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11 Secrets to Have in Your Labor Bag—For Women Only

11 Secrets to Have in Your Labor Bag -For Women Only

In my third trimester I was practically bed ridden (read story here) so I was able to do A LOT of research on pregnancy related topics. Yet, even after reading over 15 different hospital packing lists I still didn’t know about these  ’11 secrets to have in your labor bag’.

I first found out about these ‘secrets’ when a few family members told me that I would want them with me in my hospital labor bag. I didn’t even know a lot of them existed, but trusting them, I packed everything they suggested and I am very grateful I did. I used every one of the items I had and was sooo thankful to have been informed before hand. Since having a baby I have found out about a few more helpful items and have listed them below.

UPDATE- I had my second baby and packed the other items I found out about (from many wonderful readers as well). As a result, I was in far less pain, recovered faster, and felt much more prepared by having all of these items with me and for recovery at home for my second labor. So thanks and keep your suggestions coming!

Note: It is good to see if your hospital will provide some of the items below. Ask them how many they will provide and if you will be given enough to take them home with you. Some hospitals do provide some of the items on the list but they usually do not send you home with a sufficient supply to last you throughout your healing process. The majority of hospitals do NOT provide ALL of these items so I recommend bringing them with you and what you don’t use at the hospital, you can use at home. That said, if your insurance is paying for them and (you don’t have a high deductible), then use up and take the stuff the hospital gives you as well.

This post is for WOMEN’S EYES ONLY. Sorry guys but its time to try another article. I recently wrote on how to save thousands on car care each year. It can be found (here)

The exception to the Women Only Rule is if you are reading this to help your significant other who is about to have a baby. In that case stick around, just beware you are going to read about some of the stark realities of labor.

I will start with the least embarrassing items and lead up to the more detailed towards the bottom of the list.

Note for mom’s who have had a baby already, this list may be nothing new, or perhaps you may have some additional items I should ad. In that case, please let me know in the comment section below.

In the interest of your privacy, all items are available on Amazon, AND most of them are eligible for Amazon Prime, which means you can have them shipped in 2 days for free. Which was a lifesaver for me when I went into prelabor 4 weeks early I hurried and ordered them and they arrived in time to get packed.  If you don’t have Prime, you can try it free for 30 days, which may be helpful if your due date is fast approaching!

Now for the items:

1- A robe that opens from the front, is thin enough to sleep in comfortably, and is short enough not to be in the way. I personally love this one. Once you have your baby you will be examined often. Having a front opening robe is very helpful so that you don’t have to ungown each time they want to look at your abdomen, press on your uterus (ouch!), and all the other stuff that they do. Further, when/if you breast feed it is much easier to do with a front opening robe. I also wore folded over stretchy cotton yoga pants underneath when company came. I recommend the color black in case of leaks. Don’t forget your nursing bra and pads as well.

2-Underwear. Personally, I was happy to use the hospitals disposable ones because I could throw them away. I even asked for a few extra to take home. If they don’t allow you to take extra you can order them here. If you are picky I’d recommend bringing your own. UPDATE- I did use the hospital underwear once my water broke and for a bit of postpartum healing but I quickly switched to Depends (I talk about them below) and was much more ‘leakproof’ with them.

3- Lanolin or other options. In case you haven’t seen this on other lists I’m putting it here now. Hospitals can get you lanolin but it has to go through the pharmacy. To avoid the pharmacy charge I just brought my own. This is for your nipples chapping, cracking, and bleeding (fun!) when breastfeeding. If you are allergic to wool don’t use Lanolin. Here is a non-lanolin cream. You could also you can use vitamin E oil as suggested by a reader. Another reader highly suggested organic unrefined coconut oil as it is easier on the baby to consume.

4- Breast pump (my favorite found here). If you don’t know how to use it, I highly recommend taking your own in with you. This is because the lactation consultants may want to help you use it for your first time. I REALLY wished I had taken mine in to make sure I was doing everything properly and so they could confirm that I had the right size horns for my breasts. Note- a lot of insurances provide a breast pump free of charge (with your maternity deductible).

5- Soft correctly shaped ice packs. These are wonderful for your nether regions after labor!  These ice packs are a Godsend! You can sit up in/sit on them comfortably and they will help numb all the hurting areas. I don’t know what each hospital does but mine just stuffed newborn diapers or plastic gloves with ice and they were really thick, lumpy, and painful to sit on or move around in. According to many people, many hospitals do just use newborn diapers stuffed with ice. Or they don’t give you ice packs to take home for the healing process.  UPDATE- I took these ice packs to the hospital and LOVED them!!! You pop and shake them to get them cold (you don’t have to freeze them), they are absorbent, and super comfortable. I do recommend using the ice packs they give you at the hospital when you are going to be lying down and sleeping as the ice stays cold longer; but then wear these when you are sitting up, having visitors, driving home, breastfeeding, walking, etc. because they are SOO comfortable. They are absorbent too. I used them often in the week and a half following labor and ended up with one left, so I found this box had the perfect amount.

6- Nipple covers like these (I can’t tell you how much these helped me breast feed!). Sometimes breastfeeding isn’t the easiest thing for mother and baby. I had multiple lactation consultants and it wasn’t until they suggested I use these that I was able to get my son to latch. They are great for flat, inverted, or sore nipples. They create a latching shape by wearing them in your bra or under a tight shirt (not while breastfeeding). When you take them off the baby can easily latch on to feed. They are also just great for airing out, drying, and not having your nipples sitting against a pad that can be wet or scratchy. I am using them right now as my daughter is breastfeeding and there is a huge difference when I am not wearing them vs. when I am. When I wear them regularly, they prevent me from getting sore. Another nipple shield that helps a lot of people but wasn’t helpful for me are these ones. You wear them while the baby is nursing. For my four tips on a successful breastfeeding experience click here.

7- Numbing spray. Thanks to a reader I have now found a NEW SECRET item that was so awesome I had to add it to the list. It is a numbing spray for the nether regions called Dermoplast you can view it here. MAKE SURE ITS THE BLUE KIND. The red cap actually aggravates the area (thanks to those who commented below). Another brand is called Lanacane found here. You simply spray it on the area that is causing pain and it numbs it for you. Genius. Some hospitals provide this. Some don’t. Update: I used Dermoplast with the blue lid and it was very very helpful. I think I used Dermoplast longer than most everything else because it killed the pain/itch when the stitches started healing, itching, and dissolving!

A reader suggested below: “The Dermoplast is crucial but I also recommend the Earth Mama Angel Baby Mama Bottom Balm. I believe it also comes in a spray. You don’t need to take it with you (use the Dermoplast) but it’s great for recovery at home. It feels fantastic and smells really good too.”

8- Squirt bottle. Most hospitals give you a squirt bottle like this to clean with after using the restroom. This helps a lot as toilet paper would really hurt… They will give it to you to take home but you may want to order a few to have at home as well so you can use a fresh one. Or to save money simply sanitize it often. This is also a great buy (this pack includes 3) if you have more than one bathroom so you don’t have to move the bottle from bathroom to bathroom.

9- Trust me on this one. Take bed liners for kids! (or ask the nurses for some at the hospital). You fold it in thirds (absorbent side facing outwards) put your pad on it and then put it in your underwear. (If you don’t like the thick cheap hospital pads, take your own). With the bed liner pad, and the other standard pad together, you now have what I call the ‘Super Duper, Extra Extra Long, Highly Absorbent, and As-Non-leak-able-as-possible Pad’. With how much bleeding there is after labor this is especially helpful. Using this pad will help you to avoid doing an inordinate amount of laundry the week after you get home from the hospital. Using this pad for the first two weeks I never leaked once which is pretty impressive – if you’ve been there before you know what I mean.

Update: I actually used the bed liners this time for a different purpose. Once I started contracting I used it on my bed during the nights I was in labor (in case my water broke) under a few towels for the ride to the hospital after my water broke to prevent soiling the upholstery, and for right after the hospital (in case of leaks) but I used the next item instead for a pad…

Thanks to many other readers I have updated this article with yet another secret item. They suggested to just wear Depends (Maximum Absorbency adult diapers) like these. I really didn’t know if they would hold/absorb everything but apparently they do! Next time I’ll try them out for sure. If you don’t want to wear an adult diaper the super pad works great too.

For my second, I used Depends (even at the hospital instead of the huge pads) and I found them to be very comfortable and reassuring. I never leaked through. I will be using these next labor. I bought a large package and they lasted me about as long as I needed before switching over to a regular pad.

10A-Tucks wipes for hemorrhoids.  Many women get hemorrhoids in the third trimester or in labor. They are extremely painful. Luckily, I had packed the Tucks in my bag and was able to use them in the hospital which helped a lot with the pain. I used them for weeks after labor as well. What was bewildering to me is that I had a few midwives and nurses recommend them to me but they don’t supply them at the hospital. They kept telling how wonderful Tucks were for the pain and to get them on my way home. They were surprised when I told them I had brought some with. I was so grateful to have them there at the hospital because I was in a lot of pain. A reader said she got Tucks spray which I never knew existed, it is kind of hard to find in stores but you can find it here on Amazon. While I was looking at the spray I also found an ointment you can use as well. Some readers suggested putting Tucks on the ice packs so that the witch hazel in them can soothe the area.

Update: This hospital did provide me with witch hazel pads but only enough for my two day recovery there. I also placed Tucks on the ice packs and they were very relieving! I also used my own for about 2 or 3 weeks following labor. My OB said it is common for hemorrhoids to get worse with each labor and take a little longer to go away with each as well so keep that in mind if this isn’t your first, you may need more Tucks than the last.

