Make Your Own Natural Labor and Birth Kit

Make a natural labor and birth kit for hospital or home Make Your Own Natural Labor and Birth Kit

I’ve gotten several emails lately about resources and advice for natural labor and birth. Since I’ve been through that rodeo a few times now, I thought I’d share some of the best resources I’ve found and what goes with me during labor/delivery.

Some books that I read that were influential in my decision to go natural were:

Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care Make Your Own Natural Labor and Birth Kit
Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta Make Your Own Natural Labor and Birth Kit
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth Make Your Own Natural Labor and Birth Kit
Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth (Import) Make Your Own Natural Labor and Birth Kit

I also highly recommend the documentary The Business of Being Born Make Your Own Natural Labor and Birth Kit which breaks down modern maternity care in America and has some touching birth stories.

After delivering naturally, I wouldn’t want to give birth any other way, but it does take a little more preparation. Except for those women with 2 hour labors (and oh, how I envy you!) labor can often be a test of endurance. In my experience, the ability to relax and “let go” often has the biggest influence on an easy labor, and there are certainly things one can prepare ahead to help with relaxation.

This is my basic hospital list, and for a homebirth, a midwife wil often give you a list of additional items.

During Labor:

  • Red Raspberry Leaf Herbal Tea
  • Homemade Gatorade or Labor Ade (here’s a great recipe)
  • Heating pad (I use a rice heating pad that can be heated in the microwave)
  • Birth Ball (large exercise ball… great for sitting on to help ease contractions)
  • Chamomile Tincture to help relax
  • Digestion Tincture for nausea in transition
  • Homemade Massage Oil (Coconut or almond oil with essential oils)
  • Lip Chap
  • Tennis balls tied up in a long sock for counter pressure on my back
  • Homemade healthy snacks and drinks since they won’t serve food to laboring women in hospitals
  • Peppermints and peppermint essential oil (for labor, I don’t use while nursing as this can reduce milk supply)
  • Ice packs
  • iPod with my “labor soundtrack” containing everything from the Rocky theme song to Gregorian chant
  • Copy of Birth Plan
  • Camera/videocamera
  • A robe and warm socks (I despise hospital gowns, even in labor)

Realistically, most of these things don’t get used, but I’d much rather have them ready and not need them. I do try to drink some of the labor ade and eat something nutritious before heading to the hospital (which I do during transition to minimize the possibility of interventions). Most of these items don’t go with me to the hospital either, since I’m usually in transition before I leave.

Bring To The Hospital:

My Doula Bag/Home birth Kit:

When I’m doula-ing or preparing for a home birth, I have some additional supplies on hand, along with the kit for the midwife/birth tub, etc…


What is your ideal way to give birth? If you’ve delivered naturally before, what is your best advice for me? Share below!

Reader Comments

  1. carolie patton says

    I have been missing you.  thought maybe you had already delivered, so I was glad to hear from you today.  you’re in my prayers.

  2. says

    What a great and practical list.  I especially love the “warm socks” — YES!  Wish I’d thought to make an I-Pod mix for the labor, great idea with the chants and Rocky theme song.  Love this.  And oh how I also envy those lucky few with 2 hour labors.  Best wishes to you, looking forward to baby details soon! :)

  3. NoGrainNoPain says

    Can you share your labor soundtrack? Gotta have good tunes to get through my housework, I can only imagine how much I’ll need them during delivery :)

  4. tori says

    we were in labor for 27 hours, 18 at the hospital. the did serve me 3 meals. ( I didnt eat them haha, my husband did!)

  5. amy kidd says

    howdo you make your cayenne pepper capsules? I have to have C-sections and this is my fourth. I’m looking for anything to make recovery easy and reduce my chance of blood loss. thanks for all your information. i’ve already spent hours on your website:)

  6. Elizabeth French says

    I love this list! Thanks for posting. I’ve been putting together a kit and this helps cover the things I may have forgotten…My due date is approaching fast!!

  7. Catie says

    I’m having a birth center birth, due beginning of October, and your list has definitely helped me with making my list on what to put in my birth kit. I hadn’t thought of arnica tablets-those are definitely on my list now as well as peppermints and homemade Gatorade.

    I was curious to know how you used the magnesium after birth? I’m making the magnesium body butter to use until birth (and after, since I’m sure that I’m deficient) but I would like to know the best application for relief after giving birth. Will using the body butter be enough to give me relief?

  8. Tracy Gatten says

    Hello! Curious about your use of Cayenne in your Doula bag. I came across this online & wonder if this is how you utilize this amazing herb – “When expectant mothers go into labor, midwives commonly give them a drink made of Cayenne, apple cider vinegar, honey, and warm water. This stimulates good contractions, gives energy—and as an added benefit, circumvents any possible hemorrhage and acts as an anti-shock remedy, as labor often brings about shock.”

  9. shannon says

    I have referenced this list so many times! Thank you! Have you had any experience with the chamomile slowing down labor as it relaxes muscles, etc?

  10. Echo says

    I was wondering is there anyway to make a homemade postpartum ice pack? I have never had the pleasure of birthing a child, but a good friend of mine is due any day, and I want to provide her with anything I can to help speed healing. Thank you!

  11. Jennifer says

    I love your inclusion of natural products and herbs. I’ve had three home births and am due this June with my fourth child. All of them were born in the bath, and I can’t imagine doing it any other way. The After Ease didn’t help me with after pains last time, though. I wish it had. I never take any pain killers, but in that case, Motrin covered up the pains. What I would suggest to any woman is to give yourself plenty of recovery healing time. It is so important to rest and bond with the new baby. I have a hard time letting others take over my responsibilities and caring for the children while I heal. Anyways, just thought I’d share. I can’t speak for all women, but in my experience, I think we are strong than we give ourselves credit for and choosing a natural birth is brave, daring, and yet so right! Breathe, go with the flow, relax, and let your body guide you. It knows what to do. Trust it.

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