What’s In My Hospital Bag? Natural Birthing Aids.

What's In My Hospital Bag? Natural Birthing Aids.

With my labor fast approaching, I realized I needed to get my tush in gear, revisit my natural birthing classes, and get organized for the impending trip to the birthing center where I will deliver! I CANNOT BELIEVE I’M LESS THAN 2 WEEKS AWAY!

OK, breathe…

I’ve had many requests to share what’s in my hospital bag, so here we go 🙂 I’m packing a lot of different things, as you never know what’s gonna work. I’m definitely OVER compensating from last time, when I barely backed a thing!

Here’s what I’m bringing.

Clothing

  • Comfy clothes: Loose fitting shirts with buttons for easy breastfeeding access. Yoga pants. Thick socks. Slip on shoes. Sweatshirts.
  • Nursing bras: For obvious reasons :). I love these ones.

Electronics

  • iPod with awesome labor soundtrack: I learned from my last birth that I need some rocking music too (rather than just peaceful) so I’m filling my iPod with Beyonce, Kate Perry, P!NK, etc.
  • Cameras, chargers, laptop, etc.

Tools

  • Back massager: I like this DIY one.
  • Rice socks: This handy contraption can do wonders for pain. Simply take rice, pour into a tube sock and tie at top. You can then heat in a microwave (most hospitals and homes have them) and put on tender areas.]

Natural aids

  • Magnesium oil: This wonderful magnesium spray helps to relax muscles and calm mama. I hope to use during labor!
  • Arnica Montana Gel: Great for muscle aches before AND after birth, I’m definitely backing a tube of this stuff.
  • Essential oils: a natural way to stay calm and relaxed, I’m packing lavender, clary sage, frankincense, ylang ylang and peppermint. (Most of these oils can be found in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit. Learn more here.)
  • Homeopathic remedies: Caullophyllum 200C or Cimicifuga 200C for cervix dilation. Gelsemium 30C and Pulsatilla 30C to keep labor progressing nicely. During the pushing phase, Arnica – 200C can help with pain and fatigue. For back labor, try Kali Carb 200C. For overall exhaustion, use Kali Phos 200C. Additionally, Arnica 30C every few hours or even every 1/2 hour after labor helps with soreness. Gelsemium and Pulsatilla can also induce labor or help breech babies flip.
  • Sitz bath sprayThis stuff is the BOMB and I will start using it immediately after birth to reduce soreness
  • After-Ease: This herbal tonic is supposed to help reduce the afterpains of birth (something that normally effects moms with multiple children)
  • Magnesium CitrateThis particular one is very strong and helps to ward off constipation which is common in postpartum mamas. Long-term, you want to chose a better form of magnesium.

Food & drink

  • Dates: reported to help ease labor, I’m packing these as a quick and easy snack. I like the ones rolled in coconut like these best.
  • Honey sticks: a great, easy form of natural sugar when I’m in active labor and don’t want to eat. I got mine at Whole Foods but you can get online here too.
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: I’ve made a very concentrated batch using this mixed with honey and put into ice cubes. That way, when the big day comes, I can pop a few in several Mason jars, add water and be good to go. (You can find recipe for a strong, labor day brew here.)
  • Nuts and seeds/nut butter: A mix of pumpkin seeds, pecans and sunflower seeds are always tasty. I also like these nut butters for their convenience.
  • Coconut water: High in electrolytes, this is the ultimate “sports” drink… and mamas, labor is a MARATHON! I purchased this brand.
  • High mineral sea salt: To balance out the high potassium content in fruit and coconut water, I’ll be taking tastes of high-mineral sea salt to keep me balanced.
  • Organic chamomile tea bags: A viewer swore that drinking this hot during labor made it go super fast. It was a “trick” she learned from her grandmother.

Overkill? Probably.

Again, I think I’m compensating for last time, when I pretty much just brought my clothes.

What do you think?

Am I missing anything? What did you bring? What did you wish you had with you?

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56 Comments

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  1. There used to be a video of what you packed in your hospital bag and I cannot find it anywhere! Where would I find it?

  2. I would also suggest something to pull your hair out of your face, some lip balm, and basic toiletries (even if going to a birth center, taking a shower after delivery is just glorious).
    And some clothes for baby of course!

  3. Im interested in all the Homeopathic path ic remedies you listed. Maybe a video or post on how/what part of labor you used them or even for what purpose you used them for. Thanks!

