hospital bag: what to pack for labor & delivery.

It seems like yesterday I was being admitted into the hospital to have Rett. It wasn’t the panicked moment that I anticipated at all. In fact, I didn’t even pack my hospital bag until the week I had him!

I’ve recently been asked about my hospital stay – and, more importantly, what I packed. So…I thought I’d turn it into a post in case others can find the information useful.

First of all, let me say that I did quite a bit of research on what to pack – eagerly trying to seek out only the essentials. Now, I must admit that I am NOT an expert on this topic. What items I think are necessary may not be to the next momma-to-be. I’m only offering my advice here!

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Okay…

Despite all of the blogs and articles that I read, you really do NOT need very many items for the hospital. Believe it or not, the hospital provides the majority of what you need.

1. Leggings. Oh, how I love leggings…especially maternity leggings. I lived in leggings while I was preggers. They are super comfy and look cute on a pregnant lady. It is truly a great time to get away with wearing leggings for every occasion. Because, let’s face it, some people wear them and it is totes inappropes. I brought leggings to wear the day after I had Everett and also to wear home. Unless you are a freak of nature, your belly will not be back to normal size and your ‘under there’ will be sore. Leggings are airy, comfy, and stretchy. Trust me, you will like wearing them for a week or so after having your little bundle.

2. These tanks are amaze. They are maternity tanks, but they aren’t gathered on the sides – which is excellent for repeat wear after baby. I love that they are long enough to wear with the leggings after you deliver. Plus, they are great for nursing because they pull right down. Seriously, buy one in every color. I still wear mine to this day. They are well made and easy to use for breastfeeding mommas.

3. Having extra pillows is nice. The hospital will provide some for you and your hubs; however, it was a bit comforting to have my own pillow. It made me feel more at ease. Not a necessity, but definitely nice to have.

4. If you plan to nurse, bring your nursing pillow. Newborns are hungry little critters, so you will be nursing a lot. The nursing pillows are nice to have on hand for extra support (your arms will get tired!). Again, not a necessity. The nurses will help put hospital pillows under your arms to support if you don’t bring one. I liked having mine just to get use to using it often. It helps to have a supported posture when nursing.

5. Bambino’s going home outfit. You do NOT need to bring five different outfits. The hospital will put your baby in a little hospital shirt or onesie..and then swaddle them. Packing any additional clothing for your baby is a waste of space.

6. Bring a couple of nursing bras if you plan to breastfeed. I like these because they are comfortable like a sports bra, super soft, and shapely. Plus they provide a bit of padding for your ladies. Nursing bras are an investment – so buy good ones! You will be living in those puppies until you stop nursing/pumping.

7. The car seat. Be sure to have the base properly installed. A nurse will walk you out to make sure it is, in fact, installed. Your local fire department will do it for free. You don’t really need to bring the carseat into the hospital until leaving day.

8. Toiletries. I, personally, showered first thing in the morning after having Rett. Showers are such a refresher for me. Not to mention, it got me out of the bed and moving a little. I’m not going to lie, it was a chore getting up and taking a shower. I was sore and had to be extremely gentle with my lady bits. However, it did make me feel great once I got out. So, I do recommend bringing your showering and daily routine (i.e. facial cleanser, moisturizers, etc.) essentials. I also brought my makeup. I just put a little on so I didn’t look like death in photos. I didn’t go all out with fixing my hair and what not. I, honestly, took dry shampoo so I would not have to even mess with drying and styling the wig. People will be visiting and people will be taking pics…and those pics will end up on the Internet. Just FYI.

9. Lip balm. I am always putting it on anyway…so I had a little tube on my side table.

10. Electronics. Your phone will keep you occupied and allow you to snap quick photos of visitors or of your little bundle when he/she arrives. Hello Facebook updates! A good camera will help capture your baby’s first moments – you don’t want to miss those. Same with a camcorder. We love having Everett’s first moments in the world on video – it is truly awesome to watch it.

So now, I’m going to list what YOU need to pack and what the HOSPITAL will give you:

-Pillows…one for you and one for hubby (YOU)

-Comfortable clothes for post-delivery…tanks, leggings or sweats (black or navy…dark colors), cardigans, long sleeved shirt – whatever makes you comfortable. Don’t over pack here. You will only be in there for two nights (YOU)

-Underwear…black boy shorts, 4-5 pairs (YOU)

-Nursing bras (YOU)

-Nursing pillow (YOU)

-Toiletries (YOU)

-Cell phone, camera, video camera, iPad, etc. (YOU) Don’t forget chargers and extra batteries!!

-Bambino’s ‘going home’ outfit (YOU)

-Baby’s car seat (YOU)

-Paperwork (YOU) Put all pertinent information (copy of birth plan, insurance information, copy of hospital registration, and any other important information – including a notepad to write down gifts) in a folder for the hospital. You will probably get a folder with release forms, birth certificate info, cord blood banking forms, etc. from the nurses; however, you want to make sure and bring your other important docs with you initially – the folder helps to keep everything organized.

-PJs/Hospital gown…you will stay in this once you are admitted and post-delivery. I also wore mine as my jammies at night because the nurses do come in and check your battle wounds throughout the night, plus it is easier to go to the bathroom and change your dressings, not to mention nurse your little one! (HOSPITAL)

-Baby’s clothing after delivery (HOSPITAL)

-Baby’s blanket (HOSPITAL)

-Diapers, wipes, and diaper cream (HOSPITAL) The nurses will stock you up before going home.

-Lanolin for your nips (HOSPITAL) You’ll get a ton of sample packs, no need to bring your own.

-Meals for you (HOSPITAL) Usually your husband is on his own. I made Drew a ‘Daddy Snack Pack’ which included a cooler full of his favorite snacks and drinks. He also got to go to the outside world and purchase fast food.

-Water jug/bottle (HOSPITAL)

-Formula if you need to supplement or are not planning to nurse & bottles (HOSPITAL) You will get tons of samples to take home, too.

-Pump – if you need to pump some after delivery, they have a hospital grade pump you can use (HOSPITAL)

-Pads for under there care (HOSPITAL) In fact, the nurses will stock you up before leaving.

-Ice packs for under there (HOSPITAL) You will use these at the hospital and also for a few days when you get home.

-Mesh panties (HOSPITAL) I know that sounds weird, but they are nice and stretchy for all the padding and ice packs you’ll have on for the first couple of nights.

-Cleanser bottle (HOSPITAL) You cannot wipe after going to the restroom, so you will have to use warm water to rinse for about a week or so. You will take this home with you.

-Witch Hazel soothing pads or TUCKS (HOSPITAL) You’ll get some to take home.  These are soothing for your under there area.

I did not pack for Andrew, he packed himself. He just brought shorts and a t-shirt to sleep in…and then jeans and a couple of shirts for the days at the hospital. He wanted to be comfortable.

I did not bring slippers or any additional shoes. I just brought my Toms. The hospital even provides socks for you, in case your toes get chilly. I thought the room was a great temperature, so I didn’t layer up.

That’s it! I hope this helps prepare you for your big day. The most important thing to remember is ENJOY it all. It truly is a miracle – an absolutely amazing moment in your life. Words will never describe the feeling that washes over you. Incredible. It goes by so fast, so live in that moment. Even if it hurts a little…when the doctor places that baby in your arms, it is ALL worth it. Good luck and may God bless your little bundle of joy.

 

 

 

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