10B- Toilet healing Sitz Bath– Due to wonderful readers’ comments I’ve found yet another very helpful secret. Sitz baths are especially helpful (according to my readers and tons of Amazon reviews) for hemorrhoids and tears. This particular one fits into any standard toilet. Apparently, you run warm water and the Epsom Salt through and sit/soak for 10-20 minutes and it helps a lot with the pain! I’ll definitely be trying this (even at the hospital) next time around.

Update- I did use a sitz bath in the weeks following this last labor (I think about 3 times and it was helpful with the pain and made me feel really clean and sanitized).

11-Suppositories- If you have an epidural (which can lead to constipation), an episiotomy, a tear, a c-section (which can lead to constipation), or hemorrhoids having a bowel movement is most likely going to scare you. Hemorrhoids are very painful and if you use suppositories they will help immensely. I used them a few times the week after giving birth and they proved extremely helpful. You can find generic in a small bottle for a few dollars at a drug store.

11B- Birthing Ball (slip resistant and anti burst)- Most hospitals do carry this, but if not I found a birthing ball extremely helpful during my labor (my birth story with tips that I learned can be found here).

Update– The first hospital I went to had only 1 birthing ball and another lady in labor and I struggled with who would be using it. So the next hospital I went to I asked and they only had 1 too. So I bought my own. It proved very useful because my baby was positioned weird when I went into pre labor and I used the birthing ball a lot to get her into a better position. Further, When I arrived with my birthing ball at the second hospital, they were grateful I did because another girl was using the one they had. Just remember to take the pump in case you want it more firm.

Pack these secret items and you will be prepared for the worst case scenarios and be able to enjoy your sweet little baby even more.

Bonus Item: I am reluctant to share this just in case neighbors or friends read it but I guess I’ve already shared enough embarrassing things -another one won’t hurt. I bought  this Bellefit girdle.  It helps with getting your stomach back to its normal pre-baby shape.  The girdle also helps with back strain, with carrying the baby, nursing, and with posture. But mostly I bought it for vanity reasons. It will make you look about 10-20 pounds thinner. My family was commenting on how great I was getting around and looking just 5 days postpartum… little did they know it was due to the Bellefit. It is very very durable I can say this without reservation because it has held up well even after daily use for over a year! If you want to read my review of its pros and cons you can here.

Overall I gave it 4 stars on Amazon. Could they improve it a little? Yes. Do I wish they were cheaper? You bet! But I can honestly say I will always own a Bellefit as long as I’m giving and recovery from giving birth (or wanting to look thinner). They have proved themselves over the 13 months as the top and best postpartum girdle (or girdle for anyone who wants to look slimmer) to me hands down.

UPDATE- I am still using the same Bellefit as I did with my first son and its held up well. I don’t think it will last a third recovery, but to survive through two is pretty good.

UPDATE- Another item I discovered recently is the Owlet Baby Monitor. It is a smart sock that monitors the baby’s oxygen just like a hospital monitors oxygen through our skin. It alerts you if the baby’s oxygen levels drop and has very plausibly saved two of my friend’s baby’s lives! It’s simply amazing! You can read an honest and unbiased review on it here. Or here. You can buy an Owlet or learn more about them on their site here.


So there you have it. All my postpartum recovery secrets revealed. I hope they were helpful!

Here is the list of EVERYTHING  I packed in my labor bag  for my kid’s dad and myself, as well as my son’s overnight packing list when I had my daughter. I had everything I needed and wanted. Some people in the comments have said I way over packed. But I had everything on this list (besides the birthing ball) PLUS all of our overnight stuff, and the babies outfits and things in one suitcase. It really didn’t look ridiculous for us to come in with one suitcase and a birthing ball at all. We also had the car seat we brought in later.

Labor Packing List

Are you more of a minimalist? If yes, this post is for you.

minimum labor packing list


Having a C Section? Don’t miss this list!

laborbag for C sections


For other ‘rich living’ and pregnancy tips make sure to subscribe, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Pinterest.

Oh and here is most next most popular pregnancy article on how I saved over $10,500 on my son’s first year.

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246 Responses to 11 Secrets to Have in Your Labor Bag—For Women Only

  1. Kasey says:

    I would be a little weary of using nipples shields while they are wonderful in you are in a lot of pain it can be extremely difficult to get off of them. (personal experience) of course you will know what is right for you though, I highly suggest using the lactation consultants even if you think you don’t need them! It would have saved me a lot of time and money. You can also make your own mommy version of tucks if you saturate new born diapers with witch hazel and aloe vera and freeze them it is amazing!! Also when I delivered the hospital provided a numbing spray which you can find at any drug store or pharmacy that was pretty wonderful!

    • Anita Fowler says:


      Thank you so much for your comment. I will look into that numbing spray. That is something I would like to add to this list because it sounds AMAZING! Making your own tucks is a great idea. Lactation consultants are wonderful. They helped me a lot! And yes the nipple shields were difficult to get off but the nipple shell (the one that helped me and that I used the most) came off very easily and is only worn when you are not breastfeeding. It helps create a good shape for the baby to latch onto. Thanks again.

      • Geneva says:

        I used the nipple sheilds WHILE breast feeding. (The second link in your post). My daughter tended to suck on her tongue, so the nipple shield was bigger than my nipple and forced her tongue flat so she could latch on. They were a life saver for us – I agree, it was impossible to nurse without one. Once you start, it’s hard to ween them onto your normal nipple. But I never had any discomfort with nursing, because it shielded my nipple. I had a lot of warnings with keeping it clean – can cause mouth infections on baby. We didn’t have a prob with that. My only complaint is that they are clear and completely disappear ALL THE TIME. someone needs to invent a glow in the dark option!!!

        • Anita Fowler says:

          Geneva- Thanks for this helpful comment! Yes that type of nipple shield did help me as well! I love your idea to have them glow in the dark. I actually thought of that for binkies too. I’m sure there are probably glow in the dark binkies out there, but it is tough to find them at 3 am in the morning without disrupting the household! Thanks again!

    • Robynn says:

      Having inverted nipples and latch issues with both my daughters the nipple shields are a life saver when used right though. I discovered these with my youngest and they allowed me to nurse. My issue was that both my daughters had slightly undercut jaws when they were born and it took them about a month to grow out of it. Compound that with inverted nipples and by the end of the first week nursing became the most miserable intensely painful experience. I only used the shields for the first month and was told by some that I would cause more problems than had I not, but they allowed me to get through that rough time much more easily than with my oldest. Baby #3 should be here any day now and these are already in my bag.

      And the numbing spray (Dermoplast)–awesome. Hospital #1 sent me home with it ( the red top). Hospital #2 was not accommodating to post partem women (in any way) so I had to fend for myself on that one!

  2. Denise says:

    I totally second bringing your own pump. I hated the hospital pump and didn’t have a choice but to use it.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Denise, Thanks for your comment. It is very important to have your own pump for sure especially if you will be meeting with lactation consultants which most hospitals and birthing centers have.

    • dani says:

      No one should pump that early pp! Ever!

      • Anita Fowler says:

        Dani- I’m not sure if you read the reasoning why I suggest you take the pump to the hospital. I didn’t suggest taking the pump to the hospital to begin full on using it. I suggest taking it to ask the lactation consultant (who is usually there right after labor) if the horns are the right size, if everything is working properly, and to show newbies how to use it. I was watching youtube videos from home that weren’t done well to figure out how to use my pump. I’m a visual hands on learner so I really WISHED I had taken my pump with me.

      • teresa says:

        Just fyi, there are a variety of reasons someone may have to pump and I wish I did have my own because the hospital pump and my pump were so different. I had to pump for the first 24 hours because my daughter was rushed to the nicu and I had been on magnesium for 2 days and they wouldn’t allow me to leave my room for 24 hours after my c-section.

      • Cassie says:

        Actually there are many reasons for pumping right after giving birth. My son was also taken to the NICU after delivery and I was not able to immediately breastfeed. I pumped so I could develop milk supply and use the colostrum/milk to feed him via SNS attached to my breast while breastfeeding in the NICU since he needed more and to avoid using formula. He also did not have a good latch due to tongue tie (which we isn’t find out til day 3) and that actually decreased my supply and I had to keep pumping regularly at home while we taught him to latch on correctly.

        • Anita Fowler says:

          Cassie- Thank you for sharing your experience. Breast feeding, esp with a baby who has to go into the NICU is difficult. Another great reason to take the pump with you.

      • julie says:

        Sometimes you have no choice… I didnt…my daughter took a good 3 days to start nursing so I had to pump and bottle feed her the entire time we were in the hospital…

  3. Jessyka says:

    I know it sounds crazy, but I wear an adult diaper to bed for about a week or two after I get home. It helps me sleep knowing I’m not going to wake up in a pool of blood at 1am, in between nursing.

  4. Megan says:

    I nixed the crappy mesh underwear and ridiculously thick pads and just wore depends. They were pretty comfy… Considering.

  5. Andria says:

    Your article was very helpful! I am due in less than 5 weeks. I am off of work for the rest of my pregnancy and have to stay off my feet due to extreme swelling of my ankles so I’ve been scouring the internet trying to make sure I have EVERYTHING I could need for my hospital bag. Some of the things you listed I managed to get on my list and some I never would have thought of. I don’t care if I over-pack, like some moms have commented to me, I want to be as comfortable and ready as possible!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Andria- I’m so glad you found it helpful! I’m sorry about the swelling in your ankles. Pregnancy is tough! Yes, my motto is ‘Its better to have and not need than to need and not have’. I was in the hospital for 6 days and I’m so glad I packed everything! This is not to scare you, I just kept contracting and not progressing even after my water broke. I had a wonderful staff and they just let me labor for 4 days until the risk of infection was too great and I was put on pitocin and 10 hours later my sweet baby came (no C section needed). I was just so happy I packed as much as I did! Good luck! The joy of having a baby is just amazing.

