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Wow, I’m already 36 weeks into my pregnancy, and we’ll be welcoming a new baby soon! We are all so excited. And busy. Because during these final weeks, it’s time to prepare for baby. I’m making sure everything is ready to grab and go when the time to head to the birth center arrives. Along with all the usual recommendations, here are five essentials for labor and delivery I’ve discovered over the years.
1. Contract Ease
As a mom of many, I can attest that after pains do indeed hurt more than regular contractions. Perhaps it’s all mental, because at least when you’re in labor you get a cute baby out of the deal.
But with after pains–all you get is pain and blood. They make breastfeeding miserable for the first week or so, and I’ve been brought to many tears over these pains. I’ve even resorted to pain meds for them over the years, which really stinks after having a natural delivery.
I know, I know–they’re important because they get your uterus shrinking back down. That’s good. But do they really have to be so painful?
I discovered Contract Ease while pregnant with Brynna, and used it after she was born. I’m a believer now! This herbal concoction from TriLight Health tastes like I imagine licking a tree would taste. It’s very earthy.
But, it works! Let me just say that again, it works!
My after pains were manageable, and I didn’t cry every time I nursed. So you better believe I just ordered another batch for this time around.
2. Drinkable Yogurts
Labor is hard on the body! You need nourishment to keep your strength up. One of the benefits of using the birth center instead of the hospital is the stance on food and water during labor. I get to eat and drink in labor at the birth center!
But, you don’t want your body working on digesting while you’re in labor. You want easy, soft foods. I’ve found drinkable yogurts fit the bill.
They provide a dose of protein, and they’re easy to consume even when you’re in pain.
If my chickens were laying in this freezing weather, I’d make up a large batch of homemade lemon pudding with those fresh eggs. Oh my–that’d be delicious and nutritious. But, our temperatures are below freezing and the chickens don’t enjoy the weather any more than I do!
3. A Water Bottle with a Straw
A straw is such a simple invention. But it makes such a difference in making water easy to drink. When I’m contracting and don’t want to lift up a bottle, the straw makes it possible for my husband to easily help me drink. And I don’t end up wearing any of the water.
Staying hydrated is essential, and a straw makes it so nice.
4. A File Folder
This one might sound strange, but I get super hot right before it’s time to push. My husband started fanning me with a file folder during our last hospital birth, and wow it was just what I needed to get through!
He’d tried a piece of paper and it just didn’t cut it. But the file folder was nice and thick and really moved some air.
We’ve made sure to have one every birth since then, and we’ll be bringing one along this time as well.
Of course as soon as the baby comes out I get freezing and just want to snuggle under warm blankets. So the file folder has a short-lived purpose, but it helps keep me comfortable when I need it most.
5. Large Diapers
Birth is messy, and afterwards your body loses a lot of blood. Even super-sized maxi pads don’t really cut it. But, I discovered that diapers are way more absorbent than pads, and cover a bigger area.
I hate bleeding through, so the diapers have been wonderful. They’re especially helpful for our hour long drive home from the birth center. I don’t have to worry about trying to line up the pads right for coverage, I just cut a diaper in half and stick it down there.
What are your essentials for labor?
Is there anything not on the recommended lists that you feel is essential for labor? I’d love for you to share in the comments!