There’s so much talk about what to put in your birth bag, but for conscious-minded, spiritual mamas, the contents can be a little different to the usual nightie and nipple cream.
First time around, I had one CD on loop (bad idea unless you want to be driven crazy while in labour), nappies and an outfit for the baby… and not much else. More than five years and some self-growth later, my labour and post-birth kit looks, well, very different.
Here’s an overview of some of my top-of-list birth bag essentials.
* Note you’ll also need the usual nappies, nightie and natural nipple cream! I just haven’t covered those here.
To get to, and stay in, a zen zone, music is one of my top priority labour tools. My 20-hour playlist is to the brim with music from Rootlight and Dr Michael Levry. Lumen de Lumine is a must and soulfully powerful for bubba and mama.
Then there’s my little zen collection from Steven Halpern. I chose albums that I thought could get me out of my head and into the spiritual space I choose to be in during labour. Check out Comfort Zone, Divine Intervention and Inner Peace.
I’m in the hands of my midwife for what remedies I might need as I go through labour, but I do know I will be having Arnica 10M after the birth to help the body’s healing processes.
My homeopath gave me hypercal tincture to spray “down there” after the birth to help with healing. I’ve also soaked maternity pads in witch hazel and popped them in the freezer. This helps with healing and is soothing.
Rescue Remedy ready to go for me, hubby and potentially my daughter to keep everyone calm.
My essential oil birthing and post-labour kit was actually fun to put together. I deliberately left peppermint out, as it’s a strong-smelling oil that could potentially negate the homeopathy I’ll be taking.
Helichrysum and frankincense blend (blended with fractionated coconut oil). You use this when the baby is crowning, around the perineum to help with stretching while minimising tearing, discomfort and swelling.
Roman chamomile, frankincense, bergamot blend (blended with fractionated coconut oil) in a roller bottle. This is a relaxing blend that can be applied to the soles of your feet while you’re in labour.
Basil essential oil blended with fractionated coconut oil in a roller bottle. This can be applied to the lower back in case of any pain/discomfort.
A few drops of Balance essential oil blend on a wet flannel and applied to the forehead to help with grounding.
Diffusing Elevation essential oil blend to help keep me in a more joyful, in-zone state.
Another I’ve thrown in is Clary Calm which can help strengthen labour and expel the placenta.
NB: You don’t want to use these until you’re in labour.
Riverstone: May help with labour and gives confidence and encouragement to “push through her transition” with grace and ease.
Poppy Jasper: May help give mama energy to push baby out. It’s like an extra boost when you think you can’t go on another minute.
This recipe is from The First 40 Days (a postnatal bible you’ll see me bang on about quite a lot!). It’s hydrating and energising and perfect for the marathon that can be labour.
Makes about 1 litre
1/2 cup raw honey
1 cup hot water
3 cups cold or room temperature water or sparkling water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh ginger pulp/juice (use a garlic press if you have one)
3 drops of trace mineral drops (I use CMD Concentrated Mineral Drops from BioTrace)
3 drops of Bach Rescue Remedy (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
In a small heatproof mug or bowl, add the honey to the hot water and stir to dissolve. Pour into a one litre jar or pitcher and add the cold or room temperature water, vinegar, lemon juice, ginger pulp/juice, trace mineral drops, rescue remedy and sea salt.
Keep in the fridge for up to one week and give it a shake each time you serve. Feel free to adjust the sweetener to any other flavour elements to your taste.
First time around I didn’t have the right team around me and certain things didn’t go how I wanted them to because of this.
This time I have two midwives, one a homeopath and acupuncturist and the other a shaman. I also have my naturopath/kinesiologist/amazing bodywork practitioner/shaman coming to the birth, so she can be there for support and also to do any bodywork that might be needed.
First time around I met my midwife at the birth centre/hospital and only had a doula. This was simply because of my inexperience and didn’t know any better at the time.
Keeping everything as dim and calm as possible is really important to me. Who wants to give birth with fluorescent lighting beaming down overhead?!
– Tealight candles
– Salt lamp, which emits negative ions (kinda like being at the beach!)
– Selenite lamp. This has a beautiful, soft glow. Selenite is also said to help with breast milk production, so this one does double duty!
Besides the Birth Bag…
A big one for me is belly binding, so I’m having a postnatal doula from Bella Mama Pregnancy and Wellness Spa come in and do that for me as needed
I can’t stress this one enough. That’s why The First 40 Days is essential reading. I was back to work/writing/stressing about a week or so after my daughter was born. And it set me up for all sorts of health issues.
If you can, take at least a month to just focus on you and baby. Skin-to-skin is awesome to bring on milk flow if things are having trouble getting started.
I had my daughter at hospital and the midwives and nurses weren’t open to some of my requests (such as not bathing the baby straight away, natural methods to help milk flow – they forced formula – although I did manage to breastfeed once home).
What I’m saying here is if you know what you want mama and you know it’s right, don’t let anyone sway you (unless, of course, there is some medical reason to do so). It can be hard if you’ve just been through a labour marathon and you have people telling you your choices aren’t right—and especially with your first because it’s all new.
What’s in your birth bag? Share below!