Please gather up all the following items and put them in a bin or box.
When we arrive we can easily access the box without much ado.
Need to have…
Labour foods: Simple foods which are easy to eat and digest. Carbs are easier to digest then proteins. Have a variety of things to drink on hand as well (juice, Labourade, Gatorade etc.)
Plastic sheets: To protect a bed (shower curtain, fabric-backed picnic cloth) and should be big enough to cover the entire bed, use two if needed. Make bed with sheets you want to be on when the birth is all said and done. Cover the bed in the plastic, put another set of sheets over top of plastic. Top sheets are likely to get somewhat soiled. After the birth, we strip off the top sheets and plastic and leave you comfy on clean/dry sheets. Having an extra plastic sheet allows you flexibility to birth somewhere other than on your bed and still be tidy.
Heating pad or hot water bottle: to warm up the blankets for baby.
Space heater: to warm the environment for baby.
Towels (6), receiving blankets (4): to dry off and wrap up baby.
Baby hat: to keep baby’s head warm immediately after birth.
Face cloths (12): for warm/cold compresses.
Cookie sheet or tray: We use this to set up our newborn resuscitation area.
Large bowls (2): Can be used as barf bowl, or also to put water in for compresses.
Large plastic container: for storage of placenta—ice cream container works well, but yogurt containers are generally to small.
Green garbage bags (2): one for laundry and one for garbage.
Maxi pads (lots): your bleeding will be like a heavy period, so be prepared. We don’t recommend Always pads as their plastic lining seems to impede perineal healing. Look for the word ‘cotton’ on the packaging, i.e. cottony soft.
Emergency phone numbers: Please prepare a sheet with your full address and phone number and place it near the phone(s). This is for our use in case of emergency. If we call for an ambulance it saves time if this information is easily accessible by the phone.
Hydrogen peroxide: Great at getting blood stains out of fabric or carpets. Can be found at any pharmacy or disguised as ‘oxygen bleach’ in laundry section of grocery store.
Nice to have…
Postpartum pain medication: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen can be used for after-pains and to ease perineal discomfort. A variety of herbal or homeopathic remedies are also great (arnica, shepherd’s purse, caulophylum, hops tea, calendula).
Olive oil: can be used for perineal massage.
Ice pack: can feel great on a postpartum perineum. Use a bag of frozen peas or corn, or put some witchhazel (available at most pharmacies) on menstrual pads and freeze them.
Water bottle with squirt top: a gentle way to cleanse your perineum after the birth. Fill with warm water and use instead of toilet paper.
Hospital birth bag: If you need to move to hospital, it saves time and energy if a bag is already prepared (toiletries, pyjamas, slippers, baby clothes etc.). Also please have your baby car seat already installed.
A Note on Birth Laundry…
Linens (bedding, towels etc.) used will get soiled. In our experience, if the birth laundry is soaked in cold water within a few hours after the birth (a job for your support people) and then washed, they generally come completely clean. Hydrogen peroxide can also be put on blood-stained areas prior to soaking.