What do moms really need in labor? The truth is, probably nothing other than your partner and of course a doctor or midwife. BUT, there are some things that can make it more enjoyable and actually can help you in labor thanks to that wonderful hormone known as oxytocin.
As doulas, oxytocin is a hormone that we love. After all, it is called the love hormone and it can greatly impact labor. Oxytocin helps start labor, is responsible for those wonderful contractions, and helps you establish a connection with your baby. It is released when you are feeling safe and comfortable, so it truly matters that you feel that way during labor. Here are a few of our favorite thing that we think make moms feel great.
What you wear during labor is a personal preference and many moms change what they want to wear through out labor. Our favorites are a super soft robe and gown that you can take on and off easily. (The one we have pictured happens to have a cute matching gown for baby.) We recommend bringing something both for labor and immediately following that will be fuss free and help you feel like yourself.
Yep, underwear is on our favorites list, but the truth is our favorites are not what we have pictured. We love the hospital issued pair because they cost nothing and you can toss them guilt free. Most moms don't even wear underwear during labor so if you are going to bring your own, make sure it is comfortable and save it for after baby has arrived.
Pillow From Home
There is nothing better than your own pillow. Pillows also tend to be in short supply in hospitals and whether you are having a natural birth or an epidural, it is important that you rest and feel comfortable. Opt for your own instead of being at the mercy of the hospital.
Your Favorite Blanket
If the goal is for you to feel safe and comfortable then hospital blankets won't cut it. A blanket from home can help you relax and get into the mental space you want to be in. Also, did you know Aden and Anais (the designer of all those popular muslin swaddles) makes blankets for mommas too. We have our own and love them for labor.
A Giant Cup
Mommas gonna drink. Some local hospitals (hey Shady Grove!) give out the best and biggest cups. Laboring is WORK and whether you want water or ice chips (<-not fans of that) a big cup with a big straw is great.
Hospital air tends to be dry and a great lip salve is good to have on hand. Our favorite is the the C.O. Bigelow rose salve made right here in Maryland. It will make you feel great after too.
Having a functional headband is key to making sure that your hair is out of your way and not causing a distraction. Grip is everything so you are not constantly adjusting. You have much bigger things to worry about. We recommend one you have previously worked out in that is tried and true. And don't worry, our moms know we double as hair stylist to make sure you look your best when baby arrives ;)
Something to make you feel fresh
We have already said that labor is a workout. Something to make you feel fresh and to clean up during and after can be helpful. We love these Yuni shower sheets. We buy ours from Maven Beauty Bar in Downtown Frederick and keep them in our bags for our FMD mommas.