Natural Labor & Birth Kit

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Make a natural labor and birth kit for hospital or home
Wellness Mama » Blog » Motherhood » Natural Labor & 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:

I also highly recommend the documentary The Business of Being Born 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 home birth, a midwife will 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 (You can download mine here to use as a sample)
  • 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 Laborade 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.

What to 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 others? Share below!

Labor and birth are wonderful but intense times, and having a natural labor and birth kit on hand can help make the journey to motherhood a lot easier.


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


68 responses to “Natural Labor & Birth Kit”

  1. Christen Avatar

    Where are you applying the healing salve? To your nether regions? Trying to plan out my birth kit and this has great reviews, I was just unclear of where you were using this.

  2. Dana Avatar

    Hi wellness mama! I wasn’t sure quite where to ask this… But wondering about co sleeping with your baby. I heard it is good to have your baby in bed with you at night , so I am wondering if you do that with your children and until what age? Or did you use a bassinet or crib?… Thanks for any help!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Personally, I’ve always slept with my babies in our bed until they are about 6 months, at which point they usually want to be in their own bed and sleep better that way.

      1. Dana Avatar

        Thankyou!! Congrats on your baby! Sorry I re wrote the same question… When i was looking earlier it hadent shown up on this page so thought it didn’t go through .. …. Is there a better position to use when sleeping with them? Like in your arm or just next to you?..

  3. Rebecca Avatar

    Singing helps you to relax and let things happen. When you sing it keeps your jaw relaxed. If your jaw is relaxed it keeps you pelvic area relaxed. I have a hymn that I sing over and over. I can’t believe how well it works. I don’t know if I could do it in the hospital. I had my last 5 at home.

  4. Amanda Avatar

    Would you be willing to share an editable version of your birth plan?

    Thank you!


  5. Mel Avatar

    My question is how do you manage with the horrible post partum cramps?!?! I can manage labor and everything fine with no meds…. But that HORRIBLE cramping after baby is out (for my. #2 and #3), I cannot deal with!! What do you do to relieve that pain?

  6. Serena Avatar

    Katie, have you heard of lotus birth? Where you don’t cut the umbilical cord and let it dry up and fall off naturally? Curious on your thoughts about this…. Thanks :)?

  7. Lisa Avatar


    I was looking at your Birth Plan and there you wrote that you have chosen to decline Hep B vaccine. I would want to decline it too, but in Florida all the vaccines are mandatory. I was wondering how could you decline it? Aren’t they doing it anyway because it is the “law”?

    Thank you!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      At the time that I wrote this plan, it was legal in my state to decline… and I think it still is. I would discuss this with your OB or midwife and see if there is anything that can be done.

      1. Erin Avatar

        I’m in FL (and a FL Native) and vaxing is not mandatory. We vax, but I have plenty of friends who do not. If your dr. is telling you that vaxing is mandatory, I’d suggest finding a new doctor. If you want to decline, you have to claim religious exemption and there is a form to fill out. Get started on in now, before the baby is born so it’s not a fight at birth. You can retract that at any time if you change your mind and choose to vax later. 🙂

  8. amina Avatar

    Question about the cayenne – is okay to take post partum if you are nursing?

  9. Jennifer Avatar

    I had a natural home birth and I was so glad I had my birth ball and my favorite water bottle. It’s good to have a water bottle that allows you to drink quickly between contractions. I also used a rice sock for counter pressure. I may try the tennis ball sock next time!

  10. Hannah Avatar

    I am currently breastfeeding and in this blog post you mentioned that you do not use peppermint essential oil while nursing. I was planning on making coconut oil pulls with peppermint and the roll on headache relief. If I do will it lower my milk supply?

  11. Galina Avatar

    Hi Wellnessmama,

    Do you think it’s a good idea to take some cayenne pepper capsules straight after birth to help minimize blood loss? If so what dosage would you take?

    Thanks a lot!

  12. Samantha Avatar

    I am curious to know what kind of food you pack for the hospital to avoid hospital food. I agree, hospital food is awful! Do you bring a big cooler full of stuff?

  13. Cheryl Avatar

    Thank you for this list! I’m expecting my 7th baby next month, and although I have given birth unmedicated 5 other times (and gave birth at home on purpose with my 6th), I’ve been feeling some nervousness about this one (mostly due to the fact that I’m going back to the hospital after a wonderful home birth –long story as to why, but it wasn’t our first choice!). I’ve been stocking up on my EO’s and making lists of everything I will need for a calm and successful birth again. Since I don’t have a prepared and supportive midwife like I would with a him birth, I’m finding I have to be completely in charge and boldly prepare for this, myself. Which not a bad thing, I’m learning! Also, luckily, my OB seems very cooperative with my birth plan already and I’m hoping things work out the way I’m planning.

    Anyway, just wanted to thank you for your list that is doable and helped me remember a lot of things I had already forgotten! 🙂

  14. Galina Avatar

    I would love to hear more about your doula experience! Why you decided to do it, how hard is it to be on call while also being a mum to young kids, how hard the training is etc. Thanks!

  15. Caitlin Avatar

    Hi Wellness Mama! I read your birth plan and it is wonderful and very similar to my desires for labor and the birth. I was wondering if I could borrow some of the sentences from your birth plan to help build mine?
    Thank you!

  16. Kirstin Avatar

    Hi Katie!
    love your blog and was going over your labor birth kit; I’m preparing to give birth some time in this next month; so exciting! I came across your birth plan to follow for hospital or other health providers and I saw that you opt to decline the vit k shot…just curious as to why and would love to hear your thoughts!
    Thank you kindly

  17. Carrie Avatar

    Thanks for the helpful list! I am about ready to go in for my second birth. First time at a birth center as my first baby was born at home. With a few complications we thought it best to go to the midwife rather than have her drive out to the middle of nowhere in the event of a need for a transfer to hospital.

  18. Layla Avatar

    I am pregnant with our third. I had the other two naturally in a hospital. This time we are planning a home birth. My husband is very nervous to say the least. We live very close to a hospital so I am not too worried. Any advice on how to bring him around? I had absolutely no trouble delivering either of the other two. Also, the key to a successful natural birth is definitely a positive mindset and believing you can do it. Without that, you will succumb to the frequently offered medicines.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      I’d really try to find out from him where his worry is coming from? Is he concerned for your health and that of the baby? Make a backup plan together. Worried about his role possibly growing? Discuss his part in the birth with your midwife or doula. Just a natural worrier (like mine)? Help him understand that while you know that his fear comes out of his love for you, but that you need him to be on board for you. Knowing where the stress is coming from can help you to answer his fears and help him be your confident anchor again.

  19. Sarah Avatar

    I’m a first timer – both for pregnancy and with essential oils. I’m definitely interested in using some during labor and delivery. Any recommendations on the best combinations to have on hand? I’m looking for one to relax, help with pain and then also aid in recovery. Thanks!

    1. Erin Avatar

      I’m due any time now with #6 and my EO labor kit has clary sage (helps with contractions and keeps labor moving), lavender (relaxation/pain relief), peppermint (nausea/energy), frankincense (healing), and wild orange (mood booster/calming). You can also use neroli, jasmine, myrrh, if you want/have them.

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