  4. When you talk about the Sitz bath spray, is that something similar to Young Livings ClaraDerm spray? Can it be used for the same purpose?

    • I bought ClaraDerm for that reason! In Debra Rayburn’s book Gentle Babies it says to use ClaraDerm for postpartum care. I’m 34 weeks so I have yet to try but have high hopes for it.

  5. Thanks so much MamaNatural for posting all these helpful resources. I’ve been checking out your posts on pregnancy. Since I live overseas in Taiwan, much of this knowledge is not common. You’ve been a godsend! So thankful for your site!!! Many blessings to you and your family! Keep doing what you do!

  6. What slip-on shoes were those in your “hospital bag” video? They’re super cute!

  7. Hey there! I JUST found you on Youtube while trying to find good resources to recommend to people for different aspects of natural childbirth. I absolutely loved your vlog on what made your 2nd birth so much easier, and the one about what you packed to bring to the hospital. I loved the book “Supernatural Childbirth” as well. Am going into labor any day now with my 5th child! I will also be in a birth center within a hospital. Really excited! Keep up the great work and the great energy! Happy to have found your site!

  8. Where can I find After-Ease herbal tonic? Is it something I make? I’m due in 5 weeks and I’m already getting my bag ready!

  9. i have a questions about Arnica Montana Gel, I’m due in a week and bought it after your recommendation, but I can’t find anything online about using it during labor. Did you just use the cream or you took pellets? Thank you so much

    • I use the pellets, personally. One every 15 minutes after labor for the 1st hour to reduce swelling, then every hour as needed.

  10. Can you go over what you actually used during and after labor and how you liked or disliked anything? I’m curious to see how everything went with these products

    • I second this comment!

  11. SOCKS!! lots of socks! If your packing a bag, youre obviously not going to be home so that means you’ll be walking around on someone else’s floor. My feet for freezing during labor and pushing. I gave birth naturally so there no drugs at play here, just some literally cold feet! I didn’t think a outs walking around during labor (I brought sneaker” but when your in transition or trying new pushing positions sneakers are not comfortable) and how much I’d being walking around after to and from the bathroom and then getting back into bed. I agree with your list here and I would add multiple pairs of socks :), your own toiletries, chap stick, maybe some light energy snacks (almonds..) and something to stay hydrated!
    For all the new moms to be- trust your body, you will love your natural childbirth, it’s so beautiful!

  12. Genevieve, I love your blog/vlog! You are way too much fun. I’m due in April, so you’ve got some time to respond, but I’d love to know what DIDN’T get used from your bag. 😉 meanwhile, keep nursing that sweet Paloma and loving on big brother Griffin and being the amazing wife and mother you are. Appreciate you doing this blog!

  13. Does anyone know if questions are ever answered? I was so excited to find this site, but I can’t get any response. : ( I am trying for a VBAC after two C-sections (one upland & one planned). I am aiming for an all natural birth as I do not want any interference this time.

    Does anyone know if Cimicifuga 200C for cervix dilation & Gelsemium 30C and Pulsatilla 30C to keep labor progressing nicely ( as she mentioned) can be used BEFORE labor and can Arnica Montanta tablets be used BEFORE for pain or is this only recommended during labor? I bought these after finding and reading your list & would truly appreciate some feedback as I am 39 weeks & 1 day and hoping I go any day now! If I go over, my OBYGN wants me to schedule a C Section because she does not want to induce me. : ( I have declared in God’s name this will NOT happen! I

    Also, I took some of the Magnesium Citrate for constipation. Is this not recommended during pregnancy? I thought this was OK. I noticed someone else asked this question, as well.

  14. Can you please share how you made your concentrated version of red rasberry leaf tea? Thanks!

  15. I’d love to know what you actually ended up using. 🙂

    • I would like to know too. I am currently purchased most of these items and am curious to know what you were extremely happy you brought along.

  16. Are you supposed to be eating while laboring? Why don’t they allow you to do so in a hospital?

    • It is fine to eat while you are laboring and outside of the hospital almost any birthing professional would recommend it to help keep blood sugars level and your energy up. The reason they discourage eating at the hospital is on the off chance that you have to have a c-section they want your stomach to be empty (like with any surgery).

