Another frequent question I get is, "What do I need to have on hand for labor?" So let's talk about it! There are a handful of items that are nice to have close by while women are in labor, and a lot of times this is a list your midwife will provide you with, especially if you are having a home birth.
A few of my favorite things to be sure are nearby include:
Electrolyte drinks, either made at home in preparation for labor or the liquid IV brand is my favorite.
Honey either in the form of honey sticks or straight from the jar. It is easy to slip it in between contractions for a tasty and easy boost of energy.
Straws are excellent to have on hand so that once you hit "labor land" someone can just present the straw to your mouth in between contractions so you can take a sip if you would like or simply shake your head no.
Labor combs I have seen being used more and more. They are a cheap and mostly effective measure for pain relief in labor so I highly recommend.
Lots of pillows
Lots of washcloths. These can be used for cool compress if you're in a hot bath, or a warm compress for perineal pressure if that's something you're interested in.
Set of affirmation cards. These can be purchased from many different sites or etsy accounts but it's also an excellent opportunity to get your partner or children involved by sitting down and making them together for a crafty night!
A support person OTHER THAN YOUR CARE PROVIDER. Many care providers do truly desire to act as a care provider and doula but it is simply not possible. Our first job is to keep you and your baby safe so that can sometimes hinder us from being the support person that we would love to be. I HIGHLY encourage all women to hire a doula to help facilitate a beautiful birth experience for everyone involved.
The list can go on and on, there are a ton of items out there specifically made to be used during labor. What I have included above is definitely what I see actually used in labor more often than not. Let me know in the comments what your "must have" items were for your labor!