I packed my labour bag when I was 31 weeks pregnant and just a tiny little bit convinced I was maybe in labour. Spoiler alert: I was not.
I’m big into lists and organization, so I plan my labour bag in categories. My vast collection of wet bags allows me to keep all these categories separate in my suitcase. I’ve taped labels to them because I’m likely to forget which bag has what in it.
When packing your toiletry bag, just take what you would normally pack for a few nights away from home, but add in nipple balm and some extra lovin’ for your perineum.
As you know, I’m all about being low-plastic, low-waste in my bathroom, so my labour toiletry bag (which is a Funky Fluff clutch) is also pretty squeaky green.
- Toothbrush: Radius Travel Toothbrush with replaceable head
- Toothpaste: Nelson Naturals in a jar
- Shampoo: Savonnerie Natur’Rêve Solid Shampoo
- Face wash: Garden by the Sea “Clearly Beautiful” Facial Bar
- Face cream: Green Beaver Green Tea Facial Moisturizer (in a handy dandy travel container)
- Nipple balm: MoonLily Nipple Butter
- Peri-Spray: MoonLily Pericare Spray
- Les Produits de MaYa Liniment + Öko Creation Square Cotton Wipes
- Moisturizer : Les Produits de MaYa CoKa
- Lip balm: Lua Creamsicle
- Prescription meds
- Hairbrush, hair elastics and a headband
Not pictured but you might also want:
- Makeup (I have no idea, I don’t even own mascara)
- Deodorant (Fun fact: since detoxing my pits, I don’t use it!)
- A peri-bottle or similar, although most hospitals provide these!
Most of these items are pretty self-explanatory. In my quest to reduce plastic waste, I am giving toothpaste in a jar the old college try, and I actually quite like it. At first it was a bit too baking soda-y, but I’ve gotten used to it very quickly and use it every day, twice a day. I guess we will have to see what my dentist says at my next checkup!
Perhaps the only items you might not recognize would be the liniment and wipes. I use Les Produits de MaYa liniment for diaper changes, BUT it’s not just baby butts that can benefit from this gentle, creamy cleanser. I anticipate using liniment and my super soft wipes to clean myself up after using the bathroom and changing my postpartum pad. Too much info? Too bad.
I’m also eager to use (for the same purpose) my new Omaïki Tushy Wipes. As you know, I am an avid user of “family cloth,” but my collection of poop rags is just a bunch of randomly sized and very frayed pieces of flannel. Omaïki’s wipes are the perfect size—exactly what you’d pull off your regular roll of TP—and much gentler on the postpartum nether regions. Toilet paper just … sticks to things.
In terms of pain management, I also bring my microwaveable rice bag and Salonpas pain relief patches. These sticky pads make me smell like my Popo, and I don’t care. They provide great relief to my lower back and shoulders, which is where I seem to get the most aches after giving birth.
One of my mama pals has also given me some roll-on essential oils to pack. My dream of a candle-lit home birth shall never be realized, but at least my delivery of twins in an operating room (even if it’s a vaginal birth I have to labour in the OR) can at least smell like a home birth! (You can learn more about essential oils in her group, Essentials with Adrianne.) My “Mama” blend is orange, ylang ylang, tangerine and tansy.
With my first, I used disposable pads. They were sticky and itchy, but I had never really considered an alternative. With Miss Cub, I’d already switched to cloth for my menstrual cycle, so I was ready for washable postpartum pads; I just didn’t have that many. I used some cloth diaper prefolds while at the hospital, and when I ran out, I probably used whatever disposables the hospital provided. This time, I am fully equipped to test out the most popular postpartum pads AND take detailed notes so that I can advise you on what you need to pack. Watch for that in my postpartum pad roundup!
- Homestead Emporium
- Empire Lush Cloth Pads
- Occupied Mind Creations
- Undies by Melissa’s Makes
- Öko Creations
- Pink Lemonade
- Harp Diapers
- Looper’s Luffs
Not pictured: Bummis & Omaïki’s overnight pads
As you can see, I’ve got a pretty huge selection of pads to try. I’ve also bought super comfy (yet not granny-like) panties that will easily accommodate even the most massive pads. The first pad I’m going to use is the Homestead Emporium MegaMax Pad. At 18 inches, it’s the longest and probably the most absorbent of the whole lot. The interior of this Homestead Emporium pad is Zorb, which is a fast-absorbing fabric. The cut provides front, back and side coverage.
I’ve also got a wet bag packed to store all my used pads till I get home. (Wondering how to wash them? Click over and wonder no more.)
Reusable Nursing Pads
Not all nursing mamas are leakers, but most nursing mamas experience a bit of sensitivity and pain when first nursing a newborn. (Remember: excruciating, prolonged pain is not normal and is a sign you should seek support.) I didn’t leak at first with my son, but I also couldn’t stand the feeling of my clothes against my tender nips, so I started wearing soft nursing pads right away. I only had a few cloth pairs at the time, but by the time my daughter was born, I had stopped using disposable nursing pads completely.
Again, since I do not know how long I’ll be in the hospital, or even how leaky (if at all) I’ll be in the beginning, I’m probably overdoing it on the nursing pad stash. The majority of my daily-use stash (I need multiple pairs a day for at least the first 6 months) are Öko Creations.
I have my post-birth outfit planned out and packed in a separate little wet bag so it’s easy for my husband or midwife to pass to me when I emerge, lighter and exhausted, from my much-deserved first postpartum shower. (Helpful tip: if you do your first postpartum pee in the shower, it’s less painful and no one will judge you.)
- Housecoat (otherwise known as a bathrobe)
- Cake Maternity nursing nightgown
- Melissa’s Makes undies + the largest Homestead Emporium Pad … possibly in lieu of the mesh panties, (possibly following the mesh panties)
- Padraig slippers
- Nursing pads
Clothes at the hospital
I really don’t know how long I’ll be staying in the hospital, so hopefully, I’m packing more than I will need. Obviously I can send my husband home for more things, but for some reason this is a very hit or miss strategy.
- Super comfy lounge pants
- Nursing tank top
- Long-sleeve nursing top
- Nursing bras
Going home clothes:
I might go home in my pyjamas: that’s not off the table. But if I feel like getting “dressed,” I’ve got my favourite Au Fait Mama nursing tee and a pair of leggings for that purpose.
When I was in labour with my son, I was playing Tetris on my phone in between contractions. I also had a book to read while nursing him in my hospital bed. Depending on how long I have to stay, there may be some downtime? Is that optimistic with newborn twins? Probably.
- Crossword puzzle book
- Notebook (for journal entries or notes)
- Charger with a looooong cable to reach my bed
- Headphones for podcasts
- A magazine? A book? (I have to pick something still)
I need lemon-lime Gatorade during and after labour. Yes, it’s full of sugar. I don’t care. You can definitely make your own, healthier “labour-ade,” but give me my neon yellow Gatorade please. I’ll also bring some applesauce and granola bars. On the way to the hospital, I will very likely stop for fast food. Ain’t no shame.
For my first two babies I was very grateful to have a nursing pillow with me. Nursing twins is a whole new ballgame, so I am bringing my My Brest Friend Twin Nursing Pillow in the hopes it will make things a bit easier.
For when the Bigs come to meet their siblings for the first time, I also plan to have “presents” from the twins for each of them. I also recommend bringing your own pillow from home, in a brightly coloured pillowcase (so it doesn’t get mistaken for a hospital pillow).
Am I missing anything? What were your labour bag must-haves?