I’ve never been a fan of hospitals. But, after our recent maternity ward tour I feel much more empowered and comfortable. I packed my hospital bag a couple weeks back and wanted to share the items I'm hoping will get me through this birth, somewhat gracefully.
Part of me feels like I'm prepping for a weekend getaway, but I'm quickly brought back to reality when packing a few postpartum items. For this list, I researched a bit on my own, but would love to know what you moms out there brought – or wish you brought – to your births.
Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, lip balm, hair ties, shampoo, body wash, skincare lotion, face wash, deodorant, makeup)
I'm a creature of habit, so when traveling, I like to bring familiar products. I've read that having a familiar scent close by can make for a more homey hospital stay. I'm packing the essentials, but also a little makeup to make me feel a little more presentable when friends and family start dropping by.
A light robe, socks, flip flops
Hospitals can be frigid, but maternity rooms are usually over heated, so a thinner robe, socks and easy slippers are essential. They're also not cherished pieces of clothing, since I'm not sure what state they'll be in when I leave.
Distraction Tools (iPad, DVDs, Headphones)
If we have any time to kill, I’m looking forward to plowing through some episodes of The Good Wife or starting The Secret Historyby Donna Tartt.
I’ve included some of our favorite snacks like Pocky, Haribo gummies, and good snack mix. The one downside of packing so early? We've had to restock our supply twice already since we broke into them during movie nights.
Nursing Gear (maternity bras, Boppy Pillow, nursing pads)
I feel pretty lucky to be a pregnant lady in this day and age. I’ve gone to a nursing class (nonexistent in my grandmother’s time), bought bras that have discreet panels for feeding, and even have a pillow that’s supposed to work miracles during nursing time.
Comfortable Cotton Underwear, Ice Pack, Disposable Clothing
I have been directing so much of my brain space to the actual birth that the postpartum stuff didn’t really cross my mind until I had to buy these three items. Suffice it to say, I’m spooked.
Homemade Cookies for the Nurses
This is my thank you to the kind people who are helping me bring my daughter into this world. I’ve pre-made some chocolate chip cookie dough and they’re in the freezer waiting for labor to hit. Once those contractions come, these guys are getting popped into the oven for just a couple minutes. If I’m going to be in pain, might as well have the smell of cookies baking wafting through the house.
I’ve heard time and time again that a good swaddle can make all the difference in the world. We’ve been practicing, and are bringing cute printed ones to help our daughter feel snug and secure.
Insurance Info, Hospital Forms
We don’t have a specific birth plan, but we are following our doctor’s instructions. My friend just had a baby, and apparently, the hospital staff bombards you with questions about postpartum tests, with answers expected on the spot. We'll have our pediatrician guide us through some of our choices before we go and bring the answers with us so we don't have to make hurried decisions.
Warm Blankets (For the Ride Home)
A much-loved cashmere blanket to make our car ride home feel special (because it is!)
Tiny Bottle of Champagne
More for my parents and G than for me, but I can't wait to pop the cork on this bottle. It sounds silly, but knowing we have a little bubbly in my bag has helped me think of this birth as a celebration rather than something to be really, really scared about.
Diapers and Wipes
Since I've been told some hospitals don't have wipes, we're bringing along our own supply with some extra diapers as well.
It's been installed and ready to go. It's such a trip to turn around and see it empty in our backseat waiting for our little girl to be strapped in.
Take-Home Outfit for Baby and Me (Layette stuff: Newborn hat, receiving blanket, burp cloths, onesies, socks, mittens)
I am bringing some of my most comfortable maternity wear for when I get discharged including a James Perse button-down dress and flats. Roomy, comfortable, and soft: it's precisely what I'll be living in for the next couple of weeks. For baby, I am packing organic bamboo jersey kimonos and onesies that are pretty much the softest things I’ve ever encountered. My mom friends have told me that the hospital sends you off with a couple of Carter onesies, so I’m concentrating on the accoutrements like a hat, booties, mittens and a blanket to keep her warm since the weather has been a bit chilly.
And lastly, for G, a gym bag packed with his clothes and toiletries in the event that this labor goes long.