  6. Nic says:

    Another handy hint I was given and it was a beauty was buying mens underwear for after the birth. The extra room – down there – allowed for the extra bulk of maternity pads and they feel nice and snug around your legs with the thicker, sturdier elastic. I also took a ‘sarong’ in for my birth rather than a robe. I’m from Australia so I’m not sure if that’s what you call them over there…they are the light cotton wraps that you would get from ‘Bali’ clothing stores (Thailand stores) usually in bright beachy colours. I have kept mine (it is rainbow tie dyed) and plan to make a keepsake for my daughter out of it.

  7. Barbara says:

    I am 31 years post-partum but have daughters and daughter-in-law in prime birthing years. One daughter has C-sections and the others have vaginal births and three different hospitals are used. Your list is very good. Some additional things you might want to consider. Ask if your hospital uses a heat lamp to help with episiotomy care. One hospital provided the lamp and the other did not. There is also a foam spray that can be used on the episiotomy stitches to help keep them from becoming itchy. These two items were not explained to me until my last day at the hospital which wasn’t cool since I had a level 4 episiotomy. One last point, I was told to use the lanolin before my son arrived to help condition my nipples. It did help. I was also told to “toughen” my nipples by rubbing them with a dry washcloth and gently squeezing and pulling them. I did the washcloth but didn’t manually manipulate them (was just too weird for me). Wished I had obeyed the instructions because my nipples cracked and were very painful. Since then I’ve suggested to my girls that they do this (or get their husbands to help). One didn’t the first time and then decided to with the next baby. She was happy she tried it. The others listened to their big sister and conditioned their nipples before the babies arrived. Blessings to you and your readers as you bring new babies into your homes and your hearts. As much as you love them when they are little and new, you’ll love them more as they age. Each age is so special and each age brings more enjoyment.

    • Anita Fowler says:


      Thank you for the great suggestions! I have never heard of a heat lamp that is a great idea. and the foam spray for the stitches are also another fantastic suggestion. Prepping the nipples is something I did do and I think it helped but it was still pretty painful because my son had a weird latch. :(… but I’m glad I at least prepped them a little for the pain! Thanks again for you comment.

  8. Kellie says:

    Be careful with the Dermoplast spray. I was given some, but decided to get an extra can since we were traveling so much for the holidays. One is made for spraying on your sore bits (blue can), and another one contains things that would make your sore bits worse (red can).

    When my son was born, he had to get flown to the NICU 200 miles away. I was discharged 11 hours after I delivered. My boppy pillow was my best friend. It allowed me to sit comfortably without extra pressure on my very sore lady bits.

    • Anita Fowler says:


      Thanks I didn’t know that about the red and blue cans. Yes pillows are amazing for sitting! Wow that sounds scary about getting flown to the NICU. I hope everything went okay. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Karissa says:

    I absolutely swear that the Depends are awesome. It was like a horror show after giving birth every time I went to the bathroom and the Depends were amazing at absorbing everything. Plus they did an amazing job of holding the ice packs in and against me. After getting home I was absolutely shocked by an uncontrolled bladder moment and the Depends were a lifesaver. I didn’t realize bladder control was going to be an issue so I was so glad to have them on. It was great not to worry about sitting on my furniture.

  10. Denine says:

    Our hospital provided most of what you said here, including robe, squirt bottle, suppositories, etc. one extra thing they had made up, were a bunch of frozen wet pads in a plastic baggy. So comfy and conforms right to you. You could just put them under your pad. Also, a hemmerhoid pillow for the way home and at home. There’s a lot of sitting and, even without hemmerhoids, if there’s some bad tearing, etc, you’ll be thankful for it. Good reminders for next time :). Love that depends idea!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Denine- Oh that is great, you were pretty lucky then. My hospital and many of my friends and extended family (spanning multiple states) hospital’s didn’t provide a lot of these items and if they did it wasn’t enough for the healing process afterward. A pillow sounds great as well as frozen pads. Great ideas. Thanks for commenting.

  11. Haley says:

    Okay, so me & my husband don’t plan on babies for about another year and a half, but I have to say, this has prepared me! I will definitely have some Depends when the time comes! Thanks!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Haley, 🙂 that makes me smile. Yes have some depends and the other items as well. Its a great thing to have apparently. I thought my super pad was about as good as it gets but next time I’m just going with the depends.

  12. Kaitlyn says:

    Hi! I’ve had two vaginal births, and the first one was a DOOZY! My advice to anyone with a bad tear is to buy a sitz bath and follow the directions in the box a couple of times a day. It’s basically a sterile, warm bath that is just for your nethers 🙂 The hospital sent me one home after my first, but not my second, which was a much easier delivery (in the hospital bathroom, actually 0_o).
    Also, using a hair dryer on a warm, not hot, heat works well as a replacement for the heat lamp. It increases circulation, and for me, reduced the stinging I always felt after showers and sitz baths because of the moisture. I’m due with my third in September, so I loved/hated this reminder of the realities of childbirth! Haha!

    • Anita Fowler says:


      Great tips thank you! I’m sorry about your first. That must have been tough. I’m glad your second was easier and I really hope your third is even less painful!

      thanks for the comment.

  13. Veronica says:

    All great tips! I hate that so many people have not had these things provided to them though. My hospital was great with the supplies and had most of the things you listed here.

    A Tucks pad tip I discovered, put a layer of tucks pads on top of your ice pack. BEST FEELING EVER! My hospital had disposable form fitting ice packs which they filled with pebble ice (very important tip, too!) so I could put it right up against my lady parts/stitches/hemerroids, and having those Tucks pads on top of that as an extra pain relieving layer was the BEST.

    • Anita Fowler says:


      Yeah from what I’ve heard/observed hospitals vary a lot on what is provided. Did they give you enough supplies to last through your recovery period? If so that is awesome! Most people I’ve talked to didn’t even know about a lot of these tips unless they had had a baby before. Great suggestion on the ice. That is the kind of ice my hospital had (that they stuffed the newborn diapers with). Granted the ice was better being the pebble kind, but it was still rather uncomfortable to use those newborn diapers. Next time I’m bringing a cooler (or having a family member bring) a cooler filled with the shaped ice packs I mentioned above and layering tucks on top. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be the best 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

    • Kate says:

      I will definitely be using this tip! I just wrote it in my “pregnancy” notebook. I hope to conceive in the next year. I hope ladies on here don’t think I’m a total weirdo researching all this pregnancy stuff now. I’m am just obsessed and researching makes me feel slightly included in the “bump” crowd I hope to be part of soon 🙂

      • Anita Fowler says:

        Kate- Researching is so awesome to do early! I highly recommend it. Somethings that happened while I was pregnant I was totally unprepared for and I wish I would have known before hand. Thanks for the comment.

      • Julie says:

        Kate~you’re not alone. We’re going to try to conceive next year and I have been researching for about a year now! I feel better prepared and ready for next year even if I have to reread some things:)

        Anita~ thank you for this amazing list!

  14. TiffanyS says:

    I brought prunes for my second birth. Wow I wish I’d had them with my first kid. Prunes or any other items you know will give you the easy trots.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Hahahaha I LOVE this! Thanks for the suggestion! I’m going to have to try that out next time as well. Prune juice is a laxative as well.

      • Kathleen says:

        I was also going to suggest prunes. Can even stuff them with peanut butter. They definitely work and very quickly in some cases.

        • Anita Fowler says:

          Kathleen- Yes prunes is another great thing to take. Thanks for the helpful comment.

          • Kelsey says:

            I’m 10 weeks preggo, but used to be a nurse on the post partum unit…We had a little trick to make the prune juice a little more palatable- melt a little pat of butter and mix it in the juice. Sounds so super weird, but it makes it taste so much better!!

          • Anita Fowler says:

            Kelsey- Wow what an interesting suggestion! I will have to try that out! Thanks for letting us know about it!

  15. Melody says:

    I love these suggestions! I learned a lot after my first baby (emergency c-section) about what to take to the hospital and overpacking is something I encourage! I took depends to the hospital with my second baby and they were awesome! No worrying about things shifting around while you are sleeping. One other thing I would add to the list is face cleansing wipes. When you are stuck in bed, especially that first day or so when you can’t move around much, it’s nice to be able to wash the sweat and whatnot off your face, put on a little moisturizer and powder without having to try to hobble to the bathroom.

  16. Elisa Apo says:

    I love the black yoga pants suggestion. Used them for two emergency c-sections and was super happy they had elastic waist so I could wear real clothes for my week stay in the hospital. I bought them at Ross and then didn’t worry if I needed to toss them after I got home. I loved that I could at least look semi-presentable for visitors and not have any pressure on my incision.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Elisa- Yes they are wonderful to have around. It is important to a lot of people to look presentable, so for that reason they are great. I know I was happy to have them when my guests came as well!

  17. Maureen says:

    I have 2 children already and am due with #3 this August. I had all these things for both deliveries and was so glad to have them. One thing thats really nice is putting the Tucks pads in the refrigerator. So soothing. Am convinced about useing depends this time. Something to add to the list that I liked are boxer shorts for being in your room, cleansing face wipes, and dry shampoo spray. I’ve always taken a shower as soon as i could because it always feels so relaxing and refreshing. Just use mild soaps cuz it always finds its way to sensitive areas.

  18. Chris says:

    Just a quick word of advice to mom’s who are allergic to wool–do NOT use lanolin on your nipples!! It will make everything worse because it is made of a wool derivative. Please believe this voice of experience…

    An alternative I found helpful is vitamin E straight from the little capsules you normally take by mouth. Make sure to buy d-alpha and not the synthetic dl-alpha vitamin E. (Remember dl means don’t leave the store with it).

