Most of the articles about packing a bag for labour are written for mums. But the truth is - she's going to be busy labouring and you're the one who is going to need the stuff. Therefore, I think it's really important that dad's should not only pack a bag and plan to bring it with them, but they should also decide what goes in it.
Here's my list of things dad's need to bring to the hospital or birth centre just for themselves:
• Toothbrush and toothpaste (Travel size is perfect.)
• Sweater and T-shirt to layer your clothes.
• Change of clothes. Labour might be long or you might not go home to get more clothes before baby comes home.
• Helpful hints from childbirth class. Do you have any specific handouts?
• Camera, batteries, video, film and the like. While it's on her list - you'll be held responsible.
• Mobile phone and phone list, for during or after calls.
• Snacks you like. Avoid garlic, onion and anything with a strong odour. Go for power foods, cereal bars, chocolate bars and nut bars are good, plus fresh fruit and a sandwich if you get time to make it. Don’t forget to take drinks too, tea and coffee will usually be provided but it’s a good idea to have some isotonic sports drinks to keep you and mum going!
• Labour support tools you may need: massage tools, special oils, and soft face flannels. Visualization pictures if hypnobirthing. Extra pillows always come in handy too.
• Your own medications that you take regularly. I'd also advise you take your own pain reliever of choice should you get a headache.
• Music for labour and something to play it on that’s battery operated.
• Pen, paper, watch.
• Something to keep you busy should you have a few free minutes, like a book, magazine or puzzles.
Plus anything else you can think of that may help you and your partner feel more comfortable.
I wish you a very happy birthing day and hope this list has proved helpful.
Please let me know if you found something that you would like to recommend to other dads-to-be and I will add it to the list.
Amanda, One to One Midwife