As a c-section mom, I got to plan a lot of things about my delivery because I knew for several weeks my baby was breech. (Later he flipped over but by then he (or I should say his head) was huge so I’m still glad I had a c-section. More on that later.) There are a ton of blog posts and sites to read about what to bring. It comes down to what you want. Every new mom is a bit different. Some like all the luxuries of home, others are more survivalist.
But I’ll add my two cents. Why not?
The best advice I received about hospital bags is to have two bags, one for labor and another for recovery.
- Make a list of all the things you want during labor. (these are just ideas to get you going!)
- camera for pictures of birth or newborn
- though you won’t eat anything but liquids, a few snacks or meals and chewing gum for birthing coach or partner is helpful so they don’t have to leave the hospital for food
- boredom relief for birthing partner (magazines, card games, movies)
- delivery helps which vary from mother to mother (birthing ball, a pillow from home, mp3 music etc)
- Make a second list of all the things you want during your hospital stay.
- loose and comfortable nursing clothes (or just wear the hospital gown, because of all the work being done in hospital makes it easier to stay in the gown)
- going home outfits for mom and baby, baby socks, a baby hat, a few side snap shirts or gowns
- baby nail scissors
- your toiletries/makeup/lotion
- shower flip flops
- cushy slippers, robe, socks with grips, cushy sandals, etc. depending on climate
- memento book or paper for baby’s footprint (get one when nurses do one for hospital) etc.
- a nursing pillow, like Boppy
- ready to feed formula of your preferred brand – to use in case of supplementing, but keep receipts in case you don’t use them and need to return them. If you end up having to supplement with formula, the hospital will supply some (ours used Similac Advance), you will need to use their brand and likely stick to it at home; they will likely charge you for the “breastfeeding kit of supplies” on your hospital bill (this wasn’t a huge deal as we were meeting a huge deductible, but could potentially save some new parents some $ if you use coupons for formula, or allow you to start using the desired brand or generic brand (like Kirkland Signature) of formula you want to continue using at home)
- lanolin samples from sample goodie bags – or the hospital/lactation consultant will give you a sample (you may be charged for it depending on hospital), just don’t bother buying the full sized tube at retailers, you won’t use up the whole thing, you only need a very small tube (thumb sized tube) for first few months of nursing.
If your spouse or other birthing coach is staying at the hospital with you, he/she will also need basic toiletries and clothing for the hospital stay.
Our hospital was supportive and really high quality in nurses, meals and care, but because of the challenges with breastfeeding, I was more than ready to get out of the hospital and into my own routine by the day we left. I was kind of depressed and already sleep deprived so having some uplifting music on my mp3 player was a huge, huge help for me. Bring something uplifting for you, whether it be music, an inspiring book, or a photo of your family. It will help you to feel human again!