    Enjoy your babies!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Chris- Yes another reader pointed that out and I forgot to mention it so thank you for commenting. Make sure you aren’t allergic to wool before using Lanolin. In addition to Chris’ suggestion on the Vitamin E capsules (which is brilliant actually) there are non-lanolin nipple creams as well. Thanks! Anita

    • Kate says:

      GLAD you posted this info! I am highly allergic to wool. Thanks for saving me money and horrific itching etc in the future 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      A cheaper alternative to nipple creams is “Bag Balm.” It’s original purpose was for dairy farmers whose cows had sore udders from being milked so much. However, it works wonders on sore nipples (similar to a cow’s sore udder) and has numerous other uses. Every woman in my family has used it without any problems … But remember, a little bit goes a long way!

      • Anita Fowler says:

        Stephanie- Great suggestion! I love Bag Balm and it is great for cracked and dry skin. And yes a little does go a long way!

        • jenneke says:

          BAG BALM makes an excellent diaper rash and everyday use on Babies Bottom. I used it for my babies and NEVER had any diaper rash ! Do not use Desitin – doesn’t work.

          BAG BALM is a wonderful ointment … USE it for a Babies bottom at every diaper change – never will have any trouble with diaper rash ! Can’t say enough good about it !

          • Anita Fowler says:

            Thanks! Destin works wonders on my son but it doesn’t do a thing for my daughter- so I hear you! I’ll try Bag Balm. I grew up using it on dry hands, cracked heals, etc. I’ll give it a try on my daughter. Thanks for the suggestion!

  19. Natalie says:

    I’m a L&D RN ice packs are great the 1st 24 hours and then are just for comfort after that. Bring a sitz bath or soak your bum in warm water a few times per day. Also if you make your own ice packs and tucks pads your hospital might not be able to store them in their freezer. Use the hospital ice to start with. I love it when my families are prepared. PS the heat lamps are not used anymore. If you forget a mild soap baby shampoo works great.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Natalie- Thanks for the info. I didn’t even know about the heat lamps. So its nice to hear from a professional about them. I loved having ice packs because yes they did numb and help the pain even after the first 24 hours. I was thinking of having visitors (i.e. my family) bring me a cooler with the ice packs in them if the hospital wouldn’t keep them cold for me. Anyway thanks again for your comment!

  20. Kat says:

    This list is so helpful. Every thing you listed I found very helpful after labor. I had an old Jamaican nurse who gave me everything you listed. I would like to add the miracle pain relief of a sitz bath. The tub fits on the toilet why you sit and the nurse pumped very warm water which flushes in to the toilet basin. I was cut badly and tore causing 12 weeks to heal. Then stitched way to tight. Terrible Doctor!!! I refused to walk due to the pain. That sweet nurse and her post labor goodies helped me a great deal. The numbing spray was a godsend. Also leaving my nipples out uncovered after feedings helped.

  21. Anita Fowler says:

    Wow that’s great to hear. Okay I’m adding Sitz bath to the article. Thanks again for this. and I’m sorry about your terrible doctor experience :(… Hopefully if there is a next time it won’t be as bad.

  22. Jara Christensen says:

    I have to admit I have not had any children yet, but this is good information to know for the near future 🙂

  23. Tiffany says:

    Ive had 2 vaginal births at different hospitals.
    The 1st was AWFUL with the exception of the lanacaine spray.
    My 2nd hospital had pads with ice packs ‘built in.’ I was SO grateful for them and my nurse was awesome to keep a stack in the bathroom for me. I had idea about ice.
    The red lanacaine thing is correct! ONLY use the blue. 2nd hospital had most everything and kept me stocked with all of not and a little stash or home. (Epidural worked and I tore worse but easier healing with #2).
    If you are having a bad latch while trying to nurse USE THAT CALL BUTTON. Call your nurse and get some help. Also look for tongue and upper lip ties. Both had super lip ties and #1 had a tongue tie as well. He tore my nipples up and still wasn’t getting full so I had to supplement. #2 they brought me a pump then didnt bottle feed her (SNS of some sort).
    #2 hospital has 1 OB/GYN, he is the only one for that hospital and delivers all his babies. So he runs the L&D and insists the mothers get whatever they want within reason. I got to drink water during labor.

    • absinthe says:

      My 2 cents worth is to bring a portable fan (02 cool brand–battery AND plug-in) and suckers for when you become nauseated during labor & then you are NPO and you’re thirsty, and chap stick for your dry lips. And one other tip, check to see if your hospital has a masseuse. If so, book ASAP. It may be an extra charge, but so well worth it! My hospital didn’t have one nor a Jacuzzi bath tub for water births (they looked at me like I was a three headed dog) when I asked. And the next month they started renovations in L&D and included my requests. There are some very lucky new moms in my “down in the boonies” town. And, one more, request watermelon, 90% water, has Vit C and the magnesium you are probably low in right about now. Easy birthing to all readers.

  24. Carey says:

    Great ideas and suggestions! Here are a few more that saved me with all 3 of my babies!! Cabbage leaves for painful nursing – (REALLY!!), Miralax for constipation, and pantiliners or pads instead of disposable breast shields…My milk came in very quickly and I had a tendency to become extremely engorged. This was so painful and made it nearly impossible for the babies to latch on and nurse.Lactation consultants suggested warm washcloths and warm showers which never really helped me. With my 2nd baby a consultant from Ireland taught me about the magic of cold cabbage leaves! ( you can do some internet research to learn more!) The cold cabbage leaves have natural amino acids that help to relieve the engorgement and soften the breasts! Place the cold leaves on the breasts & leave the nipple exposed. You can lay down or wear them in your bra just prior to nursing. It’s amazing for relief!! Secondly, because my milk supply was excessive, I continued to leak for a year- the entire time I nursed!! I found that using soft panty liners or pads ( sometimes cut in half) worked better and were far less expensive than nursing pads. Last ( but not least!!) to solve the post delivery ‘ painful potty problems’ I too experienced I used Miralax that I brought with me to the hospital and continued until I wasn’t constipated and was no longer deathly afraid of having to strain or push anywhere ‘down there’!! Miralax is amazing!! It is natural, non-habit forming, has NO taste, completely dissolves in liquid and far more effective than any still softener around!! Good luck ladies!!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Wow I love all of these ideas! Thank you so much. I like the preventive aspect of using miralax. Gonna have to try that next time. I had heard about the cabbage leaves but I ever did try them but thanks for the testimonial, I will try them next time. Using pads or pantiliners cut in half is a great way to save money and repurpose. Thanks again!

    • Michelle says:

      I always thought the cabbage leaf thing was a crock…until I decided to try them out of desperation. Ya, I totally get it now. lol. Cabbage leaves are awesome. 😀

  25. Rose says:

    Old physical therapy trick: mix 1 part rubbing alcohol to 2 parts water (some recipes say 3 parts water) in a plastic zip bag, put in freezer but it doesn’t freeze hard, it’s pliable. May be an economical solution to consider. Can’t say it would be comfortable down there, but might work.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Rose- Thank you for recommending that! IT may work in smaller snack sized ziploc bags :). Great idea!

      • Britt Nicole says:

        I’m not sure it this was mentioned or not but the best tip I found was squirt witch hazel on a maxi pad and freeze it. Much less messy than an ice pack!

        • Anita Fowler says:

          Britt- Thanks for the comment. Yes, a few people did mention that in the many comments above, but thanks for writing about it again! It sounds like a very helpful thing to do!

  26. Leslie says:

    I am due with my 3rd in July and have had most of these in the past. My youngest is 9 years old ( yes its been a while, I just got remarried this last year.) First off I plan on using depends, suggested by many of the newer mommies around, second the miralax IS amazing I have been super constipated this entire pregnancy and nothing but the miralax has worked. ( I usually take it with apple juice) take once a day but if that is too much and makes you too runny try every other day. This is a great list to have for questions when touring the hospital and I will definitely be writing my questions down from this list.Thanks again!!

  27. Dawn says:

    My mother told me to bring my own “good” brand of toilet paper… I thought this was rather odd so I asked for the reasoning behind it. She told me ” Well you know how that ol’ cheap stuff feels in a ‘normal’ situation, well this isn’t a normal situation”. Needless to say, even though I had to have emergent c-section, still my own soft toilet paper felt scratchy enough I would hate to know how hospital grade toilet paper would feel after a vaginal delivery. :/

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Dawn- thanks for this suggestion, great idea! I didn’t use tp (the nurses told me not to) except when I had a bowel movement (sorry tmi). So It’s a great idea though for sure the scratchy cheap stuff that is typically supplied to hospitals is not fun to use. Thanks for this suggestion I’m sure it will help others.

  28. Kate says:

    This is a great list! I can tell you from experience that these are all great ideas. I do have one suggestion though. As far as numbing spray, for the love of all that is good and right DO NOT BUY THE ONE WITH THE RED CAP! You linked to the blue ones, I hear those are fantastic and I really wish I had had it. I will definitely bring my own next time. The one they gave me at the hospital with the red cap has antiseptic and if you have tearing it is almost literally like someone set you on fire.

  29. leah says:

    Note on the Tucks pads – they’re awesome but NOT flushable. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that, cuz DUH, but an emergency plummer visit was not on my postpartum list of things to do. I found a little Tucks spray bottle at Target before I delivered but haven’t been able to find one since. Also, if you’re like me, getting to the delivery room without hemmoroids does not mean you’ll get away scott-free. For some reason, I went from crazy regular to pretty much… Well, super toilet-clogging powers and major discomfort at warp speed. Get the stool softener NOW.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Leah- Yeah I thought I got away with no hemmoroids either, boy was I in for a surprise! Thanks for the info on the Tucks pads, good to know! Tucks spray sounds amazing. Here is a link to it I’m going to have to add it to the article, great idea thank you!

