Aside from finding out you’re pregnant, the most exciting part of this journey is welcoming your newborn baby. The excitement, the nerves, and the love that fills a room during the birth of a child is truly indescribable. It’s important to be prepared for the delivery process and to know what to expect. There are some obvious items you’ll need, like a hospital bag and a change of clothes for your newborn. However, there are also some lesser-known items that can really come in handy during labor and delivery.
Here are the top 5 things you may not have known you would need during labor and delivery.
Having someone there to support you emotionally and physically during labor and delivery is crucial. Your partner, a family member, or a close friend can help you with breathing techniques, massage, and words of encouragement. They can also assist in communicating with the healthcare team and help you make decisions about your care. It’s important to choose someone who is reliable, patient, and understanding. Choose the person who you feel most comfortable with.
Pain relief options
While some women opt for natural childbirth, others may want or need pain relief during labor. It’s important to discuss your options with your healthcare provider and have a plan in place for pain management. This may include medication, such as an epidural, or alternative methods, like hydrotherapy or acupuncture. Pre-planning the decision to use pain relief options can help alleviate any anxiety or uncertainty about managing pain during labor.
You may not have given much thought to what you’ll wear during labor and delivery, but comfortable clothing is key. Loose-fitting, breathable clothing and supportive underwear can help you feel more at ease during this special time. Avoid clothing that is constricting or irritating, and consider bringing a robe or other cover-up for after the baby is born. Many women tend to forget that you will eventually need to change into clothes other than a hospital gown, so be prepared with something that will make you feel good after delivery.
Snacks and drinks
During labor, you’ll need to keep your energy up. Pack a bag with snacks and drinks that will provide sustained energy, such as granola bars, fruit, and drinks with lots of electrolytes. It’s also important to stay hydrated, so make sure to bring a water bottle and ask for frequent sips during labor (this is the perfect task for your support system to remember to encourage). Ice chips are an easy way to stay relaxed by having your mind focusing on something other than labor, while you’re also hydrating. Being prepared allows you to enjoy the foods that make you feel good and won’t lead to more nausea or stomach pain than you’re already dealing with.
While the main focus will be on the arrival of your baby, having a few entertainment options can help pass the time during labor. Bring a book, magazine, or tablet loaded with your favorite TV shows or movies to keep you occupied. Another great option is to bring card games for you and your support system to play during the waiting period. Anything that keeps your mind occupied is a great option. Labor and delivery can be a long process, so filling up those moments with some entertainment can help make the time pass by quicker.
It’s important to remember that every delivery experience is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. The important thing is to have a positive and supportive environment. In addition, communicate your needs and preferences to your healthcare provider. Labor and delivery can be overwhelming and exhausting, but it is also an incredibly rewarding and special experience. As a parent, the love and joy that fills your heart when you hold your newborn for the first time is indescribable.
By preparing for the unexpected, you can make the process a little smoother and more comfortable. Remember to have a support system in place, consider your pain relief options, wear comfortable clothing, bring snacks and drinks, and have entertainment on hand. The delivery process may not always go as planned, but it is an unforgettable journey that you will cherish forever. Congratulations on your growing family!