Let's face it, most of the articles out there about packing a bag for labor are written for moms. But the truth is - she's going to be busy laboring and you're the one who is going to need the stuff. Therefore, I think it's imperative that dad's should not only pack the bags and plan to bring them, but they should also decide what goes in for them.
Here's my list of things dad's need to bring to the hospital or birth center just for themselves:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste (Travel size is perfect.)
- Sweater to layer your clothes.
- Change of clothes. Labor 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 specific handouts? You might also pick up The Birth Partner's Handbook by Penny Simkin.
- Camera, batteries, video, film and the like. While it's on her list - you'll be held responsible.
- Cell phone and phone list for during or after calls.
- Snacks you like. Avoid garlic, onion and anything really stinky. Go for power foods like trail mix, grain and nut bars, etc.
- Labor support tools you may need: massage tools, special oils, etc.
- Your own medications that you take regularly. I'd also advise you take your own pain reliever of choice should you get a headache. No one will be willing to listen or supply drugs.
- Music for labor and something to play it on.
- Pen, paper, watch.
- Something to keep you busy should you have a few free minutes, like a book, magazine or puzzles.