  30. Kristen O. says:

    I TOTALLY wore Depends after I gave birth. I went to the website and ordered a few samples (I had them sent to everyone in my family). It was nice not having to worry about leakage and extra laundry. The dermaplast spray was wonderful; but started to add to my irritation after a few days. I suggest that you use it sparingly. I had several nurses tell me to make sure that I emptied the supplies in our room every day and take it all home.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Kristen- Thanks for the input. I love that you had them sent to everyone in your family. :). Good to know about the dermaplast. Yeah, if you’ve paid for the supplies, why not take them?

  31. Charity says:

    Instead of using newborn diapers for ice packs, take some super long overnight pads and spritz them with water then freeze them. They are already the perfect shape, and much more comfortable than diapers. You can stick them in your freezer ahead of time so they will be ready when you need them. Also the adult diapers/underwear work great. I’ve never had any trouble with. Make sure you get the pull on kind though. Also I always keep a supply of disposable bed pads on hand. They give you added security when sitting or laying down in those first few days, then you can always use the leftovers to change some of those messy blowouts on.

  32. Randi says:

    These are all awesome suggestions! I had a friend that put a postpartum package together for me as a gift for my baby shower. It was super thoughtful and was definitely used! As a first time mommy it was really nice to have someone who had experienced childbirth give me things I would most definitely need. Now I put postpartum gifts together for all of my first time mommy friends. The one thing I add not on the list…. Soothies. They are gel nipple covers that are a godsend if you have sore cracked and bleeding nipples! My best friend in getting through the first 3 weeks of breastfeeding! Good luck to all you future mommies out there and remember when in doubt have your experienced mommy friends on speed dial!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Randi- What a wonderful thing to put the packages together for your first time mom friends! I’m glad you loved soothies! Honestly I have heard mixed reviews. I tried them and didn’t love them, but many other people do love them too. They didn’t work for me, but I’m glad they worked for you!

  33. Karly says:

    These are great! Since I had a c-section a lot of these were not as necessary for me, but the girdle you mentioned was amazing! It helped so much to make me feel like I could stand up or sit down without my insides falling out!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Karly- I’m so glad you got that girdle! Since I didn’t have a C section I couldn’t review it for that, but I’m glad you wrote and let me know that it was great for it as well. I honestly felt like the girdle was holding my stomach and body together which is nice after you feel so ‘out-of-sorts’!

  34. Karen says:

    Great article! I used senekot (oral pills) rather than suppositories. They are “stool softeners” — I think the slogan is something like “they don’t make you go. They make it easier to go” or something like that. Also, I had horribly cracked & infected nipples & was given a prescription for Neuman’s nipple cream. It changed my life! Lanolin soothes but this stuff HEALS. Finally, I would recommend taking a hospital tour & finding out what your hospital will provide. My hospital provided almost everything on your list. Having kids is so expensive & chances are you may have a huge hospital bill so I would recommend finding out what they will give you before spending a ton of your own money.

  35. ashleigh says:

    I also suggest Ural. I had so much tearing that I couldnt even pee after having a cup full of ural I couldnt even feel the tearing. My tearing was so bad I was using ural for 2 1/2 weeks after my son was born 🙁
    Ural gets rid of the acid in your urine so it doesnt sting.could have other names in other places but this was a life saver when I had my son. Xxx

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Ashleigh- Wow, I’ve never even heard of this! Thanks for sharing. I remember the first time the nurse made me go I sat there and cried. Finally I just forced myself to do it, but yeah when you tear it is painful and scary, so this is a great ‘secret product’ to go on the list as well!

  36. Ashley says:

    IF your water breaks and the fluid keeps coming.(both pregnancys this has happened) I suggest to put a trash bag down on the seat along with a few towels for the ride to the hospital. Will help protect the seat from getting wet. Learned that the hard way the first time, second time I remembered to bring a trash bag.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Ashley- Great idea! My waterbroke in the hospital so I never had to worry but I can imagine that a plastic bag and towels would be VERY useful if it were to have broken elsewhere. Thanks!

  37. Shannon says:

    Lansinoh for nursing pads and nipple cream is the best! This is one item you don’t want to skimp on.

    Blue, scented bags to put dirty diapers in. Don’t just tie the handles. Twist both handles tightly to get a good seal and then tie it a couple of times.

    If you are very sore and they do not offer one, ask your nurse for a donut before leaving the hospital. Your bottom will thank you after the ride home.

  38. Trisha Brown says:

    After having my daughter I had a lot of pain from my stitches drying. The nurse cut a pad in half, moistened it with water and put it in the freezer. Talk about pain relief! The coldness is so refreshing and when it starts to dethaw it moistens your stitches! That was a big lifesaver for me!

  39. Lori says:

    I loved the Depends! They are SOOO tall though. I cut off the top half so they felt more like regular panties.

  40. Bernadette Torres says:

    In the third trimester, with all 3 pregnancies, Ibought a package of Depends (the underwear looking ones, not the diaper ones). When my water broke with my first 2 at home I put those on and didn’t have to worry about leaking through my clothes on the way to the hospital. And they really came in handy postpartum, because I would wear them with a pad and didn’t have to worry about ruining my underwear or leaking onto my bed! T recommend them to all expecting mothers, it gave me one less thing to stress about!!!!

  41. Elizabeth says:

    Our hospital provided the neatest ice packs that were easily recreated at home. They used a plastic glove filled with ice (like you get at sonic)the small crunchy kind, wrapped in a thick gauze with tucks pads on one side. Actually pretty comfy and easy to get to fit the way you want. After we got home my husband was kept busy running to the local grocery store deli for the right kind of ice.

  42. Dahiana says:

    Can you still wear the belle-fit if you have a vaginal birth? I read the reviews on amazon and most people there say they had a c-section….

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Yes they are worn by both those who have c sections and vaginal births. I gave birth to my son vaginally. It was very helpful for many of the reason stated above. The corset style is the most popular C-section style because it has a front that opens. That’s maybe why the reviews were mainly by women who had C sections. I liked this style a lot. There are other styles that are great as well.

  43. Leigh says:

    I had a c-section with my first so I can’t comment to most of the items you mentioned, but I loved lanolin for sore nipples. One thing I used when I went to the bathroom are flushable wipes (they are with the TP at our store). Much easier on me than the hospital TP and I felt cleaner. I am due with our second in about 6 weeks. I have no idea if this baby is going to let me have a VBAC but I am about to buy some of this stuff just in case! Thanks!

  44. Ginger says:

    I’ve seen others have made the same comment but the one item that was so helpful for me and that I ALWAYS bring to friends who are in the hospital with their first is Depends. No woman even wants her husband to know that she’s wearing them but they are by far the best, most comfortable option. I always bring them wrapped in a pretty bag and tell my friend to open next time they are alone (in the bathroom) and every time they have thanked me tremendously. I’m pretty shameless and made my DH go buy them for me but again, best thing EVER!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Ginger- Thanks so much for your comment. It adds to the conversation! I totally am just wearing depends when I have the baby I’m now pregnant with.Thanks again!

  45. kmr says:

    soaking a sanitary napkin, and then freezing it works well as a ice pack 🙂

  46. Lacey says:

    My first birth was a lame experience with nurses who completely ignored me because I didn’t want to get an epidural. The second was an amazing Home birth with midwives who had the best tips and advice to get me through with the least amount of pain. First tip is perineal massage with olive oil @ 36 weeks. This can help soften the tissues so the baby can pass through without tearing as easily, if done faithfully. The process also can help increase natural oxytocin (the love hormone) that can help labor progress without using patocin. Second I gave birth in a birthing tub. Virtually no ring of fire! The baby just slipped out after 3 pushes! Third don’t let them convince you that you should push because of how dilated you are. We just let the labor progress till I got the sensation to push (you all the sudden wake up and feel like you need to have the biggest BM of your life!) When pushing slowly down let the perineum stretch so it doesn’t tear. If you’re straining to push then you’re doing it wrong. Breathe the baby down. Imagine your vagina is a rose blooming. The more you can relax your face and rest of your body during this process the less pain. I moaned through my labor not because I was hurting but to help my body to relax, low octaves open sphincters, including the vagina. Practice when you go #2. Fourth fear increases pain and closes sphincters prolonging the labor. That goes for annoying relatives too! Don’t let too many extra people in the birth room! An ounce of prevention will go a long way in a quick recovery time. I have more but you all probably think I’m crazy as it is. Home birth is not for everyone, It is a safe alternative for introverts like me who have low risk pregnancies.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Lacey- Thanks for the ideas. I had to laugh at the feeling like you need to have a BM part. I gave birth on the Navajo reservation in a hospital with the lowest C section rate in the US. Tuba City. It was a wonderful experience although I was in labor for 4 days. Ultimately to save me from a C section I had to use pitocin but I labored down and the midwives let the labor progress until like you said I thought I was going to have a BM. I kept telling the nurse and midwives, I think I”m going poo. Finally when the urge became too great they told me to start pushing. I pushed for 5 minutes and my son came out. It is important as they mentioned to allow your body to ‘labor down’ and to get the baby almost out before pushing. This saves the mother lots of energy and allows your body to get the baby in position before pushing. I love your ideas. They aren’t for everyone (high risk pregnancies and like me I don’t progress in labor. Just like my mother. We contract for days without real progression, even after our water breaks)… but I think they are excellent ideas and everyone can learn something from your experience 🙂

  47. Sherri says:

    When your milk comes in and is leaking everywhere I cut a sanitary napkin in half, peeled the paper off the back and stuck it inside my bra to help soak up extra milk until everything gets regulated and it worked beautifully.