    • My hospital allows eating and drinking during delivery (as long as there aren’t any situations that would prevent it) but i’m in Minneapolis where the hospitals I swear are in competition to be the most ‘mama friendly’ and delivering in their birth center with midwives (aka best of both worlds). The midwives actually encourage bringing snacks and drinks to keep energy up (but not ‘cheeseburgers…as we’ll probably end up seeing that again from you’)

      • I would just be careful with the snacks as you never know whether you might need a c-section. I labored for a while and had a very promising time but in the end after many hours of pushing still had to have a C-Section. Just saying.

        • Most c sections these days are done without using general anaesthesia, so you’ll be awake the whole time and have a low risk of throwing up/choking on what you had eaten earlier. Also, imagine you go into labor while you’re eating dinner or something… that food would probably still be in your stomach by the time you need a c section, but doctors don’t tell you just not to eat ever, just in case 🙂

  17. Hi! Please share your playlist!! I’m 37 weeks pregnant with my 3rd, just made the decision to birth un medicated and don’t have time to sift through music (I’m still nailing down a doula) :-0 All your recommendations have been such a help so far, thank you and many blessings. -Jill.

  18. I’m about 17 weeks behind you in my pregnancy (my second– she’s a girl, too!) and watching this got me so excited to meet her!

  19. I am just 3.5 weeks from my due date and have SOOO much to do.
    I need to get a move on! The bedding is in the mail, the bobby pillow was used and needs to be taken back to Target, the clothes need to be washed, no bag packed, no carseat installed….yikes!
    This video made me at least make a list of this to get.
    I am a first time momma and I know being organized/prepared will probably help me feel more relaxed 🙂
    I always enjoy your blog and vlog!

  20. Geniveve be careful with the homeopathic remedies in a hospital!! I was taking arnica montana before my scheduled repeat c section and they had to delay the operation three days because the anesthesiologist did not know what arnica is and thought I might bleed out! If you are hell bent on taking homeopathic remedies, I’d think twice about telling them.

  21. To encourage hard labor, my midwife gave me Wish Garden’s B&B Labor formula (Black Cohosh root, Blue Cohosh root, Blue Vervain aerials, Lobelia aerials, Scullcap aerials) and she had me place a few drops under my tongue and then use my breast pump for 7 minutes. I can’t remember how many times I had to repeat that, but it really brought on the contractions. Praying for a happy and healthy birth! Congrats to you and your family!

  22. Would you mind sharing how you make a concentrated batch of the red raspberry leaf tea to freeze?

    • I would love to know also!

  23. Thanks for the great ideas! Is the Calm Magnesium safe to take during pregnancy? Just wondering why you said that you would start it up after you give birth. I thought it was ok to take during pregnancy. Thanks!

  24. After reading/watching this I purchased a lot of these items (I’m due end of Jan) and I’m wondering if you used Arnica tablets or only the gel?

    • I’m just going to use the gel. I’ve heard great things though about using the tablets too.

  25. Hi,
    I second the coconut oil and I also had mothers milk tea to help with supply right away. I actually started taking it once a day once I reached 39 wks to kick start my milk…never had issues with supply:) best wishes on your L&D. xoxo

  26. How exciting! I won’t be having a second kid for several years, but my baby-fever made me want to see this video. You have so many homeopathic supplements with you in your bag. Do you ever think to yourself “Am I really going to use all of this stuff”? I know I overpacked for my first born and ended up not using half the stuff I packed. Better to overpack than be sorry, right?

    I pray that you have a wonderful and safe labor. Can’t wait to see your little newborn girl!

    • I know this is a bit much but I do some of it for this blog 🙂 LOL! No seriously, I want to report back to you what worked/what didn’t, etc. in hopes that it will help mamas when they go to pack. If it wasn’t for you all, I wouldn’t pack this much.

  27. Great ideas! You could add a small container of coconut oil – could be used for lip balm, as lotion for you or baby, or even on a cracker during recovery. I’m always ravenous after labor and coconut oil is so nourishing and good for quality of breastmilk.

  28. we had planned a home birth and when we transferred (not an emergency and all turned out well) we brought: NOTHING. after our son was born, we realized we had no camera, no baby clothes, no CARSEAT!! hahah good thing my mom was able to bring us those things and we went home a couple hours later anyways. 🙂

  29. For post delivery, my doula suggested “granny panties” or adult diapers (pull up style). You don’t have to worry about leaks and messes afterwards. Also, sanitary napkins pre soaked with witch hazel then stored in ziplocks in the fridge or freezer were very soothing when applied to sore areas. You know the ones!

