When I pack my "go-bag" that I take to births, I try to keep it as simple as possible. I need hydration and nutrition, comfort, distraction, and a few miscellaneous necessities. Here's the breakdown:
For me, food is the most important thing that I pack for births. Labor can last a very long time, and sneaking out for vending machine or cafeteria food isn't always an option. I always have non-perishable food in a variety of flavors. I will also pack perishable food that I have on hand in the moment, like fruit and veggies. I like to have food that serves different purposes too; protein-dense, salty food like nuts, and sugary sweetness like chocolate and Larabars. Other things I keep in mind when packing food is that it can be eaten quickly and easily, it won't be smelly, and it won't be too loud.
Another really important aspect of staying alert and energized during a birth is drinking lots of water. I got a Hydro Flask from a client and I love it! It keeps water cold for hours, holds a lot, and is thin enough that it fits easily into the pockets of my different bags. I can also add Emergen-c for electrolytes and the flavor won't get "stuck" in the bottle.
I pack a small bag with basic toiletry items:
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- hair ties and head band
- face cleansing cloths
- lip balm and lotion
Hospitals tend to be chilly, so I always pack a long sweater that I can put on and take off easily, as well as use as a blanket if I need to nap.
There can be times during labor that are slow and quiet. The birthing person may nap, or may want to take a walk with her partner. I always have something in my bag that I can use to quietly entertain myself during these times. Sudoku and a simple knitting project work well.
- I always pack my phone, headphones, and a charger.
- I bring cash in case I need to buy food.
- Depending on the time of day I get called into a birth, I usually make myself some coffee before I go!