  48. michele h says:

    the pads and ice pack thing is thing is to put them together if you take small baby diaper like infant size or size 1 and open one end to the cotton part and shove some ice up in and then tape it back together. the super absorbency of baby diapers holds both your stuff and numbs the area and you can change it like u do a pad. And do it at home is your baby’s diapers that you should already have lots of and a bag of ice and some medical tape to tape backup

    • michele h says:

      I would even just put the numbing cream and witch hazel pads directly on the diaper and put it in my underwear was awesome

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Good idea. I just didn’t like how thick and lumpy it was in those spots that already hurt. It may work if you do it yourself and not stuff it with too much ice as well. The way the midwives did it was to stuff it totally full and it was really uncomfortable. thanks for the comment!

  49. Coral says:

    Hello! I’m a couplet care nurse (postpartum moms and healthy newborns) and the hospital where I work provides nearly all of theses items. Tucks pads, benzocaine spray, peri spray bottles, lanolin (with no pharmacy fee), the correct ice packs for sensitive areas, nipple shields if needed and Sitz baths if needed, not to mention plenty of disposable underwear. I agree that all of theses items are very useful during recovery but perhaps on your hospital tour you can ask what may be provided for you so you can have less to pack for the big event!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Coral- That is so wonderful! Which hospital or state do you work at? I think its a great idea to ask and see what they will provide. In my experience and friends’ and family’s many of these items were not offered and if they were they were not given to them to take home. You need them for more than 24-48 hours post partum. Thanks again for the info!

  50. Melissa says:

    Hi! I had my first baby in November. He is just over 7 months old. He came four and a half weeks early, so I agree with some things in this post…
    First, bring your own breast pump if you have one. I used the hospital one to supply my son with milk while he was in the special care nursery. We rented one for a bit once we were home, but I wish we had went out to buy one before he was born. Second, as for wearing depends instead of using the bulky pad…I wore the pad in the hospital the first day. Then after I was able to shower, I started using the depends and put on yoga pants, a nursing bra, a tank top. (They can still check you with the adult diaper on). BEST DECISION EVER! I wore the depends until the bleeding had stopped and I never once had to worry about leaks. And, they are actually comfortable and no one knew I was wearing them.

  51. Allison L. says:

    Best things my midwife recommended was depends and lightly pouring witch hazel on pads and freezing them. Best things ever! I had stitches and ‘rug burn’ down there so the frozen pads were amazing.

  52. Nicole says:

    I think this photo is really misleading… I don’t think any of these items are “secrets” and I can tell you that I didn’t need to pack any of them except for the undies. The hospital provides a lot of these items and then most of these I would find to be superfluous! Do you have a post on what you actually packed on top of these items by chance?

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Nicole, I’m sorry you feel like this list that hundreds of thousands (yes its been read by that many) of women have found useful- superfluous. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, many hospitals do provide these items, but mine and most I’ve asked around about did not. If they did they provided only one or two or not enough to make it through the recovery process. Had I not had these items with me and at home after being discharged, I would have been in a whole lot more disarray (bloody sheets, clothes, couches, constipation, hemorrhoid pain, general pain, discomfort, etc) without these items. I felt passionately about sharing what I found to be sooo useful and that others have commented were very helpful with the pain and healing in postpartum days. I hope you can respect that and kindly go elsewhere for a list you find more pertinent.

    • Rianna Bateman says:

      What an ignorant comment. I realise this is an old thread but I have to say, I’m reading this from the UK and because we do not pay for our medical bills (they are covered by our National Insurance payments) we do not get ANYTHING extra from the hospital. I am a first time soon to be mum and I have learned more from reading this post and the comments than I have in all my other research.

  53. Samantha says:

    Hi Anita! Thanks for your article.
    Regarding the Bellefit girdle, did you use the Side Zipper one or the front hook-and-eye closure? Did it show through your clothing much?
    Thank you again!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      I bought two. The larger one was the corset and yes you can see the clasps under tight fitting shirts. I liked it for postpartum care. The smaller one was the one with the zipper on the side. You couldn’t see the zipped on that one. I’d recommend the corset for post partum care for sure. Good luck!

  54. Adrienne says:

    I love this. There were quite a few items I wished I had known about before i had my son. The one thing I would add to the lanolin section for nipple chaffing would be trying coconut oil. It’s great to help prevent chaffing and I didn’t worry about my son ingesting it, it’s really quite good for you too. I also rubbed it over my belly when pregnant, I didn’t get many stretch marks, but I had that dry tight belly skin, the coconut oil worked wonders. You can pick it up at the grocery store.

  55. Sidney says:

    I’m amazed to read this list of “secrets” because my hospital provided almost every one of these for me! I guess I just assumed that most hospitals would take care of you like mine did!

  56. Carol says:


    Thanks for the great article and I noticed you keep up with all the comments. Luckily, my sister in law had a baby 9 months before me and shared some of these gems, and though the hospital did provide me with some of these, my husband still had to go to the pharmacy to buy enough for me to have once I got home. This reminded me a little of another blog I read after having my first, have you ever heard of the Undie Sundae? I copied the link below. It’s funny and contains a lot of these ingredients. I am definitely going to try Depends this time, though because the bulky shifting pad thing does need some improvement. Thanks for the timely reminder and the links to where we can buy this stuff online. Last time I looked all over for a sitz bath in stores and nobody had one. This time I will buy one online, as I think it would be much more comfortable to sit on the toilet to soak my nether regions than getting in and out of a tub, not to mention having to clean it every time beforehand for fear of introducing any bacteria to my open sores!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Carol- Thanks for the comment! You are so welcome! I’ll check out that post. I wish you the best with this pregnancy. I’m pregnant and plan on taking and ordering these items as well! I’m glad you were able to find the sitz bath toilet seat thing… I plan on using one this time around too!

  57. Bethany says:

    Great article! I’ve been through this once and am gearing up to do it again in January. I was lucky enough that my hospital supplied many of these things that I still have extras of (Tucks, the awesome disposable underwear and massive pads!). I didn’t have a robe that opened in the front, but from what I remember, whatever I was wearing worked fine for what they needed to get to. One thing I was glad that I had, however, was a black stretchy camisole. That’s what I ended up wearing under my hospital robe and for much of my stay there. Since my baby was early and on the small side, the staff encouraged skin to skin contact. It worked great to put him under my camisole and we snuggled for hours that way since it held him in place. I’ll definitely bring one of those again 🙂

  58. E says:

    Lansinoh breast pads were the best of all the brands I tried, and I tried a TON! Any other brand and I looked like an escapee from a wet t shirt contest. I also picked up a tip from a mom friend, a maxi pad cut in half can substitute for breast pads in a pinch. Also, instead of filing diapers with ice simply soak and freeze, the gel holds the moisture and freezes fairly well.

  59. Silvia says:

    The nipple shield is a lifesaver! I have very large breasts and it was very difficult to hold them in the proper position for the baby to latch on. One nurse suggested the shield with my first child, and using them, I was able to nurse each of my three kids to their 1st birthdays. Use whatever you need to make life easier on yourself!

  60. Erica says:

    Another thing about the Tucks pads, their active ingredient is witch hazel. Witch hazel itself or the Tuck pads work wonders when the new baby gets those little baby “pimples”, red spots or scratches. It’s highly soothing to the affected area and seems to make the pimples fade within 12 hours.

  61. Michelle says:

    Hi Anita,

    Interesting list, though I must be in the minority because of my 3 births, all of these items were provided to me (in 2 different hospitals). I worked in a 3rd hospital that also provided these items.

    I just wanted to point out – you’ve mentioned needing items “through recovery” – the ice packs for vaginal delivery are only meant to be used for the first 24 hours. In addition, having an LC fit you for your breast pump flange immediately postpartum is pretty useless – your nipples and breasts will swell and change many times throughout lactogenesis and the size flange you use will correspondingly change. Also, nipple shields should only be used with LC supervision as they can have a drastic impact on your milk supply. Bringing your own lanolin is a good idea with the recent shortages – sometimes the hospital cannot give as many samples out as they normally do.

    Although there are some reasons to pump immediately (NICU baby, jaundice, weight concerns) – the hospital grade pump is better than any personal pump you could bring (actually, hand expression is even better!) and for the majority of women who do not experience these issues, pumping should not begin until 3-4 weeks postpartum.

    Of course items like the Depends and robe are a great thing to have, I would limit the items you bring to the hospital.

    Just a couple thoughts from a lactation consultant and mama of 3 (with #4 on the way!)

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Great points. I did mention to check with the hospital at the beginning of the post just because from what I’ve heard what is provided to new moms varies greatly. I mainly wanted the LC to show me how to use the breast pump and give me an estimate on the size of horns and/or show me how to gauge is they fit right etc. I appreciate your advice and comment it was informative thanks 🙂

  62. Jessica S says:

    The witch hazel in the Tucks pads is great for your sore parts/healing from stitches, too! It helps swelling go down much faster, keeps the area from drying out to the point it just itches all of the time and helps heal the tender tissue faster. I had a 4th degree tear and fix with my first baby and wore the Tucks pads for weeks and didn’t have any pain hardly! I used them liberally with my 2nd and 3rd babies and healed faster than anyone could believe! Plan on doing it for whenever a 4th comes along, too!

  63. Kari says:

    This is an amazing list for me as a first time soon to be mommy …. I am 32 weeks and would rather be overly prepared than not. I will be getting everything on this list as a just in case. Thank you so much for taking the time to help and educate new moms to be like me.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Thank you for leaving such a kind comment! I wish you the best with your labor and yes it I agree-I’d rather over pack than under pack and wish I had some of these items! A common saying I go by is, “It is better to have an not need, than to need and not have!”… thanks again.

