Hello all, I have been asked to share my hospital bag must haves when it comes to going in for Labor and Delivery. I know there are a ton of lists online but here is what I was thankful for that I had brought and what I wished I had during my stay.
(I ordered this special monogrammed bag for Bria through one of my absolute FAVORITE online boutiques, Marley Lilly. I used it as my hospital bag and got it for her to pack her things in as we will be headed on many adventures together as a new USAF family.)
Due to COVID-19 the hospital will not keep you for an extended period of time. I stayed 3 nights, one of them was during the induction. I could have discharged in 24 hours but I chose to stay another day because I was breastfeeding and I did tare pretty badly. Having the nurses help me with Bria and getting up and around was so helpful. I was able to ask all kinds of questions and completely feel comfortable with what was going on with my baby and myself before I left. I was very grateful for that, but I was surely ready to get home. The beds suck real bad. Which brings me to my first item...
Your own blankets and pillows: Seems a little much and excessive but it will help you relax after you deliver and offer some comfort to you which you will need. (I did not bring them and wished I had.) Also make sure your partner brings pillows and blankets too. The hospital will provide some but they aren't great.
A housecoat / robe and a lose or nursing tank top: After you deliver and take a shower, there is nothing better than getting out of the hospital gown and into something that you are comfortable in that is yours. You will be rocking those fancy mesh undies and ice pads but having something comfy up top makes all the difference. By housecoat robe I do not mean super fuzzy big heavy robe. I have a black light long sleeved robe that comes to the back of my knees and thats what I wore until I got dressed to go home. I am still wearing it now. lol. Make sure it is a dark color because you will bleed a lot. This is not the time to wear ivory or soft pink anything. On the same note, do not worry about purchasing a fancy delivery gown. It's not worth it unless you are planning to have your birth video taped or something. Use the hospital gowns because again...with the bleeding...
Comfy slippers with sticky bottoms: You will also want these for after you deliver. Anything that offers you some more comfort the better. The sticky bottoms are important for walking around. You will need them for the hospital floors. I found little slip on unicorn ones that worked well at TJ MAXX. Something a little thicker than the socks most people recommend worked much better for me.
Maternity Clothes to go home in: Something I had read but didn't expect was still looking very pregnant after delivery. Even through you deliver your baby and a lot of fluid, you still have a very swollen uterus. Also bigger comfy shoes - UGG boots or something stretchy for your feet. They will be swollen much worse than they were prior to being pregnant. I didn't have ankles for 10 days after I delivered. Comfort over fashion.
Cleansing Face Wipes: There is nothing better than being able to wipe your face off with a cool fresh scented wipe when you are in labor and after delivery. Moving around will be hard so having those close by is so great. I used half a huge pack of mine. In the same breath, you do not need any makeup. I repeat. The last thing you are going to be concerned about is what your face looks like. Before you deliver, you might but not afterwards. Furthermore if you do wear makeup before you deliver it will be all over your face afterwards, so insert the importance of the cleansing face wipes.
Your own toiletries: The hospital will provide you with soap but you will want your own smelling, moisturizing body washes and shampoos and lufa. There is nothing more glorious than your first shower after you deliver.
A comfy bath towel: I didn't bring one and regretted it because the hospital towels are very small and scratchy. I needed several to dry off.
Flip Flops: You will want a pair of plastic flip flops for the shower. You don't need a foot fungus on top of a torn up vagina.
Chapstick: Your lips will be dry from the clear liquid diet and also contractions. You will be glad to have your favorite chappy within reach.
Nipple Cream: If you are breast feeding you will want this. Your nipples will adjust, I promise...but the first week can be painful. The nipple cream is a godsend and apply it after every feeding. Don't forget! Chapped nipples are worst than chapped lips! I use Lansinoh Lanolin Cream. (It comes in a small purple tube) - ITS THE BEST EVER.
Snacks/Drinks: Yes, the hospital will likely have snacks but nothing hearty and nothing you want after delivery. If you go in for an induction you will be on a clear liquid diet until after you deliver. If that is at 2:00 AM the hospital kitchen will likely be closed and your orders will have to be changed to a normal diet. My advice is bring whatever comfort snacks you love. I brought un-crustables, apple oatmeal squares, cliff bars, sour cream and onion potato chips (because they are the best) mixed nuts and my own favorite drinks. (Something with electrolytes) I know a lot of places tell you to bring hard candy or loli-pops to suck on during labor but honestly if your labor is anything like mine, a fucking loli-pop wont help.
Boppi-Pillow: So, mine stayed in the car the entire time but I wished I had it. It would have helped me with nursing while I was the worst shape. Even if you aren't breastfeeding, it will still help you hold your baby. Your arms and everything will be sore as if you just ran a marathon, any extra comfort will help.
Obvious item but felt worth mentioning for any first time parents who just may not have it all down yet, the CARSEAT. It can be a very important item that is easily overlooked. Don't worry if you haven't installed it yet, just make sure it's in the car. The nurses will help you if you need it or have any questions. I have a Graco newborn snug lock and it works well. There is a lightweight stroller frame that you can purchase separately that it clicks right into which is super handy.
Cute Fuzzy Baby Blanket: The hospital blankets serve their purpose but aren't cute or cuddly. You will want one of the many you received from your baby shower. There is nothing better than snuggling your new little babe in a cuddly blankey.
Two Baby Outfits (To go home in) One a smaller newborn size and a 0-3 M size. In case you birth a toddler like me. (She did fit in newborn for two weeks but it was a tight squeeze.) Also: 2-3 cute onesies for the hospital stay. I know for girls the bows and headbands are a must too, but prepare for them to be too big. I brought a lot of them and only one fit her head.
Pacifier: (if you are choosing to use them) I know this is alerting the Susans and Karens. Please before you tare me apart, let me explain. Most doctors do recommend to wait to use pacifiers until your baby latches properly if you are nursing. (Two weeks old+) I brought one in my bag and it was the only thing that soothed Bria the first night so I could rest for an hour. So, it was a very valuable bring along for me. Also, I am nursing and she latched fine and had no nipple confusion. But every baby is different.
Long Phone Charger: I just brought a small extension cord and my normal charger and that worked great. But you will want a longer cord than the one you have at home to reach around the medical bed. You will want a fully charged camera ready to take a million pictures of that beautiful baby.
If you found this helpful please share! I am loving being a new mama and sharing my experiences with other new and first time mamas. My next blog will be all about postpartum healing and care for yourself and baby. I am amazed at motherhood and also what my body has done in just 3 weeks.