Every hospital is going to differ in what you will need to take with you for your hospital stay, but we have a few suggestions on what to pack. In Regina, at RGH, you will spend some of your time in Labour & Birth (L&B) and then move over to the Mother Baby Unit (MBU). We suggest that you pack separate bags for during labour and early postpartum and then the mother baby portion. This way you can take less luggage up with you and have less stuff to take back down to your vehicle when it is time to go home. After all, you are leaving with more than you arrived with...
For Labour & Birth
• Prenatal sheets ("pink sheets")
• Your birth plan, if you have one
• An old nightdress or a T shirt to wear in labour. It will probably get a bit messy, so
don't buy anything special to wear in hospital.
• You might want to consider massage oil or lotion if you would like to be massaged during your labour - the hospital is quite dry.
• Lip balm - lots of mouth breathing!
• Snacks and drinks for you while you are in labour.
• Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, magazines, games, essential oils and so on.
• A headband or elastic. If you have long hair, you might want it tied up.
• Pillows. The hospital might not have enough to make you really comfortable.
• Music to listen to. Make sure your batteries are charged.
• Extension cord to be able to plug things in.
For the birth partner
• Water spray, or a hand-held fan to keep cool down the mom-to-be while she's in labour
• Comfortable shoes. You may be pacing the corridors
• A change of clothes
• Your choice of recording device whether that's your mobile phone or a camera.
• Address book or a list of phone numbers.
• Snacks and drinks. You don't want a dehydrated, hungry birth partner looking
For after the birth
• Pillow and blanket for your partner - there is a chair that turns into a bed and a sheet is provided but not pillows and blankets
• Nursing bras or easy to nurse in bras
• Breast pads
• Maxi pads if you have a preference & consider some mesh panties. The hospital will supply you with a pair or two, but soon they will be limiting supplies. Better to have more than not enough. Some people like these at home for a few days after the hospital stay. Alternately, old or cheap underwear. Don't bring your best ones.
• Nightshirt wrap or t-shirt. Front-opening shirts are useful in the early days of skin-to-skin & breastfeeding.
• Hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste.
• A going-home outfit. You'll need loose comfortable clothes to wear while you’re in the hospital and for the journey home. It will take a while for your belly to go down, so you'll be still wearing maternity clothes when
you head home - sorry!
For your baby
• An infant car seat. The hospitals won't let you leave by car without one.
• One outfit for the trip home (all-in-one stretchy outfits are easiest).
• Two or three sleepers for baby to wear while you are in hospital.
• Baby blanket. Take a warm one if the weather is cold.
• One pair of socks or booties
• Burp cloths or receiving blankets (some parents report the hospital provided blankets and gowns cause rashes on babes)
Hopefully this helps get some things ready for your stay - it seems like a lot! If you think we missed anything, comment below and we will consider adding it to the list.
You can find many mothers who have tried HypnoBirthing who will explain it as a wonderful tool and transformative experience. Birth has that kind of effect on people! Birth can be amazing. We have been exposed to the idea that childbirth is an intensely painful unbearable process that we just have to cope with and get through. We want you to know, this is NOT truth.
We want women to not be terrified during pregnancy and in their birth experiences, as so many currently are. They are anxious about hours of pain, the agony of pushing and what damage might happen to their bodies. They know they are going to ask for pain management ASAP because that is the only way they know how to cope.
We want to introduce women to the idea of HypnoBirthing. We don’t mean *introduce* as in HypnoBirthing is a new idea - in fact, it has been around for decades, but it is still a new idea to many expecting women. The idea of birth not being painful, or less painful, the mother being calm and birth even being enjoyable is not something we hear in our current culture very much.
What is HypnoBirthing all about? It is not what you think. There is no Hypnotist, no pocket watch, no doing silly things, or losing control and definitely no doing anything you don’t want to do. It is really a form of deep relaxation. It gets to a deeper level of consciousness then we use day-to-day to plan, manage & cope with the labour and birth experience.
In a HypnoBirthing class attendees learn breathing techniques, positive affirmations, and self-hypnosis plus real facts about birth. The classes are weekly for 5 weeks and during that time there is light homework. This allows attendees the time needed to practice during pregnancy. It also allows time to use the techniques taught as stress relief for other life situations to practice and use that time to focus on preparation for labour, birth and even the postpartum time.
During this time, the goal is to remove the fear, that is so deep within our culture, that many women don’t even know they are fearful. This fear comes from the media, friends, family & health care professionals. It is snuck into minds in a subtle ways, like talking about big babies or negative health consequences. We need to remove that fear because it really is problematic. The fear cycle in the body creates muscle tension and anxiety which makes pain more painful and can make labours harder and longer. HypnoBirthing teaches how to get into the safety cycle, which promotes relaxation of muscles and proper function.
Is there solid evidence that HypnoBirthing benefits women? It is still up for debate as far as collectable stats go. But if we look at what attendees say after birth it is about so much more than the actual birth. It is about how women feel during their pregnancy & labour. It is about them gaining control and taking back their own experiences. It is about birth not happening to them but them being active participants in their birth. Ask a women to share her HypnoBIrthing story. That is where you will find the benefits.
Get more information about the next session of classes!