  64. RSS says:

    Very interesting article and great tips. I’m not a mom, but have heard that bags of frozen peas make great ice packs that easily “conform” where needed. Not sure if they would be too bumpy, though.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      RSS- simply for hygiene, infection, and sanitation reasons I would probably not recommend putting peas in that area… but they do work great for bruises, swelling, etc. on other parts of the body. Thanks for the comment

  65. shari says:

    Thank you so much for this list!
    I happen to google adult diapers etc lol for post delivery and came across your list. It is awesome and I wish I knew and prepared all these 7 years back in my 1st pregnancy, would have saved me all the discomefort and pain. I am preparing for my 2nd by dec/jan, this is a lifesaver, god bless! (:

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Shari- Thanks so much! I’m so glad you found it! I appreciate the comment and best wishes for the next birth. With these items I’m sure the recovery will be much more comfortable!

  66. Nicole says:

    Know list is a little old but wanted to share. For the bed savers we picked up doggy training pads, unscented. I was able to find them in any dog department and they were cheaper than the ones sold by depends. Plus I had more quantity choices instead of a huge pack. They will be doing double duty as baby liners as well 😉

  67. Amanda says:

    I love the idea of using depends, I will definitely be trying that out. My suggestion came from my midwife, she took maxi pads (for menstruation) and soaked them with an herbal tonic for healing and stored them in Ziploc bags in the freezer before delivery. That way it was very simple to attach them to underwear post birth for nether discomfort. AND they didn’t drip or leak because they were designed to stay in place and catch fluid. Thanks for the list 🙂

  68. Tiff says:

    I used most of these suggestions with mine. Good list. One suggestion: I looked into getting a girdle before labor but they were expensive for me. So at the hospital when I was feeling “loose and empty” I asked the nurse for extra belly bands like the ones they use to hold on external fetal monitors. I wore it for weeks and it really helped me feel more like my normal self.

  69. Hana says:

    me and my fiancée are trying for a baby and I feel so naive and a little scared at the potential after birth experiences from reading this article! I live in the UK and will definitely be asking my midwife what our hospitals provide!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Hana- please don’t be scared. I find that having the healing items necessary made the recovery much less painful. Also knowing what to expect beforehand is important. You may not have hemorrhoids, you may not tear or have to have stitches if those things do not occur your pain will be significantly less than someone who has those two things happen. You can expect the pain to last 1-4 weeks depending on the intensity of the delivery. I healed up almost entirely by week 3 or 4.

  70. […] 11 Secrets to Have in Your Labor Bag—For Women Only … – After reading over 15 different hospital packing lists I still didn’t know about these ’11 secrets to have in your labor bag’. I’m so happy I packed them!… […]

  71. Pattie says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I’m due July 1st with my first (at 35 yrs old) Im pretty terrified and uninformed, I really did not know any of this and none of my mommy friends are trying to scare me so I just knew that I wasnt getting the whole labor and recovery story. im doing this alone so I’m so glad I found your article so I can have all of this prepared for myself when I get home. I can’t thank you enough

  72. Sydne says:

    Bellefit all the way baby. I have had 3 kids by C-section and the best feeling is when I get home and slip into my bellefit. It decreases my pain and helps me take WAY less pain medication because nothing is jiggling around everytime I cough, sneeze, laugh, get up and such. Yes, they are expensive, but if you think you’ll use it for more than one child it’s worth every penny. They are very durable and well made. I wore mine for about 6 months daily, washed twice a week, two separate times and I’m planning on using it again this summer. I tell everyone I know about bellefit because it has made such an impact on my recovery both short and long term. Most people who see me are very surprised at my figure having had 3 kids and pregnant with my 4th. I owe it all to the bellefit. Nuf said.

  73. Preparing for Labor D-Day: Bug Out Bags | Niki's Blog says:

    […] Anita mentioned that she put everything she needed in a suitcase. See her hospital bag tips here. A suitcase would have been ideal but my husband insists that he can carry everything just fine. (I […]

  74. […] I thought I’d need- so I wanted to share mine as well. This is a mixture of items from Live Like You Are Rich, Floraspeed, a list from our lamaze teacher and items I felt like I would want. I should add that […]

  75. Cassie says:

    I just thought I would share a couple of things I found helpful. First off, the hospital I was at had this soap that was clear liquid, that smelled a little like baby shampoo, but it was GREAT for the squirt bottle. I put a little of the soap in the water, shook it up, and squirted away. It was great for getting cleaned and I didn’t feel like I needed a shower every time I went to the bathroom. Another thing I found helpful was feminine wipe. These are great when you go home to use in place of toilet paper. They get you clean, but they don’t fall apart when you wipe, and, like I said, you can really get yourself clean with them!

  76. Lara says:

    Thank you so much for all the suggestions…this makes me feel so much better as a ftm due May 6th! I think I will def try depends. This is a silly question, but when determining the size you need, it goes on waist measurement. How do you determine what your waist will be after delivery and what size to get? Also, did you all use sillouette max absorbency? Did you cut the tops down like some suggested and how did that work out? Thanks so much!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      I went up a size from my normal size. They are quite stretchy so take your normal size and go up one. I did not cut the tops off. I’d say do what feels most comfortable to you. I got the pack with over 20 in it. I was a little worried I’d run out. I used them all except one so I’d get the pig pack. Best of luck!

  77. Becky says:

    To go with #4 be sure to at least bring a hands-free pumping bra. Not much space and I really really really really wish I’d had it for our first. After chapstick, it’s the first thing I’m putting into my hospital bag for future children.

    You can probably survive the hospital pump just fine/figure out your own at home… but you can’t unspill the colostrum you worked so hard for because you were startled while exhausted and holding the flanges to yourself while your daughter was under an oxygen hood in the NICU…

  78. Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for this list! When I had my daughter I read a million “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” books, blogs, lists, etc. I talked to girlfriends and attended a birthing class at the hospital. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right place or I was in denial and wasn’t listening, but NOTHING prepared me for the recovery from labor. Thankfully the hospital did provide most of what’s on your list but it would have been so nice to have these things for when I got home instead of having to go out to the store. I’m due with my second baby at the end of August and will be much more prepared this time around.

  79. Denise Lictawa says:

    Guess I can add to the list a bit…Hand held shower nozzle is a must..You can get one for 20 dollars and hook it to your shower with a bit of teflon tape…store the other nozzle and put it back later….every time you go to the bathroom take all the stuff off your bottom area and hot soak your lady parts including your breasts ahhhhhhh heaven pat dry soft towel..You recommend the cold compresses and I say the heat is much better but to each her own….To prep your nipples for breast feeding wear a wet tee shirt and no bra as often as possible for the last month of pregnancy…you’re pretty uncomfortable anyway so the added chapped nipples isn’t too bad then…by the time the little one is there the nipples are ready to roll…great idea to take your own breast pump and for first time moms the baby doesn’t suck on the nipple..The babies mouth should be past the nipple…I also recommend getting in a pool as often as possible the last month of pregnancy..It takes the pressure off…It’s heaven..Make sure you aren’t alone when you do because when you come out of the pool your legs will be numb and you’ll need help walking but the sooner you can get somewhere to lay down the better because it’s the best sleep you’ll have had in months..The bathrobe that opens in front is an ok thing to suggest but oversized mens shirts from Salvation Army(2.00)are perfect. They hang down to your knees just throw them out when they are soiled..look pretty cool too..Just wore that with depends, a nursing bra and comfy thick socks for about 10 days…Smell was obnoxious to me so Bath and Body Works room sprays and mists or any essential oils are perfect…a tiny bit and all that yucky smell is gone..helps to make you feel fresher and more awake …I like the lemon or Japanese cherry blossom but there are many to choose from…I also recommend the Wahl 4196-1201 Heat Therapy Heated Therapeutic Massager for before and forever after….The xl soft mens shirts,the depends, the hand held shower nozzle,the pool,and the massager are my contributions you will thank me later

  80. Ashli Avery says:

    Hi there. Awesome list! I would rather be over prepared, so I am going for it all 🙂 Question…I like the idea of a girdle, but is there one that doesn’t cover your lady parts and just wraps around your stomach?

  81. Stephanie Koon says:

    When I had my daughter *cough cough* 7 years ago, my nurse told me to get the extra long super absorbent pads and pour witch hazel on them them with a little aloe then freeze them. Works great post delivery for soothing relief. They are really easy to do and keep in a container or big resealable bag in the freezer when your due date is getting close. That way they will be ready for when you need them.

  82. Kara says:

    Excellent post!! Does the bellefit work well with pads? I feel like it would be hard to close the between the legs part over a thick postpartum bleeding pad. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this before I spring for the high price! 🙂

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Kara- I didn’t wear it a lot immediately post partum. I waited a few days. By then the bleeding had slowed. The Bellefit does cause you to bleed a little heavier but I had no problems wearing it with thick pads. I just wouldn’t advise wearing it along with ice packs (that would be uncomfortable). Also the clasps in that area have 2 or 3 different lengths (like a bra strap) so you can give yourself more leway in that area. Best! -Anita

  83. Elizabeth says:

    How do you wear the Bellfit after birth and the thick pads I have heard such horror stories about? Would it even fit under the Bellfit?

