As you get closer to that joyous day when you finally get to meet your beautiful little bundle of joy, you might be starting to prepare your hospital bag. There is so much wonderful information on the internet it seems as though you will be packing for days. I myself had a huge bag of mostly unnecessary items, so I’ve decided to share with you a few of the most important items (IMO) to bring with you. This is by no means a comprehensive list so add anything else you feel would be of great benefit to you.
- DEPENDS SILHOUETTES
After your beautiful little child comes, you will bleed. It doesn’t matter if you have a C-Section or Vaginal Birth, you will still bleed and this will go on for at least a couple of weeks before tapering off into a light period. While at the hospital they will give you flimsy little panties with the most gigantic pad you ever did see and this pad will most likely have an ice pack attached for added comfort. When all is said and done it feels like you are waddling around in a very full diaper, making things really rather uncomfortable.
Enter the Depend Silhouettes. I brought several pairs of these to the hospital in anticipation of flimsy underwear and dang was I glad I did! While I sat in the bathroom post delivery trying to get all my parts working again, I handed them to the nurse in lieu of the wispy underwear she was holding. At first she raised her eyebrow at me, but after she saw the whole pad, ice, depends execution, she was sold. “What a great idea!’ She said. “I am going to tell all my patients about these.”
I personally feel all hospitals should have them. Make a deal with Depends and get it done. They are the most awesome underwear alternative ever. You can place the massive pad (which I recommend) along with the ice packs right into them and everything will stay nicely put. The elastic band is easy so it doesn’t cut off your circulation. As you eventually bleed less you can switch to just the depends or move to a more comfortable pad and regular underwear. As a disclaimer i do not work for Depends nor am I paid to endorse their product, I am sincerely suggesting them to you because they work making them Numero Uno in Addie’s List of Labor Bag Must Haves.
2. YOUR OWN PILLOW
You would never think this would be an issue since the hospital comes equipped with pillows however, having my own fluffy pillow was the best decision ever! The hospital pillows are not really all that comfortable and you would need a stack of twenty to support your body in any way. Take your own pillow. Make sure to outfit it with a colorful pillowcase (not white) so that it doesn’t get accidentally mixed up with theirs.
3. YOUR OWN HOSPITAL GOWN
There is a lot of back and forth about this one but I found that the one I brought to the hospital fit much better and was not hanging off my body like a drab rag. Since the hospital is one size fits all, my bits and pieces were constantly hanging out and it was difficult to get the gown to stay closed. Perhaps you want to use the hospitals gown for the delivery and get theirs all messy but afterwards you might feel more comfy in your own gown that fits you perfectly and doesn’t look like yesterdays rags. Here is a link to some I recommend. I bought these myself.
Yes its true that all hospitals have vending machines and all hospitals have cafeterias however the cafeterias close and the snacks in the vending machines aren’t the greatest. Bring some healthy snack alternatives you can throw in your bag. These will come in handy when you are looking for something to munch on and it isn’t quite meal time. Giving birth is a lot of work and you can’t anticipate how many hours your body is going to go without food so it’s best to be armed with as many snacks as you can. It is also not a bad idea to have some hard candy on hand.
5. CLOTHES FOR BABY
Your little one is entering this world in their birthday suit so make sure you have some outfit to put them in for the ride home. The hospital will give you diapers so don’t feel it necessary to bring a whole lot of those. Well maybe one or two just in case ;). We had two little take home outfits ready to go, a swaddle, and blanket. You never know what the weather will be so you want to make sure you have some options just in case. I would recommend putting a take home outfit on your registry or you can pick one out yourself. Pay attention to the weight of your baby when you go to your visits. Since not all babies are the same size you might not want to get a super stylish out fit that ultimately doesn’t fit them. Remember, you’ll have plenty of time to dress baby up for cute photo ops.
6. NON SKID/SLIP SOCKS
These are really great especially when you are wandering around the hospital waiting for baby to come. Hospitals can tend to be cold so you want to be sure to have your feet covered. These socks prevent any accidents and can be a lifesaver while waddling through labor/delivery.
7. COSMETICS BAG WITH ESSENTIALS
This one is super important. Bring a little bag with your toothbrush, small face wash, toothpaste, mouthwash, hair brush, light cosmetics (if you wear them) chapstick, hair ties, nipple butter, and nipple pads. You can throw anything else in there you think you might need. Having these items will make you feel human again, especially if this is your first time at the rodeo.
8. BIRTH DOULA
If you can swing it, I highly recommend a birth Doula. While it is great to have your husband, partner, friend or family member with you there is nothing like a Doula. They are trained in all areas of maternal care during labor and delivery. My Doula Colleen Myatt was phenomenal. She took such good care of me, and did her best to try and keep me on track according to my birth wishes.
While we were in the throes of labor my doctor mentioned that my son was coming down the birth canal ear first which was causing him to get stuck. They suggested they might have to section me to get him out. Colleen immediately jumped into action asking if she could have a few minutes to work with me. My doctor agreed and for the next fifteen minutes she and my husband worked magic. When my doctor returned she told us the baby had dropped and was now coming down the canal in the right position for a vaginal birth. Colleen stayed by my side for the entire 30 hours of labor and delivery. Any woman that can go through that kind of battle with you is worth every penny.
Of course there are many other items you can bring with you, music options to help sooth you, something to read (books and/or magazines) and maybe a whole slew of things not listed here. These are just some of the things I found extremely helpful while in the midst of giving birth to my greatest creation.