Tips for Labor

Pregnancy Guide: Tips for Labor and Delivery

The tips for labor and delivery offered in this Pregnancy Guide by no means substitute for a Birthing Class.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is a tried and true list of helpful items that members of our community were glad to have with them during their labor.

Tips for Labor

Some general tips to start with:

– consider hiring a doula

tips for labor doula

– write out your birth plan and intention

– do lots of prenatal yoga, so you’re used to breathing through intense sensation, and take the Partner Prenatal Workshop so you and your partner are a solid team

– make sure you know who’s going to help with laundry, cleaning, and food prep for the 40 days after you return so you can do your job: recover, breastfeed, and be with baby. Some consider this the 4th trimester, in which you create a “womb” in your home.

25 Things To Bring With You for Labor

Most of these assume you are giving birth in a hospital, but some can be applied to anywhere:

1. down body pillow (great for labor and nursing)

2. washcloths soaked in ice water with aveda rose or lavendar oil.

3. coconut oil – to rub on feet, lips, all over body

4. music and speakers – you never know what you’ll want to hear, so have a range of playlists

5. healthy snacks – nuts, seeds, fruit and dried fruit; and snacks for your partner

6. coconut water – lots of it (the perfect food to replenish elocrolytes)

7. fitness ball – great for rolling around on during labor (great for putting baby to sleep later too)

8. focus items: pictures of people who love you, artwork (Georgia O’Keefe prints are great to get lost in), flowers

9.  your own comfortable pajamas (make sure they are button down so they’re breastfeeding-friendly)

10. admission forms already filled out; insurance cards

11. charger for your phone

12. extra pillows

13. socks

14. breath mints

15. robe and slippers

16. good nursing bras (get fitted in advance by a breastfeeding consultant)

17. supportive underwear ready to hold big pads (you will get big pads from the hospital, but you’ll want a box of big pads ready at home, as well)

tips for labor

18. nice baby blanket (you’ll see it in pics of your baby forever)

19. toothbrush/toothpaste

20. toiletries: shampoo, your favorite facial soap, make up, comb, etc.

21. going home clothes

22. phone list (people you’ll want to call immediately)

23. email list (people you’ll want to send pics to immediately)

24. car seat installed for free by professionals

25.  supportive team with back up people (a good friend you can call if you need new energy after 24 hours)

And here’s one more thing that one student found so helpful:

Recipe for maxi pad relief:

6 cups of water

a bottle of witch hazel oil (easily found at any traditional pharmacy/ drug store)

2 oz. of comfrey leaf tea (herbal remedy store – I have not found the leaf, but I found a topical comfrey extract at Whole Foods and will be using that instead)

Boil everything together for approx. 5 minutes, allow to cool, then soak at least a dozen maxi pads in the solution.

Freeze the maxi pads in ziploc baggies, one next to another (not on top of each other, as they will freeze together). If you can, try and shape the pad to fit your body, remember you are going to put it on frozen!

When you are heading to the hospital or wherever you are having your baby, place at least a dozen in a cooler and bring them with you. They should be able to store them for you in a freezer once you have been admitted.

As soon as you have delivered your placenta, and the doctor or midwife is finished cleaning you up, ask for a pad. Place the pad directly on you, with the diaper that will be provided on the outside, then the mesh underwear.

The pad will slowly melt releasing its healthy ointment, and as soon as you feel it is warm, and melted, ask for another one. Apparently, this can really speed up your healing process, and reduce pain, itching, and/or discomfort.

Another note, apparently (if you deliver at a hospital) you are given a spray bottle with a numbing ointment. My friend suggested you spray yourself with warm water and then the ointment after every trip to the bathroom for the first few days. It will really help with your discomfort, and speed up the healing process.

Thank you for spreading the Ma love!

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