Preparing for Birth and Postpartum


The following is a student blog post by Jessie Uchytil 

Preparing for Birth and Postpartum

For a mother nearing birth things are busy. Nesting, work, planning, and of course packing for your birth all take time and lots of effort. Whether you have either a vaginal delivery or a cesarean outside of your home, making sure you are prepared to get the care you need during birth and postpartum can excel the healing process making transitioning into life with your new family addition easier.  Following are lists with tips and recipes for homemade relief to help you on your journey through birth and postpartum.


Preparing for birth birth arts international
Preparing for Birth and Postpartum

Birth bag:
Most birth places have larger items available like birth balls, squat bars, or a stool.  Be sure to ask ahead of time to see them during your hospital tour.  The hospital had a birth ball but it was so big I could not reach the ground while sitting on it!
•    BIRTH PLAN! Several copies. Make sure one is taped to the door of your room.
•    Bring a doula! Okay she will not fit in the bag, but there are multiple studies that show 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*, 28% decrease in the risk of C-section*, 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*, 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief, 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery and 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience* (Dekker, 2013).  Your doula could bring things for your birth relief on your behalf.  But if having a doula is not a possibility here are some things you can consider bringing:
•    Soothing music or instruments
•    CD/DVD player for music and movies
•    Oils for relaxation and oils for energy
•    Snacks like granola bars or neutral tasting foods
•    Food for your partner
•    Labor-aid (see footnote for link to recipe)
•    Tennis balls, or a hard hand-held massage tool for counter-pressure
•    Reusable hot/cold pack DIY (see footnotes for instructions, or purchase one)
•    Socks to keep your feet warm
•    Labor clothes/gown
•    Affirmations written on paper to place on the walls, making a safe feeling environment
•    Camera
Postpartum bag for you:
•    Toiletries
•    Comfortable underwear, briefs
•    Super absorbency pads if you prefer a certain type
•    Nursing bra
•    Nipple cream (coconut oil. Safe for you and baby, works great! )
•    Breast pump
•    Nursing pads
•    Witch hazel soothing spray (small glass bottle with witch hazel and several drops of geranium and lavender oils)
•    Comfortable clothes and shoes
•    Phone and charger
For baby:
•    Car Seat, properly installed! Cannot leave hospital without it!
•    Going-home outfit
•    Picture outfit
•    Diapers and wipes
•    blanket

Your birth doula will typically remain with you after your birth several hours postpartum to help you get settled, help initiate breastfeeding, and make sure you have everything you need.  When you return home you also hire a postpartum doula.
Postpartum doula’s role changes from day to day, as the needs of the family change. Postpartum doulas do whatever a mother needs to best enjoy and care for her new baby. A large part of their role is education. They share information about baby care with parents, as well as teach siblings and partners to “mother the mother.” They assist with breastfeeding education. Postpartum doulas also make sure the mother is fed, well hydrated and comfortable (International)
I hope this was helpful in preparing you for your birth journey!

Hi, I am Jessie Uchytil from Terre Haute, Indiana. I am currently a doula-in-training; and have had a passion for birth since having a poor, and uneducated birth experience followed by great second birth experience with a doula. I have a bachelor’s degree in music, for clarinet, and plays actively in my community.  I also served in the Army National Guard for 7 years including a tour of duty in Iraq, and am active at improving my community by volunteering for, and Terre Foods.  I am very excited to be working with BAI for my certification to broaden my horizons! 

Visit my website at

“Like” my business on Facebook by searching: Crowning Achievement Birth Services


Works Cited
Dekker, R. P. (2013, 03 27). The Evidence for Doulas. Retrieved 02 28, 2015, from Evidence Based Birth.
International, D. (n.d.). Postpartum Doula FAQs. Retrieved 02 28, 2015, from DONA International:

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