One of my close friends sent me an email (you know who you are) outlining everything to pack in my baby bag, my hospital bag, and Dad’s bag. I have to give a ton of credit to her, because I honestly had no clue and I’m here to share the love, plus some stuff that I learned during my own labor and delivery!
Ever go to a recipe on Pinterest and there’s a giant back story about someone’s grandma’s best friend’s cousin and how they traveled across the Atlantic with the recipe? I’m not going to do that here. I was induced, 36 hours later Josie was born and I wanted McDonalds more than I wanted to breathe. The end. (If you’re genuinely interested in knowing my labor and delivery story I can write about it in another blog post.) Let’s jump right in.
You’re going to bleed. A lot. So much that you’re surprised you’re capable of bleeding so much without actually dying. So, bring the following:
•Depends Silhouette Adult Diapers- you’ll thank me later. The hospital will supply you with mesh undies and a pad the size of Uranus (heh) but that adult pull-up will feel sooo much better after your first post-partum shower.
•Shower shoes – because no amount of bleach/disinfectant can take away the thought that the woman before you may have peed all over the floor in the shower (and you cannot fault her.)
•Your own robe – nothing feels better than smelling your own laundry detergent and feeling like you again after nine months of being a host to another life.
•Dark button down PJs- The dark colors won’t stain if you bleed onto your pjs during any part of your stay, and having button down pajamas will make breastfeeding so much easier.
•Slippers – not to get too personal but Josie had to get an IV and was screaming her head off down the hallway. I quickly slipped on my slippers and ran down the hall crying like a mad woman “MOMMY’S HERE! MOMMY’S HERE!” I’d like to say I’d do the same without my own slippers but that hospital floor has seen some things…
•TARGET UNDERWEAR! The seamless kind. Like ten pairs. Black. – You never know how long you’re going to be staying (unfortunate reality) so make sure you pack enough full bottom comfy underwear that are dark in color.
• Nursing Bras (3) and Nursing Pads- Amazon has a pack of three bras (linked at end of post) that are amazing. I still wear them as sports bras sometimes or to bed because the under-boob sweat is realllllll and these are great! They come in an assortment of colors too. Nursing pads will help leaky boobs, as you never quite know when you’re milk in going to come in.
• Nursing pillow – your neck and arms will thank you when you’re not bent completely over throughout the night.
•Your own pillow – those hospital pillows can sometimes feel plastic-y. Remember, labor and delivery isn’t exactly Disney World so try to make yourself as comfortable as possible throughout the process.
•Ten foot phone charger – because labor is boring at times and Instagram isn’t.
•Your birth plan – prepare a general outline of your wishes for delivery. Also, note that some of these things might not go to plan. As long as baby is happy and healthy, having this might help to communicate your expectations throughout the process.
•A helpful birth partner – Baby Daddy/Mama or not. Doula or not. I CANNOT SAY THIS ENOUGH. Pick a person in advance to bring to the hospital (this will give them time to let work/whoever know that they will have to leave to be by your side at the drop of a hat.) One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from moms is that they didn’t feel heard during their delivery. Simply having a person who can advocate for you God forbid you can’t advocate for yourself will help things stay more toward your birth plan. I have severe GAD and a phobia of Vomiting. Having Billy be aware of the severity of both of those things allowed me to feel heard if for any reason I was getting kick back from a nurse or doctor. PLEASE NOTE – Theres a difference between feeling heard and putting yourself and your baby in danger – my advice is to always listen to your doctor in case of an emergency. Your baby’s health comes first.
•Mints/suckers – your mouth might get dry depending on what diet you’re on. Also, if you get an epidural you can’t get out of bed, and brushing your teeth in bed is not the same. Mints help with smelly breath. Your partner will thank me.
•Toiletries – Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, dry shampoo, toothpaste, face wash. Cleansing wipes (these were awesome once I couldn’t get up bc epidural.) You also might want to bring your own bath towels as the ones at the hospital can feel kind of scratchy.
• Stuff for your butt…seriously – if you deliver vaginally, and sometimes even if you don’t the hemmies are real. Witch hazel pads (Tucks) will probably be supplied to you, but in case they aren’t bring some witch hazel to dab into your pull-up. Dermoplast too. It freezes the burn. Boy, does it burn.
•Perennial bottle -this will probably be supplied to you at the hospital. BRING THIS HOME WITH YOU!
•Chapstick & Makeup – your lips with get dry from all that heavy breathing, and makeup will allow you to feel like a human again rather than a hormonal sweaty momster.
•Portable sound system (or headphones) and essential oils – I had anxiety and the calming music and oils helped me to relax enough so that when it came time to push I felt confident and calm.
✨ Helpful Hints✨ Everyone is going to want to visit you. DO NOT FEEL OBLIGATED TO LET EVERYONE IN. This is the small amount of time you will have 100% help from the nurses etc. Take it. Sleep. People can visit you at home, and if they do they should come prepared to either help or bring food. The first couple of weeks at home are no joke.
•Change of clothes – you’ll be there for a couple of days
•Pillow and blanket from home – the pull-out couch and blankets aren’t exactly comfy and you never know how cold it’s going to be in the room.
•books/iPad/phone charger- something for entertainment… labor can be lengthy and boring.
•Shhhhnnnnaaaaccckss – snacks! Hospital food sucks. Also, bring change for the vending machine in case the cafe is closed when baby comes. The whole time I was pushing I kept talking about wanting a Coke. There’s nothing quite like a post-birth Coke mmmm.
That’s it. That’s pretty much all you get. K? YOU DID THIS TO US. THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU. YOU WILL ENDURE THE WRATH.
•Going home digs- your freshest ‘fit for your new little Martian. Also, bring a couple pairs of socks and some NB onesies (toss in a couple of 0-3mo too in case you set a state record for chubbiest bub.) Also, depending on the season or where you’re located you might want to bring a jacket or hat.
•Swaddle and Receiving blanket – the Velcro swaddles are the best IMO. I’m a “work smarter not harder” kinda gal and couldn’t figure out how to wrap my precious bundle to save my life. Velcro FTW! Receiving blankets are great and can easily be washed. We take them any time we go anywhere in case we are in a cold restaurant or it’s windy. Light enough to carry, heavy enough to bundle le bébé up in.
•Scratch mittens – can you believe they don’t declaw beebs at the hospital? KIDDING. But, while your little poop monster may be sweet, she will scratch her eyes, and your eyes right outta that head. Okay I’m exaggerating…still pack ‘em.
•DON’T FORGET TO INSTALL THE CAR SEAT! – Kinda can’t go home without it. Do a safety run, strap le fake bébé into your car and go drifting. She if she/he stays put.
✨Helpful Hints ✨ Upon your return home you’ll probably still be in diapers and soon will be graduating to maxi pads. I found the thin, albeit very absorbent, Kotex worked best for me. Also, invest in some stool softener. The first PP poop will be equally, if not more terrifying that childbirth.
Helpful links –
Nursing bras – Women’s Full Cup Lightly Padded Wirefree Maternity Breastfeeding Nursing Bra Size L, 3PCS/Pack(Pink-Black-Beige) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EFNPD7W/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_syftEb0V8D79A
Target Undies – https://www.target.com/p/women-s-seamless-briefs-auden-8482-black-l/-/A-54146030