Anytime I leave the comfort of my own home, whether for a quick trip to the grocery store or a week long visit home, there are certain items I make sure to bring along. Going to the hospital to have my baby is no different. Since I am now 37 weeks pregnant, I have the majority of these items packed and ready to go. I certainly don’t want to be scrambling to gather them together when I am finally in labor!
- Clothes for mama and baby. I am planning a water birth in my local hospital’s low risk birthing unit, so I have a water-proof bra packed to wear in the tub. I also have a pretty and functional gown to wear after delivery, large underwear and an outfit for going home packed for myself. I packed three onesies and one outfit for going home for our new baby, although since we don’t know the sex of the baby, I will have to send my husband out for other clothes if we have a girl!
- Cloth for mama and baby. No, that is not a typo! I am planning on using mama cloth for my postpartum bleeding. I did not do this after my first baby and I can vividly remember the discomfort I experienced from the disposable pads. I am also bringing cloth diapers and wipes to the hospital this time.
- Personal care items. Taking a shower shortly after giving birth is high on my priority list. I don’t want to get stuck using the soap and other sundries provided by the hospital, so I made sure to portion out my favorites in travel sized containers. I also packed a towel of my own because the one provided at the hospital when I had my first baby might have covered half of me.
- iPad. I have a birth playlist ready to go on my iPad. I plan on having my husband or my doula set this up as soon we get settled in our birthing suite. I am looking forward to relaxing while I labor to the tunes that I have been listening to throughout this pregnancy. This serves a dual purpose as my husband can also use it to take photos of our new baby.
- Snacks. If you thought you were hungry when you were pregnant, just wait until you have just delivered that baby! I was famished after having my first and, unfortunately, had not made the switch to eating a whole foods diet. I am pretty sure I ate three bagels and drank several glasses of apple juice before I even moved into my postpartum room. I am much better prepared this time around! I have a container full of cocoa dusted almonds from the local co-op store and some dried cranberries ready to go. For drinking, I will be bringing along some water kefir and coconut water to stay hydrated while I am in labor. I am also excited to bring along some postpartum tea that I will be reviewing later this month!
- Nursing necessities. I have nursing pads, a nursing pillow and a few nursing bras in my bag. I have no qualms about nursing in front of others, so I am not bringing a cover or anything like that. You might want to if it would make you feel more comfortable.
- Baby’s car seat. In the state where I live, you are not allowed to leave your hospital room unless your car seat has been inspected and deemed safe. My husband is loading our infant seat in the car this weekend so we don’t have to worry about leaving that behind.
- My doula. Although she doesn’t fit nicely in my bag, I will not step foot into the hospital without her! I did not have a doula with my first birth and I believe the thing that didn’t go as I had hoped could have been prevented if I had. I have so much more confidence going into this birth knowing that my doula will be right there with me, advocating for me and allowing my husband to have his full attention on my comfort.
What did you take to the hospital? Anything to add to my list?
Some other items I brought to the hospital are…
the baby book…to write little memories, get footprints, etc
camera & camcorder (and charging cords/USB cable)
thank you notes (for family/friends)
baby nail clippers and booties
my own pillows!
flipflops for in the shower
robe and slippers for walking in the hall
“Welcome baby” banners for the door and room (from siblings)
…and thank you cookies for the nurse’s station
Best thing I took, on advise from another website, was adult disposable diapers. I’m not willing to make the jump to female cloths but the hospital’s disposable underwear is so pathetic! I felt SO much more comfortable in these rather than the hospital’s.
Nursing pajamas (in black) – again, so much more comfortable than the hospital’s robes.