Hospital Labor Tools for Comfort (In A Pinch!)

IN a pinch, an exam glove filled with water can be used as a makeshift heat pack.

With everything that’s on your mind leading up to the birth of your little one, it’s easy to forget to pack some of the things that can make your labor experience easier.

No worries, we doulas know how to improvise!

Presenting our trusty guide to MacGyver-ing the most helpful tools for your birth… from the supplies right in your hospital delivery room!

Improvised Labor Tools for Comfort

Forgot: A Heat Pack

Take exam gloves and fill them with water, then tie them like a water balloon. Stick these in a towel and microwave them. Always, always test the temperature before applying them. 

The added bonus? The palm weight will feel like hands, and can be placed over the lower back like a hip squeeze. 

Forgot: A Cool Pack 

Take several washcloths (there will be a closet in your labor and delivery suite with lots and lots of these!) and a basin. Fill the basin with ice from the refreshment room, and fill halfway with water. Lay pre-folded washcloths in the bin to have ready for pushing!

Forgot: A Rebozo

The length and strength of a hospital bedsheet can be used as both a belly sifter, belly wrap, and to lasso over the squat bar during pushing. 

Sometimes the sheets can be a bit cumbersome, so ask your labor doula how to fold these to assist. 

Forgot: A Peanut Ball

If you’re looking for a helpful resting position, you may need a peanut ball to keep those hips nice and wide. It can be hard to do this without one; but you can release some of the air from a round birth ball.

Or, bring the tray table bedside, set it on the highest setting, stack it with a pillow, and rotate Mom’s upper leg over to rest on it.


Don’t sweat it if you forget some of the things in your bag.

The items on hand in the hospital can really help - and can make a huge difference in comfort. Your labor doula doesn’t keep many items in her bag - part of the reason is that these are the easiest to use and assist with comfort!