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The Top 10 Must-Have Items for Your Birth: A Doula's Perspective

A dad and mom holding mom's belly while sitting on the couch, smiling

Preparing for the birth of your child is an exciting and joyous time. As you anticipate the arrival of your little one, it's essential to ensure you have everything you need to make the birth experience as comfortable and memorable as possible. In this blog post, we will highlight the top 10 must-have items for your birth, ensuring you're well-equipped for this life-changing event.


A pregnant mom sitting on an exercise ball

1. Birthing Ball:

A birthing ball, also known as an exercise or stability ball, can be a valuable tool during labor. It provides support, promotes optimal positioning, and helps relieve back pain. It can also assist in opening up the pelvis, facilitating a smoother labor process.

A mom wearing a birthing gown talking to provider

2. Comfortable Maternity Robe:

A soft and comfortable maternity robe is a great addition to your birth bag. It allows you to move freely while providing coverage and warmth. Opt for a robe with easy access for medical examinations and breastfeeding, ensuring both comfort and functionality.

Essential oils used for birth with lavender being in front of four others

3. Essential Oils:

Essential oils can create a soothing and calming environment during labor. Lavender, clary sage, and peppermint are popular choices. Use a diffuser or apply diluted oils to a cloth for relaxation and aromatherapy benefits.

A mom resting in tub during labor

4. Birth Pool:

Water immersion during labor can provide pain relief and relaxation. Consider investing in a birth pool or renting one for your home birth or if your birthing center offers water births. Always consult with your healthcare provider before using a birth pool.

A pregnant woman resting on her bed in a nursing bra and shorts

5. Nursing Bras and Pads:

Preparing for breastfeeding in advance can save you from last-minute stress. Invest in a few comfortable nursing bras with easy access for feeding. Nursing pads are also essential to absorb leaks and keep you comfortable between feedings.

Fruit and granola on a table

6. Snacks and Hydration:

Labor can be a long and energy-consuming process. Keep a variety of healthy snacks and drinks on hand to maintain your energy levels. Nuts, granola bars, fruit, and electrolyte drinks are excellent choices to stay nourished and hydrated throughout labor.

A woman in a beach dress leaning against a porch post

7. Comfortable Clothing and Slippers:

Pack loose-fitting and comfortable clothing for your hospital stay or for home birth. Opt for breathable fabrics and easy-to-wear outfits. Don't forget to pack a pair of cozy slippers or socks for walking around during labor.

A person laying on the couch listening to music with headphones

8. Music and Entertainment:

Create a playlist of your favorite songs or calming music to help create a relaxing ambiance. Music can help distract from discomfort and promote a positive mindset. Additionally, bring books, magazines, or any other form of entertainment to keep yourself occupied during labor. Headphones that you don't mind getting ruined can help keep distractions to a minimum and help you focus on your meditations, hypnobirthing, and breathing.

A person's hands massaging another person's left foot in labor

9. Massage Tools:

Massage can provide much-needed relief during labor. Consider packing massage tools such as massage balls, handheld massagers, or massage oils for your birth partner to use on your back, shoulders, or feet.

A pregnant mom reviewing birthing preferences with her provider during a prenatal

10. Birth Plan and Documentation:

Lastly, ensure you have copies of your birth plan, identification, and insurance information readily available. These documents will help you communicate your preferences to your healthcare provider and ensure a smooth admission process. Prior to labor, review your birthing preferences with your provider during a prenatal visit to further ensure everyone is on the same page.


Preparing for your birth involves more than just packing a hospital bag. By having these top 10 must-have items on hand, you'll be better equipped to handle the challenges and enjoy the precious moments of bringing your child into the world. Remember, every birth is unique, so tailor this list to your specific needs and preferences. Wishing you a safe and positive birthing experience!

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