Welcome back my friend! In this post, I’m sharing the labour essentials that have got me through four unmedicated Hypnobirth labours. I first shared this post while expecting my second baby in 2018. We’ve welcomed two more babies since then, so I’ve had plenty of trial and error finding out what products are worth your money, and which are not. These are the items you’ll use to make your Hypnobirth labour easier and more comfortable!
A useful tip: I take my labour essentials with me separately so I can access everything easily without it getting mixed into my other postpartum and hospital bag items.
Having these items in an easy to access pack makes me feel so well-prepared in my final weeks.
I hope you enjoy reading about them!
Labour essentials checklist
Here’s the list of essentials:
- Birth preferences and notes
- Comfortable and easy to remove clothing
- Labour massage oil
- Birthing ball
- Hypnobirthing candle and an electric candle
- Aromatherapy and essential oils
- Rose water or cooling spray in a small bottle
- Lip balm
- Cloths – hot face cloths or muslin cloths
- Magnesium oil
- Netflix subscription with your favourite funny shows, books, music, etc
- TENS machine
- Coconut water or other electrolyte replacing drink
- Water bottle
- And see my postpartum essentials for everything you need after your baby is born – e.g. maternity pads, breast pads, maternity knickers, nipple balm, nursing pads, and more.
Birth preferences and notes
Undoubtedly the most important part of your labour essentials! Make sure you specify your Hypnobirth preferences in your plan.
Get ahead in late pregnancy by searching for a suitable template, filling it out and packing it in your hospital bag.
Comfortable and easy to remove clothing
It’s a given that you’ll need comfortable clothing as you’ll want to get in different positions during labour. A large t-shirt or nightie over leggings or lounge bottoms works well! If you’re planning skin-to-skin and breastfeeding, a button down top is handy.
Labour massage oil for a more comfortable labour
In Hypnobirthing, massage of the birthing mother from her birth partner is a large part of expressing love and support during labour. It’s nature’s way of increasing oxytocin levels, which undoubtedly helps with contractions and keeps labour going.
It goes without saying that massage helps to relax the entire body while bringing about a much-needed close connection with your partner to ease the pain of the early stages of labour.
Labour massage oils containing clary sage and jasmine are said to be helpful during labour since they aid contractions. Why not trying blending your own DIY Labour Massage Oil? Or try the lovely Natalia Labour Massage Oil, an organic blend featuring clary sage, jasmine, and bergamot.
Birthing ball for comfort and support
A birthing ball – like this one from Babygo – is a pregnancy and labour must-have. Based on a gym ball but slightly larger, a birth ball helps you to stay active in labour. Lean, rock, and hug your way to a more comfortable labour and better positioning of your baby. Use a ball from 32 weeks of pregnancy all the way through to the pushing stage of labour.
Candles – the labour essential to keep you in the Hypnobirthing zone
Candles are a real labour essential, especially if you’re labouring in the evening or through the night. If you use the candle in pregnancy during your Hypnobirthing practise, it supports deep relaxation and helps you get right back to that state of deep relaxation during labour.
Natural and calming scents are highly evocative, and you’ll come to associate the fragrance with relaxation. Luxurious candles that are formulated with gentle natural scents, such as Kiss The Moon, or candles created specially for Hypnobirthing are a great choice. Try Cradle & Tonic Birth Candle, and Kindred Fires Hypnobirthing Mum Candle.
You likely won’t be able to burn real candles in hospital, but you can throw an electric pillar candle in to give a similar mood.
Aromatherapy & essential oils
Aromatherapy is an essential in your labour toolkit. You can use essential oils to energise, soothe, or relax – they’re so versatile. Fragrance is subjective, so experiment with different blends. Lavender, clary sage, rose, lemon, peppermint, and orange are all good for labour.
This Vital Energy Aroma Roller from Ila Spa is perfect during labour applied to pulse points when your energy is lagging and you’re feeling fragile. Or try My Expert Midwife Labour Rollerball which contains frankincense, grapefruit and neroli to calm and centre.
Cooling rose waters to support the opening rose labour visualisation
I used rose water liberally during my four labours. It’s comforting and cooling at any time, and its familiarity brings a lot of comfort during labour.
My top pick is Odylique Calming Rose Super Tonic. This soothing hydrator contains organic rose hydrosol and rose oil, plus calendula. Look out for rose waters that only contain natural extracts of rose, not synthetic rose fragrance. I’ve reviewed several rose waters here.
Lip balm because hospital air can be drying
Lip balm is a must during labour as lips can get very dry and uncomfortable. I love Weleda products and this lip balm is particularly gorgeous. It has a soft comforting rose and vanilla fragrance.
Everon Lip Balm moisturises and protects with organic jojoba oil, precious rose wax, and organic shea butter.
Cloths – warm and cold for compression and inhalation
A definite must have for my labour bag is a nice soft organic cloth to hold to my face and over my chest. I use it to inhale the comforting essential oils and Odylique rose water.
This Greenfibres Organic Face Cloth is 100% Soil Association certified and unbleached. It’s GOTS certified so adheres to high-level environmental criteria. At least 70% of the material must be of organic origin – perfect!
BetterYou Magnesium Oil is super-effective to relieve labour cramps.
Netflix subscription, books & music playlists
Load up your phone with your favourite funny shows and music. Laughing releases oxytocin, so it can actually help to speed up your labour!
Some women swear by a TENS machine to help them cope with labour in the early stages. It’s definitely worth a try, as fiddling with the machine is a good distraction from the intensity of contractions. Buy one new or rent one for half the price.
High energy snacks a-plenty
Sustaining and delicious – Deliciously Ella Hazelnut and Raisin, and Coconut and Oat.
Coconut water to replace electrolytes naturally
I drink water during labour to stay hydrated, but coconut water offers additional benefits. Liquid energy is easier to take in, especially during the “pushing” phase when snacks are the last thing on your mind.
Coconut water is great to restore hydration and replenish electrolytes lost during labour since it contains potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium.
A water bottle for use in labour must be light and easy to open with one hand. This Brita Water Bottle as is easy to open and light – plus it has a built in filter.
Final thoughts on natural labour essentials
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning my labour essentials. I hope these suggestions help you to feel well prepared for labour. Wishing you a peaceful and comfortable birth.
Would you add anything to my labour essentials? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!
Update: My baby arrived in November – read Cara Grace’s birth story!
Until next time!