Mum of two and co-founder of “My Expert Midwife” Claire Charlton shares her top 11 essential kit for labour.
1. Drinks – You probably won’t want to eat anything in labour, and even if you did your body won’t be able to efficiently get the nutrients it needs. In labour your body just needs glucose; coconut water, energy drinks such as lucozade sport (not carbonated) are all excellent sources. Aim to drink regularly and mix the sugary drinks with water. Try freezing small bottles of water and removing them from your freezer as you’re leaving for hospital, that way you’ll have a ready supply of cool water.
2. Food – You really won’t want to eat. Imagine marathon running and eat what they eat during a race. Glucose tablets and glucose gel packs are excellent. If you really do feel like eating something keep it easily digestible; crackers, fruit etc.
3. Flip Flops – This will protect your feet from communal areas within the hospital and also allow swollen feet the ability to cool.
4.Comfy Clothes – Some women prefer to wear nothing and others just a big baggy shirt of t-shirt. Give some thought to how you’ll feel in labour and what you’ll be most comfortable in.
5. Your Own Pillow – Many hospitals lack comfy pillows and also have a limited supply of them. If you do feel that you would benefit from having your own pillow with you just remember that it may become soiled during labour and birth.
6. Headphones & Music – This is self-explanatory but give some thought to your play list ahead of time.
7. Partner’s Picnic – Many hospitals don’t offer facilities for meals out with normal office hours. AS you can’t predict when your labour will start it’s a good idea to pack a bag for your birth partner to ensure that they are kept well fed and hydrated. Sandwiches can be pre-frozen and removed at the same time as the water.
8. TENS machine – This is an excellent form of pain relief. You may already be using this during transfer to hospital but you will need to order this in advance (usually by 36 weeks of pregnancy)
9. Spritz for Bits – A cooling and soothing blend of lavender, tea tree oil and witch hazel. Perfect to help sooth post childbirth swelling in your vagina and also feet and legs.
10. Wheat Pack for Back Pain Relief – Most hospitals offer facilities to heat these for you in a microwave, some don’t though so it’s worth checking with your local hospital first
11. Lavender Oil – An excellent essential oil to relax you and ease muscle tension; great for pain relief too. Add a few drops to a tissue and seal in a plastic sandwich bag (or similar). This allows you to take deep breaths of lavender oil when needed and won’t have a sleepy effect on others in the room. Alternative you can use My Expert Midwife’s ‘fantastic skin elastic’ contains lavender oil, for massage in labour.
The most honest, straight-talking pre-and-post-natal product range has arrived for mums-to-be and new mums. My Expert Midwife – developed by midwife and mum duo Lesley and Claire – is a no-nonsense collection designed to tackle taboos around pregnancy and childbirth.
The four products – Spritz for Bits, No Harm Nipple Balm, Fantastic Skin Elastic and Peri Prep Your Bits – have been designed to provide a highly-effective solution to the physical side effects of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. From irritated, stretching skin and sore, cracked nipples to vaginal swelling, perineal tears and episiotomies, the My Expert Midwife range is specially formulated to soothe, calm, prevent infection and aid healing, providing women with the safest ingredients necessary to restore body confidence. Plus, each product comes complete with its own individually designed dispenser system to ensure no-fuss, no spill and easy application.