Don’t wait until your first contraction to start packing for the hospital! “You should have everything ready a month before your due date,” celebrity birth doula Lori Bregman tells Us Weekly. “The last thing you want is to be in labor and running around the house trying to figure out what you need.” The L.A-based author of The Mindful Mom to Be — whose client list includes Kristen Bell, Molly Sims and Kelly Rowland — outlines exactly what you need to transform your delivery room into a sanctuary:
Flameless candles “Soft, relaxing lighting will help you feel calm,” says Bregman. Her pick: LED Radiant Flicker Pillars in ivory (from $29.95, pier1.com).
Electric aromatherapy diffuser The life coach recommends adding drops of lavender to promote peace and tranquility, jasmine to trigger contractions and peppermint to ease nausea.
Facial mist She swears by Jurlique’s refreshing Rosewater Balancing Mist ($35, sephora.com). Raves the pregnancy pro, “It’s an instant pick-me-up when you’re hot and sweaty!”
Delivery outfit Bregman’s clients adore James Fox Co. kaftan-inspired delivery gowns ($130, jamesfox.co). Each cotton design features shoulder snaps for easy breastfeeding access.
A pillow This is a must. “Hospital pillows are the absolute worst,” warns Bregman. “You’ll leave needing a chiropractor.”
Lip salve “Your mouth tends to get really dry during labor,” says Bregman, who recommends Smith’s soothing minted rose balm ($7, sephora.com)
Skin nourishing oil Have your partner massage your lower back.
Footwear Hospital floors are freezing and slippery. Prevent falls with Sticky Be Grip socks ($15, stickybesocks.com). Raves Bregman: “They have cute affirmations on them like ‘Be Grateful,’ and ‘Be Calm.’"
Cold pack Says Bregman: “When deep in labor, you tend to run hot. It feels good to place something cool on your neck.”
Tunes “Make a playlist full of songs that have meaning,” suggests Bregman. “It will relax you and energize you as needed.”
Pieces of inspiration Bregman asks clients to make positive birth affirmation signs and vision boards: “It gives you something positive to focus on when you need a little extra push." And don’t forget to pack pictures of loved ones!
And the basics
Printed birth plan
Toiletries for you and your partner such as toothbrush, toothpaste and face wash
Loose clothing to wear home
Two outfits, one in newborn size and one in 0-3. Bragman is a fan of KicKee Pants
Natural baby products, if you choose to bathe your baby at the hospital. Try: Babyganics fragrance free shampoo + body wash ($13.38, diapers.com)