I know y’all have probably seen a hundred different posts about what you should/shouldn’t pack for the hospital, but I have to tell you — I did some pretty extensive research (aka: I Googled it and asked all my mom friends what they took) and I wanted to share some essential things that I packed up to take to the hospital.
If you’re easily grossed out by the words “maxi pad” or “nipple”, stop reading.. If not, keep scrolling!
Delivering a baby is not glamorous, in the least. After giving birth, the first thing that I wanted to do was shower. I highly recommend getting travel size toiletries to pack so you don’t weigh your bag down with full-size items. Sensitive body wash, face wash, make up wipe removers, mini deodorant and shampoo were all in my bag and were just enough for my two day stay. This will totally be your preference because the hospital will supply you with an endless amount of supersized pads, but I brought my own just in case I didn’t like what was at the hospital.
Cozy, loose and dark pajamas with non-slip socks or slippers is another must. Depending on where your IV is placed, you’ll want either short sleeve PJs or loose pajamas that wont rub or irritate your IV. My IV was place on the inside of my right forearm, so a loose sleeve came in handy. I would also recommend getting a dark color for your pajamas, just in case you leak. It also helps hide that lovely pantyline from the oversized panties you’ll have to wear for weeks postpartum. Dark color clothes will be your best friend. Non-slip socks or slippers are a must to help prevent a fall after delivery.
Going into delivery, I had no intentions of breastfeeding, but I had decided that I wanted to try pumping. I didn’t realize that my milk wouldn’t come in for a few days after, but I did pack a nursing bra and nursing pads. I am so glad that I brought the nursing bra with me, because while doing kangaroo care, Stella rooted her way in and I decided to try breastfeeding. Stock up on the nursing bras because if you’re breastfeeding, you will live in them! The first couple of days are rough with breastfeeding and take a toll on your nipples. I definitely recommend taking a tube (or two, or three) of nipple butter with you to the hospital to help with the irritation.
Other essentials that really came in handy for us were an extension cord, or extra long phone charger, flip flops to wear in the shower, your own pillow and pillow case from home, a blanket (I freeze and I am picky about my blankets) and snacks! While I was in the hospital, it was such a whirlwind and so many people coming in and out to visit, I really didn’t have time to eat or much of an appetite. Grab and go snacks like protein bars, etc. were really handy for us during our stay.
I will say, no check list will ever fully prepare you for delivery, but it was so nice to already have things packed up and ready to go just in case you’re like me and your water breaks two days before your scheduled induction! 🙂
The last thing I would suggest packing or consider getting is a “thank you” gift for your nurses. I could not have asked for a better experience (working on Stella’s birth story post!), and it wouldn’t have been possible without my doctor and the team of nurses that took care of Stella and I. Instead of doing a gift, I had Zach run out and get a bunch of donuts for all the nurses to have for breakfast. You do not realize how much these ladies and gents do until you go into labor!
Of course these are all things that I saw fit to take with me, you can always pack more or less depending on your preferences.
Wishing you all happy, healthy and painless 😉 deliveries!