This post is long overdue, but I have been procrastinating and just packed my hospital bag this week! My due date was this past Sunday, so I figured I better get on it. I’ve been working in labor & delivery for a little while now and thought I would share what’s in my bag and what I’ve learned not to bring.
What to Pack:
- Your own pillow- This is totally optional because obviously the hospital has pillows, but they are not that comfortable and (at least where I work) we always seem to have a shortage of extra pillows. This can be a problem when a pregnant mom is used to sleeping with 5 pillows all around her! Don’t forget about the hubby too, who will probably be sleeping beside you on the couch with no pillow, so he might want his own. I’m not packing my pillow because I’m used to sleeping with my ginormous pregnancy pillow and I’m not dragging that to the hospital!
- Chapstick- There is nothing worse than chapped lips and not having your chapstick. Your lips will get dry, especially during labor because you’re doing a lot of hard work and only able to drink liquids! I can’t tell you how many moms ask for chapstick and unfortunately my hospital doesn’t provide any.
- Your Own Drinks- This is totally optional, but during labor you will most likely be on a clear liquid diet. The hospital probably provides water and ginger ale and may have a vending machine, but if you have any special flavors of Gatorade or some drink that you love, it might make the clear liquid diet less miserable.
- Flip Flops– Hospital socks are provided of course, but if you want any other footwear besides socks, I’d recommend bringing some comfortable (and water proof) flip flops!
- Lighted Makeup Mirror– I have no idea if I will get to use this, but I’m bringing it just in case. Depending on the situation, I may be stuck in bed for many hours. While I’m laying there, it wouldn’t hurt to put some makeup on if I feel like it.
- Your Own Shower Products- Once you’re postpartum, you’ll probably feel like taking a shower. The hospital has mini bottles of shampoo and soap, but you might feel better using your own.
- Phone Chargers- This might be a no-brainer, but would be a really sad thing to forget! Bring extra long cords if you have them, because they never reach from the wall to the bed.
- Nursing Clothes/Gown– During labor I honestly recommend wearing the provided hospital gown. Some choose to buy a special gown to wear during labor, but there are no guarantees that it won’t get ruined or totally messed up! Just keep that in mind if you decide to spend money on one. Once the baby is born, there are special nursing hospital gowns (with the holes for easy access) that you might be given, which are nice. When family is coming to meet the baby and you have visitors, you might want an actual outfit or nursing top that provides more coverage though. Also keep in mind if you want to snap some pictures in the hospital what you’d want to be photographed in. I’m bringing a cute cotton robe.
- Going Home Outfit- For mom and baby! I have several little outfits I’m bringing for baby because I couldn’t decide, and I almost forgot to pack clothes for me!
- Carseat– Have the carseat installed in your car. No need to lug it in with you when you first arrive. Just make sure it’s ready to go!
What Not to Pack
- A Ton of Large Luggage- I see this all the time and it’s hard for nurses not to roll their eyes, haha! You’re staying for usually 2-4 days and the hospital provides many necessities, so there’s no need to pack like you’re going on a two week vacation with 4 full size suitcases in tow. It will just be a hassle for the dad to lug all of this stuff around, especially if you have to move rooms after delivery.
- Undies & Pads- The hospital will provide this for you. Yes, the underwear are ugly and made of mesh, but they get the job done. Just ignore your husbands jokes and appreciate the fact that they are disposable! You can bring your own underwear, but there’s a high chance they will just get ruined. Some people buy cheap underwear just for the hospital and throw them away, which is an option too.
- Tucks Pads & Dermoplast- This is provided where I work and you can find out if your hospital provides it. I would definitely have some purchased for at home to use after your hospital supply runs out.
- Diapers & Wipes- The hospital will also provide these, so enjoy a few days of free diapers!
I am a first time mom, so of course I haven’t been through labor myself and there could be something missing from my list! Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations.
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