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What to buy for Labor and Delivery

Updated: Jul 2

Mamas-to-be: what do you need to buy for Labor and Delivery?

And to the friends and family of a beloved prego: these are some smooth gifts to show up with at the baby shower that tell her that you are thinking of her (rather than the thousands of baby clothes that she will already receive).

First of all, even if you show up to the hospital without a packed bag and drop off a baby- have no fear!

The hospital has everything you need from onesies to cute hats to hemorrhoid cream. But if you have time on your hands waiting for the bean to eject and are looking to stress buy, here are a few items that can make the labor and delivery experience more comfortable.

If you go to the baby aisle or amazon, there are so many options and so many reviews to read! The information overload can be overwhelming! But as an OBGYN and as a mother, I found these items are often overlooked as important things to bring to the hospital.

So let's go! Practical Gifts for Mamas-to-be:



Sound Machine

What I love: There are so many sounds a hospital makes. When sleep already feels like a luxury, the last thing you want to wake you up is the sound of bells and alarms that only staff need to respond to. This is also a great sound machine that you can use in your nursery.

Bluetooth speaker with Alexa

Bring alexa to Labor and Delivery, postpartum, hospital.

What I love: How about having Alexa in your hospital room in addition to a bluetooth speaker? You can connect to your hospital's wireless. Imagine asking Alexa to add items to your shopping list as your soothe your baby. "Need vaseline" Especially for moms that may be staying by themselves in the hospital, use AI as your personal assistant.

What I don't love: Not for those who are suspicious of AI.

Labor Comb - for the bed head and also for labor pain management!

Labor comb to help with pain during labor, natural childbirth

What I love: Look up information on the Gate Pain Theory. Click on the video below to understand why this helps.

What I don't love: This works well in early labor but during more active labor, the comb may be not as effective in helping the truly intense contractions.

Fun Socks

Pushing with cool socks during labor, pushing a baby out

What I love: Warm feet warm the heart. Your birth team is going to be hold your feet, so you can show off your pedicure or cover your feet with some warm fuzzies.

What I don't love: Hospitals also provide non-skip socks, so you don't have to use these if you don't want to. The will also get dirty and you may end up throwing them away.

Portable Fan

Fan on pole, hospital bed, hot in labor and delivery, fan for labor.

What I love: Labor raises the body temperature because of the adrenaline rush! Think of marathon endurance (with sprints). Having control over the temperature right over your bed can make a big difference for comfort.

What I don't love: Rechargeable battery powered. Not a problem if your labor goes quickly. But for those who undergo long inductions, it may need a re-charge. This is not a big deal because the fan is most used during pushing.

Comfy Pants

black comfy pants, comfortable for postpartum, after cesarean, after vaginal delivery

What I love: Adjustable draw pants that fit under the belly and after delivery. This band rides more high-waisted which is important against a cesarean incision which is usually right before the pubic hair line. There is also enough room to fit a bulky pad after a vaginal delivery. Some women also prefer to not wear pants and keep on a robe or nightgown/muumuu instead.

Coaching for birth partners

What I love: Ways to empower dads and birth partners with how to help with pain management! I love the ideas that are in this deck to help prepare a supportive birth team. Breathing? Massage techniques? This makes a great gift for showers. Partners can feel left out of the experience, but empowering them with a deck of cards to help them feel useful? Yes, please!

Massager and Heating Pads

What I love: There is usually a sore spot, muscle spasm (a "knot"), tight lower back that can use a massage during labor. With all of the different position changes during labor,. a good massage can make a difference! A lot of women in labor like pressure on their lower back. I love what Nurse Zabe talks about in this video about ways for birth partners to provide the pressure, heat, and massage techniques that are comforting to women in labor.

What I love: Heating Pads can be important for muscle spasms in the upper back and lower back during labor. Many hospitals no longer have heating pads anymore.

What I don't love: Be aware of the risk for skin burns; this is often why hospitals do not have heating pads on hand anymore.

Rebozo Shawl

What I love: Great for early labor when you need hip pressure and relief off of your lower back. Click

here to access videos about how to use the rebozos scarf during labor. It will require buying the book "Woven in the Womb" in order to have free access to Women in Motion online labor classes.

Sweat-proof Makeup - No joke, I found this brand from a laboring patient whose makeup was exquisite during her pushing. I had to ask the eyeliner brand that was hanging on during her birth!

What I love: Might as well birth in style. But really, no one cares if you are the next laboring supermodel. But if vanity is important to you, check out this eyeliner brand.

And lastly, my book! I wrote this book, "Woven in the Womb: Peace for the Pregnant and Postpartum Soul" for anxious pregnant mamas who are looking for peace. Pregnancy is tough physically and emotionally. If you're looking for inner strength, find rest for your soul when you lean into what the Bible says about God's tender care for mothers.

And so with all of that....


All of the above items are icing if you have them with you and certainly are not mandatory to a smooth delivery. If this blog was helpful for you, please share it with someone else. And then click here for more ideas on What to buy during pregnancy and What to buy for postpartum and breastfeeding.


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