Preparing for birth can be really overwhelming, so we asked our seasoned moms from the BuzzFeed Community what they did to make things go smoothly in the delivery room. Here are their best tips for being prepared!
1. Bring a long charger (or extension cord) for your phone because it's hard to move and the outlets are usually far away!
2. And bring your own towels. Hospitals provide them for your first post-baby shower, but they are tiny and thin, so, bring large, plush ones from home.
3. Buy yourself adult diapers. The mesh underwear with pads are uncomfortable and the diaper just feels so much more secure.
4. Bring a size bigger and a size smaller in newborn clothing for your baby – just in case.
5. If the IV is hurting your arm because it’s cold, ask for a heated blanket and wrap it around the IV tube so the fluid can warm up before it gets to your arm. It helps a lot.
6. Make the nurses a little gift basket filled with things like granola bars, hair ties, chapstick, iced coffee, snacks, vitamin C drops, candy, etc. They will really appreciate it!
7. Pack you and your partner's favorite snacks.
8. The hospital won't let you leave until you have a bowel movement, so pack something – like stool softeners – to help with that.
9. Bring your own pillows in non-white pillow cases so you don't get them confused with the hospital's pillows and you're more comfortable.
10. Take the bucket that they give your baby the first bath in.
11. If you’re not squeamish, ask to have a mirror placed at the foot of the bed so you can see your child being born.
13. Make sure you bring something to do after the birth, too!
14. If you get hot easily, you might want to pack a portable fan.
15. Must-have items include a back scratcher, deodorant, chapstick, dry shampoo, baby wipes, gum/mouthwash, comfy clothes, a ponytail, and a headband.
16. Don't forget to pack some things for your partner (or anyone else staying with you), like a blanket and pillow, clothes to change into, a toothbrush, etc.
17. Consider getting a doula.
18. Tucks pads really help the stinging if you have post-birth tears.
19. Bring some empty bags along to take things home in.
20. Bring Earth Mama Angel Baby Mama Bottom Balm (now known as Organic Perineal Balm) and refrigerate it.
21. Buy a couple cord rings to use instead of those huge plastic umbilical clips they normally use. It is supposed to be more comfortable for the baby!
22. Bring a Boppy, or nursing pillow – even if you don't plan to breastfeed.
23. Take Arnica tablets for a week or so before and after birth. It will really help with any bruising.
24. Put the baby’s outfits together in individual zip lock bags that way you aren’t rooting around in your bag for stuff.
25. Bring a support band (or ask for a compression wrap) for your belly after the baby arrives (this helped my back a lot after giving birth).
26. Get to know the on-call doctors and nurses at whichever hospital you plan to give birth at.
27. Bring non-plush footwear to wear during labor that can get wet and wash.
28. For a relaxed atmosphere, pack battery-powered twinkle lights.
29. And, remember, it's OK to not have visitors right away.
You're awesome, mommas!
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.