  30. Hopefully your 2nd will slide right out and you won’t even open this until after she is settled in your arms. Blessings for an easy L&D!

    • From your mouth to God’s ears Megan 🙂

      • Sending prayers daily for you and all the other moms I know expecting in the next couple of weeks. Together you are all creating a women’s circle of strength. There seems to be a wave of girls within this couple of weeks. With my second I wasn’t even admitted into the birthing center by the time my baby girl arrived (in the cual none the less!). My fabulous OB was running up the stairs in her pajamas and arrived just in time for the placenta and to see me settled with my baby Hazel in arms. The nurses laughed as we signed the admittance papers a few hours post partum. Those seconds tend to progress in unpredictable paces. While on all fours pushing, I had to be reminded to throw off my pajama top to prepare for skin to skin, which we found in the corner of the hospital room on our way out. Try skin to skin with the sibling. My my son was three when my daughter was born and we did lots of skin to skin in the early days and throughout the first year. I can’t help but think it’s made their bond very strong. If it works for parents why wouldn’t it work for siblings? Sending you some more of my smooth second birth blessings ju ju. 🙂

  31. I gave birth at a private birthing center with my son. We packed so much food or so I thought… The only thing I got to eat was a banana but one thing I really enjoyed after giving birth was a glass of unpressed cranberry juice… Also, music kept me through the whole time I remember being so exhausted and feeling like I couldn’t do it got long but a relaxing CD my midwife had in my birthing room kept me focused. I will add a fuzzy blanket to your bag ;). Good luck you are looking so beautiful and happy more and more everyday.

  32. Wow this an AMAZING list. Thank you for sharing!

  33. Ooh! I have that same b/w polka dot nursing bra! I’ll be birthing (at home) in February and will hopefully get some good use out of it. I’ll be sending you good new-baby vibes as we both nurse in style, lol. 🙂

  34. I brought my own pillow from home, chapstick and I would bring shampoo for the baby’s first bath.

  35. Hi mama!
    So thrilled for you! My baby girl is due the end of March & I am so excited to follow your homeopathic lead! Just wondering- are you packing a bag for baby too? Will you be doing a video for that? I highly recommend Earth Mama Angel Baby soap for her first bath at the hospital- I’ve used their baby set (and postpartum goodies- hello new mama bottom balm!!! Godsend right there) all the way through year 2 with my son and adore it all. Johnson & Johnson is just too harsh!
    XO

  36. Let us know how the after pains remedy works! Baby number three made for some pretty intense contractions while nursing:( Sucked, but….my body was doing what it’s meant to, and I survived it:) My labor nurse said they get worse with every additional baby…I think we might be done!

  37. I hadn’t prepared a whole lot for my first birth, and though it was fine, I want to have a lot more aids this time, plus packing a hospital emergency bag just in case (we’re planning a home birth, and I didn’t pack one last time. It actually would have come in handy 6 days later when we realized I had some retained placenta and had to go to the ER twice). All I did last time was have lavender aromatherapy and use cold washcloths on my forehead, plus arnica and flower rescue remedy that my midwife had requested. This time I have a lot more essential oils, a diffuser, home-mixed herbs, and a lot of the stuff you recommend. I hope to make laborade and freeze it, make some sitz bath/peri spray for afterward, have more snacks on hand, etc. And I have After Ease and I’m so excited because even my first time I had to take ibuprofen afterward for the contractions, and I really don’t want to do that again, knowing it will be even worse. Thanks for sharing, you’ve inspired me to make a list!
    I was wondering, taking magnesium right afterward is an awesome idea, but would it interfere at all with your uterus toning up again?

    • Hmmm…. didn’t think of that. Perhaps I’ll wait a good 24 hours after birth before I start on the magnesium.

  38. I gave birth at a birth center earlier this year. While i was laboring at home, I soaked in a bath with castor oil and lavender oil. It was so great. Also, I made a track list of relaxing music on a youtube channel that played for hours. It set the tone for the staff which was calm, cool, and collected. Gen, consider throwing in a Japanese-style fan. If you get hot while workin’ it is nice to whip it out so your partner can fan you. It also really helped cool that ring of fire, believe it or not.

    • Chlorphyll. I hemorrhaged after giving birth and that would have brought my blood cell count up.

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