By now, you’ve probably seen lists of the various things that you should pack in your hospital delivery bag—socks, your phone charger, pillows, etc. But as a vegan mama, you may be wondering if there are other things you should consider in order to keep things cruelty-free, since hospitals sometimes use or provide products that were tested on animals or have animal-derived ingredients—and you’re not about that. So make sure that your hospital delivery bag is not only prepacked but also full of vegan and cruelty-free items like these:
Some mothers find that massages during labor can be relaxing. If this is you, be sure to pack body lotion or massage oil. Our favorites are SkinGlow Nourishing Body Oil from OilivingLife, HemPurity Bath & Body Oil, and Shea Crème Whip by Potion.
Chapped lips happen to the best of us, so be prepared! Pack a balm like Booda Organics Naked Lip Balm or an option from Hurraw!—such as Baobab Banana, Papaya Pineapple, or Moon to keep your lips nice and moisturized.
Many hospitals provide new mothers with nipple cream to relieve the soreness that can come from breastfeeding in the beginning. Unfortunately, the ones hospitals usually give are made with lanolin—which is an oil collected from sheep’s wool and not vegan. ? Try a premade cream, or use an organic oil like extra-virgin cold-pressed coconut oil, which—when not being used for cooking—can double as a nipple salve.
You might want a nice face wash and some facial lotion to help you feel refreshed during labor and after delivery, so take some of your favorite cruelty-free products with you. We love Seriously Soothing Cleansing Cream from ACURE. You can also pack one of Andalou Naturals’ Get Started kits, which come with a variety of face-care products that you’ll love (but skip the brightening kit—it contains honey).
You’ll want to speak with your medical team or whomever you’re trusting to help with your birth about whether you can eat and drink during labor. But consider packing some snacks and drinks—if not for you then for your partner or anyone else who will be with you. Fresh fruits and veggies with hummus are great choices if you have any on hand. Or pack shelf-stable options like pretzels, Clif and GoMacro bars, coconut water, nuts, dried fruit, and more!
Look into getting vegan meals during your stay by checking out a copy of the hospital’s cafeteria menu online or visiting the facility to see which dishes are vegan, and contact the hospital’s food service department to ask if it can make meals vegan for you. You can also ask the hospital whether you’ll have access to a mini fridge, or consider bringing in a cooler.
Also, if your delivery occurs between the hospital’s dinner and breakfast services, you’ll likely be famished and ready for some food! If you have a kind family member or friend who’s willing to help, ask them to bring you a vegan meal—something that’s been made ahead or even an easy option from a nearby 24-hour fast-food place, like a bean burrito from Taco Bell. Your partner or someone else with you can run down to the front door of the hospital to get the food from them if it’s past visiting hours.
Cruelty-free toiletries are a must during your stay. Options like ACURE’s Travel Pack—which includes shampoo, conditioner, and day cream—and Hello’s travel-size toothpastes are great. You can even pack a travel-size deodorant like Charcoal + Magnesium Mineral Enriched Natural Deodorant from Schmidt’s. And don’t forget your toothbrush, comb or brush, hair ties, and styling products if you want them!
Interested in packing a product not mentioned on this list? Look it up in our Beauty Without Bunnies database to see if it’s vegan and cruelty-free.
For extra efficiency, you can stash your goodies in a bag that’s perfect for both before and after delivery! This diaper backpack from PETA Business Friend DelniceBrand is great for compassionate moms and their babies: It features 14 pockets to fill when taking your cruelty-free products to the hospital, and those pockets feature insulated bottle holders, waterproof liners, and a changing pad that will come in handy for a long time afterward.