It's almost go time!
Over the past few weeks, you've probably feeling signs of your upcoming labor with plenty of Braxton Hicks contractions, the urge to nest, discomfort in your lower back, and perhaps more. As you put together the final preparations for Baby Day, you're looking for the top items to have on hand as you labor. Here's a quick list of my five favorite labor essentials.
1. COMFORTABLE HAIR ACCESSORIES
Childbirth is hard work, y'all. The last thing that you want to have to worry about is your hair falling into your face. If you're including hydrotherapy in your birth plan, then with even more reason you'll want to account for these. (Otherwise, prepare for hot, sticky hair on the nape of your neck - no thanks.) Find a hairstyle that is comfortable for you, and plan to have extra accessories on hand. Hair bands, ties, clips, and even satin scarves are all awesome ideas! Check out our board for labor hairstyles on Pinterest here!
2. YOUR FAVORITE COOL BEVERAGES
Laboring exhausts a lot of calories! Having lots of chilled, full-calorie beverages on hand helps you to feel refreshed and refueled. Homemade labor-ade is a common favorite for many laboring women, as is coconut water, sports drinks, smoothies, and other juices. Get fancy with it, and purchase that specialty fresh pressed bit of something that you love from your favorite local vendor! #delish
3. A DANCE-ABLE BIRTH PLAYLIST
It's time to get funky, funky, funky... That's right! Create a playlist of your favorite beats or songs to have on repeat during labor. Staying mobile and rocking your hips is a wonderful way to help your baby lower into the birth canal efficiently. This also is an excellent way to cope with the physical sensations of labor. Be sure that you've got your charger, headphones or a wireless speaker, and batteries on hand if you need them. Pro Tip: If you forget your speaker at home, toss your phone into a bowl or deep cup for sound.
4. MOOD LIGHTING
This isn't about romanticizing about the birthing process, though it may help with that as well. Low lighting is known to increase the production of the hormone oxytocin. This hormone is also responsible for the continued progression of labor. Increase your calm, relax with mood lighting, and help your labor along in the process. Flameless LED candles are the perfect addition for you to pack in your hospital bag while string lighting is a great option for while you labor at home!
5. AN INSPIRING REMINDER
Keep your head in the game with a special memento your birth space. For some women, printing affirmations and posting them around their birth space is just what they need. For others, having a baby book, your ultrasound picture, or perhaps Baby's first outfit in clear view makes laboring feel more intentional. Choose something that isn't too cumbersome, but that also inspires an emotional connection for you with your baby.
Happy laboring, insha'Allah!