, these items are easy, effective tools you can slip in your Baby Day bag! Be sure to also check out our list of ways to be a great birth partner!

 For more ideas of what to pack in your labor bag, sign up for our mailing list below and get a free printable that also includes helpful tips for labor!

Babymoon Inn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Raquel MacDonald

Doula, Babymoon Inn

Raquel is a mother to three boys and a certified Babymoon Inn Doula. She loves working in her community to reach and educate new parents on all things birth and postpartum care.

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Just Add Water! 5 Easy Summer Activities for Kids

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Just Add Water! Summer Activities for Kids

Nope, it’s not an ad for an as-seen-on-TV product. We actually apply these words to raising our kids in Arizona – especially in the summer! Water activities + children = winning formula.

The “Just Add Water” formula breaks up tension and gives kids a fun change-up in their day. Whether it’s arguments, exhaustion, boredom, whining, or just big feelings, this trick seems to work – for both our kids and us!

Obviously, having access to a pool is helpful. Yet despite being an Arizona native, I’ve never lived in a house with a pool!  But the Just Add Water trick can still be done!

So if you’re like my family, in the desert with no pool, here are 5 simple and inexpensive ways we add water to our day.

Painting in the shower or bath

When our oldest was in his toddler years, we let him paint our tub in just a diaper or nothing at all. After he was done, we wiped everything down and filled the tub for bath time.  Now that he’s older, we put paint on the walls of the shower and let him paint while he showers. The best part is, it all washes away! Both bath paint or finger paint will do the trick!

Popsicles in the bath

Indoors and easy, simply put your kids in the bath and give them Popsicles or homemade ice pops. Pro tip: Steer clear of anything that could clog the drain (i.e. no fruit-filled pops). Its exciting for the kids and an easy clean up!

“Paint” the fence

A simple water activity for kids is to “paint” the wooden fence, brick wall, or driveway with water. Get a bucket of water or fill a kiddie pool with water. Grab some paint brushes and let your kids paint with water! No mess, and your kids still get to let their creativity flow. They can then color the wet surface with chalk, and you can dump the water on the fence to wash away when you’re all done!

Washing toys

Have your kids give their toys a bath! Fill one bucket with with soapy water and another bucket with their toys. Give your kids a wash cloth and let them scrub away. Not only does this incorporate water into your day, but it also give your kids a chance to partake in imaginative play. They could be a parent giving their baby a bath like they see you do, or a farmer washing their farm animals. Our kids love marine life and this is always a hit with their collection of plastic sharks.

Outdoor chores

We try to incorporate our kids into our outdoor chores. In the winter, this is often garage projects. In the summer, we attempt to keep pumpkin seedlings alive for fall harvest. This means watering the plants, spraying off the porch, and stomping in the cool mud!

I hope you enjoy these easy and simple ideas to break up the day and help you all make some summer memories at home. Enjoy!

Babymoon Inn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Raquel MacDonald

Doula, Babymoon Inn

Raquel is a mother to three boys and a certified Babymoon Inn Doula. She loves working in her community to reach and educate new parents on all things birth and postpartum care.

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Bringing Home the Newest Baby

Bringing Home the Newest Baby

Bringing Home the Second Baby

Tips from a Mother of Three

When I prepared to bring home my second child, I had a laundry list of concerns.  I chalked most of these up to pregnancy hormones, but there were two questions I didn’t have answers for until the time came:

How will our only child adjust to being a big brother?

How will I do with two, and later three, young kids?

Our days, our camera roll, our everything revolved around our first born. We knew that once we brought home “Baby MacDos,” it would be up to our oldest to let us know how those early days would go.

Coming from large families on either side, we knew that they would have fun together and grow up with a lifetime friend. But we also feared our eldest’s reaction because of one too many stories from individuals who told us their not-so-positive Bringing Home Baby stories.

Now as a mother of three and a birth doula, I’ve collected some no-pressure tips that I applied to my family and have advised over the years to ease the transition to becoming parents of more than one child.

  • Read books about becoming an older sibling.

Keep the books together and make a basket mixed with your child’s favorites. Read throughout pregnancy and in the early postpartum days when you are sitting and resting frequently. This is a perfect time to enrich their growing brain and get that cuddle time from Mom or Dad.  (You can find some of our favorite books in our Amazon shop)

  • Have realistic expectations.

Don’t build up expectations of your kids’ reactions when they meet their newest sibling. Our gentle and sweet first born was sleep deprived and bewildered by the hospital environment he walked into when he met his new brother. Looking back, We realize just how bizarre and jostling that all can be. Your eldest could embrace their new sibling the moment they meet them, or it may be a process.  Both are normal.

  • Allow and talk about all the emotions.

Just like us as adults, your child has to say goodbye to the old way of life. And just like us, they have their own way of dealing with it. You could be experiencing new outbursts and emotions you have never seen come from you child. Allow those emotions. What better gift to have than to know that your child feels safe enough with you to allow you to know how they feel. Talk about the normalcy of feeling sad, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc. When we discuss those emotions we allow our kids to feel them and then make room to have positive emotions and experiences with their newest sibling.
  • Speak your child’s love language.

My first born loves quality time. This speaks to him more than words or physical affection or gifts “from the baby.” When his sibling was born, we didn’t need to take elaborate trips out of the house. Quality time for us meant trips to the backyard while baby napped, and 15 minutes of pushing him on a swing and chatting. Our second born feels most at peace with physical touch, which made those story time cuddles that much more important.

  • Include them in the care of their newest sibling.

Maybe they can grab a “cuddle toy” for baby or turn on the sound machine. You know your babies best. Whatever would speak to their heart, ask them to join you in on that! When Baby MacDos became a big brother last year, he wanted to sing to the new baby. His choice of song? The Pirates of the Caribbean theme song. Maybe it wasn’t the song I would have chosen for that picture perfect moment, but it came from his heart and we let him express his love in his way. 

  • Take a sibling class.

Many hospitals and birth centers offer sibling classes to help prepare for the new baby and to help spark conversation about the upcoming changes to the family dynamic. Sibling classes also offer an opportunity for the oldest child to spend quality one-on-one or one-on-two time with their parent.

  • Give yourself grace.

You just became a parent to a whole new person. Don’t let the fast paced culture we live in bend you into guilt-ridden sobs and negative thoughts over what you aren’t doing.

If getting your toddler in the car has taught you anything, it is that we can’t rush the process.

Embrace the whimsy of your child. Hold onto the weird blend of days as a new chapter in a grand adventure. One day, really soon, you’ll cherish that photo of your older child in his mismatched outfit and pout in the newborn photos. You’ll have a story to tell and it might even be your favorite photo among the files of perfectly posed pictures.

Raquel MacDonald

Doula, Babymoon Inn

Raquel is a mother to three boys and a certified Babymoon Inn Doula. She loves working in her community to reach and educate new parents on all things birth and postpartum care.

You May Also Like These Recent Articles!

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What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone - things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be...

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