    • Anita Fowler says:

      I didn’t wear it a lot immediately post partum. I waited a few days. By then the bleeding had slowed. The Bellefit does cause you to bleed a little heavier but I had no problems wearing it with thick pads. I just wouldn’t advise wearing it along with ice packs (that would be uncomfortable). Also the clasps in that area have 2 or 3 different lengths (like a bra strap) so you can give yourself more leway in that area. Best! -Anita

  84. Sarah says:

    I am packing everything on this list and the detailed list as I am due in 4 weeks with my first (OMG!!!). I was wondering how many Depends should I pack and how many perineal cold packs should I pack? Should I pack for a 3 day stay in case of a c-section, or am I being overly paranoid? It just stinks because you never know if you’re going home the next day or 2-3 days later! Thanks so much for your input!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Sarah- I’d recommend packing for 3 days. Again, I used the hospital pads for the few hours immediately after labor. I also used their uncomfortable ice packs for when I was lying down or sleeping because the ice lasted longer. But I packed about 15 ice packs that you pop and shake so you don’t have to worry about refrigeration, about 12 depends, and everything else. It all fit (with room to spare including baby and husband’s stuff) in a large suitcase. Good luck!!

  85. K.C. says:

    Hi, so I’m finally pregnant after years of trying! I’m just about 11 weeks and already planning for delivery! My question is about the depends. I am a small person (115 lbs) who would normally order the small size. But If I use these late in pregnancy and after the birth, should I buy a larger size? If so, how large? I’m afraid if I do that they will leak, but I also have no concept of how big I will become and how much that will increase underwear size. Thanks for any advice you can give! Great post by the way, I love that you link right to the products!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      K.C. Thanks! and congratulations!!! I would see what happens and how much you gain. When you are in your 8th month I’d just use that size. It is different for everyone but you don’t lose a whole lot of weight immediately after the baby is born. You’ll lose the weight of the baby and placenta but if you get an epidural you’ll gain water weight and be puffy and bloated. Depends are pretty stretchy so I’d go with the size you are at or one size down when you are about 8 months.

  86. I would add a sitting-donut to this list!! saved my…”downstairs” It took the pressure off my lady parts and was such a relief!! The hospital provided me with one but a lot don’t.

  87. Ruth says:

    Please reconsider recommending vitamin E cream or oil for chapped nipples. Vitamin E can be toxic to babies. Before using it please talk to your Doctor.

  88. Rosalie says:

    One thing that I loved when I had my first was the squirt bottle. The difference was that my midwife had me fill it about a third of the way with witch hazel (you can buy it at Wal-Mart) and the rest of the way with warm water. It cleanses and soothes and I used it every time I used the bathroom which was great when it hurt too much to wipe normally. You can even fill it two our three times in one sitting if you can reach the drink the toilet and it’s amazing!
    Another amazing truck my midwife suggested was taking sanitary napkins, soaking them with witch hazel and putting in the freezer. Then you can use them as soothing ice packs inside the depends or underwear.

  89. Courtney E says:

    I thought you might want to add that the Tucks Pads are also very helpful with stitches. I was taught with my fist that 3xday for about a week or more you do a 20 min. Sitz bath with the warmest water you can stand, then (after drying area of course) use the blue cap Dermiblast, then cover area with a few Tucks Pads. It is a big relief, having had to have stitches with all three deliveries.

  90. […] This is a good article for hospital bag stuff! The numbing spray for your downtown area really seems to help after labor!…_a5y_p=1775932 […]

  91. Jennifer says:

    Another suggestion that I loved post-delivery – this bidet:
    It attaches to most any toilet easily and is great for cooling and cleaning while healing.

  92. Natalie says:

    This is such a great article!! Thank you! I am having my first baby in November and this is by far the best list I’ve seen 🙂 I’m from South Africa so it might be a bit tricky to find the same products but I’ll embark on a massive shop / online hunt now!

  93. Melissa says:

    Great list! Im due at the end of September with my first, and as you can imagine very nervous! This is definitely a great list for newbies like me. In terms of tucks, I just bought a 40 pack. Do you think I will need more? Not sure how often these get used, but I would appreciate any insight!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      The hospital may provide you with a 40 pack. That was enough to last me 2 days and I needed them for more like 2 weeks. You use 2-6 per change (depending if you put them down on your pad or ice pack to help with the pain. I’d recommend asking your hospital if they provide them and if they don’t I’d def. get more. If they do save your for when you get home.

      • Melissa says:

        That’s good to know! I also read about thayers witch hazel pads for hemorrhoids relief. A lot of people use them for their face, but it is apparently great relief for down there as well!

  94. Hanna says:

    What size birthing ball do you recommend?

    And thanks for this article, so helpful!

  95. […] goes into detail on what she’s packing in her bag.  She even has pictures! Live Like You Are Rich 11 Secrets to Have in your Labor Bag is spot on. Need to know what to leave OUT of your hospital […]

  96. Sherry says:

    May I suggest not suggesting lanolin, aside from it’s nastiness, and possible allergies, it’s not safe for the baby either.
    Coconut oil! No need to wipe off safe for baby works amazingly for sore/cracked nipples AND as a rash cream for baby’s bottom. Feeling up to it, as lotion for you skin too. As long as tour not allergic to raw organic unrefined coconut oil that is.

    Loved the majority of this article.

  97. Olivia says:

    Thanks, this is amazing! But everything in here is shareable with guys – every spouse should read! Thanks for posting

  98. […] Also, I thought Anita (from had a pretty good list of things you should include in your labor bag. […]

  99. Amanda says:

    This has been an extremely helpful post as I am trying to pack and plan for my first delivery. I am definitely planning on purchasing depends, but I am wondering how you decide what size to get. I don’t want to get something too large and end up having leaks. This is my first baby and although I know people say I’m going to be around the size I was at 6 months right after I am having trouble anticipating what size that will be.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Well they have a ton of stretch so I’d go with the smaller size of the two you think you’ll be in. The side panels both stretch a ton so you should be good with sizing down from where you are at say 7 months. the water and swelling I’d say seven-eight months is more like how you’ll look afterward!

  100. Amy says:

    Ural is good to take so when you urinate it doesnt sting.

  101. ohiograndma says:

    Fine job, Anita! I am making up lists for my working daughter who is expecting her second baby. Pinterest-addict-me congratulates you on these great suggestions, which I have pinned and shared with my daughter. Also, you have a blog – you go girl! The links to the products are terrific because you can just go there, buy them – voila! Bag packed with confidence.
    All that said, I am an herbalist and natural medicine enthusiast, so I have to comment that you can make many natural substitutes for purchased products yourself. Even hemorrhoid suppositories! It is not hard for me, because I can usually just go to my kitchen apothecary and find what I need to make it up on the spot. For those who want to do this, it is a wonderful alternative. Many recipes are available on Pinterest.
    Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas. May God Bless you in your continued success!

  102. Aly says:

    Sorry for the silly question, but I’m expecting my first in early June, and I’m confused a bit of the order of what to wear. Does it go:
    1) Your body
    2) Perineal Ice Pack
    3) Depends
    Do you need an additional pad in there?
    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

  103. Holly says:

    Thanks so much for this list Anita – I am going to be giving birth in December and now I have some idea of what I am going to need to take with me!

  104. Kelsey says:

    My best trick when I went home was storing the container of witch hazel pads in the fridge! I never kept ice packs on for more than a day coming home but a cold pad helped the itch so much better than a room temp one!

  105. AirwrekkaM8 says:

    Another handy item for the labor bag:

    Olive, apricot, almond oil for coating baby’s bottom before the first nappy goes to make cleaning easier.

    Doula Mum says: Put some oil on your baby’s bottom before you put on that first nappy. It is wonderful when it comes to the baby’s first poo. My goodness, when I think of trying to clean that sticky poo off my first baby’s bottom!! Second baby, with the oil on, it just wiped straight off. You will need to keep putting it on for a day or two until the meconium has all gone. Best oil are carrier oils (not scented) – olive oil, apricot oil, etc.

    Thanks so much for this post; I now have Urals and Metamucil ready to go, along with bathers and a few front opening gowns.

    Also taking our own pillow, on advice of a midwife – she said the hospital pillows are plastic-covered with a pillow slip over them, and they’re noisy and can make your face sweaty.

  106. AirwrekkaM8 says:

    There’s nowhere available for water births in Tasmania (Australia), but the Hobart Private Hospital allows you to labor in the bath (it’s a shared facility, first in best dressed) – so I also plan on bringing my own homemade bath salts – basically just salt with a bit of food colouring mixed in.

    Colour; as I assume the water might look a bit icky (labor sounds like a bloody sweaty mess), salt for muscle relaxation, and no added scent as it’s best to smell as ‘natural’ as possible for your baby to find their way to the breast, and recognise you.

  107. Beth says:

    The Dermoplast is crucial but I also recommend the Earth Mama Angel Baby Mama Bottom Balm. I believe it also comes in a spray. You don’t need to take it with you (use the Dermoplast) but it’s great for recovery at home. It feels fantastic and smells really good too.

    Also, while the robe is a great idea, I also love these nursing pajamas. Whether or not you’re breastfeeding, these are the softest, most comfy pjs i’ve ever owned.

  108. C says:

    So very helpful, thank you!

  109. Leslie says:

    I found the hospital squeeze bottle to be messy & hard to control, so per suggestion from a friend…I splurged on the Fridababy Mom Washer ; was sooooo happy I did. It’s curved nozzle ; soft easy to squish bottle is so much better. Comes with a carrying bag too. Definitely taking this for next delivery.

    Fridababy Fridet, The MomWasher on amazon here:

  110. […] When I was about to have my second, I was very concerned that the adjustment and learning curve would be like I had with my first. I was wrong. It wasn’t nearly as hard or difficult. The reason was that I had already learned and perfected many skills that I learned with my first. I learned how to change a diaper, swaddle, carry and burp a baby right, feed a baby, figure out why they are crying,  etc. All the practice and learning I went through with my son Denali set me up to have things much more under control with my daughter. Even the labor and delivery was easier because I knew what to expect from my body and how to heal. […]

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