Jan 2, 2012

Packing a bag for the hospital: Labor/Delivery/Going Home

I cannot believe I am finally packing my bag for delivery!  It only seems like yesterday I was hugging the toilet in the wee hours of my first trimester wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into to.  Now, I’m nearly finished with this crazy pregnancy ride and get to pack a bag to prepare for it! 

I have checked with every book, website and “been there done that mom” that could help me be fully equipped with the things I will need when I deliver. Oddly enough the necessary items remind me of a weekend long slumber party. Below is my personal list that I created from all of the sources I consulted.  Also, remember I am a C-section so my list may be longer than most, but I honestly don’t think any expecting mom is 100% free of the possibility of C-section…

Before I get started I was told to pack a bag for the car ride to the hospital and keep it in the trunk.  It's just a couple of bottles of water and a towel I will not mind completely ruining. 

Now for the list...

            Things for me

  1. Toiletries- I have picked up travel sizes of everything: body wash w/ a “poof” sponge, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush/toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, and even a small travel size of flushable wipes.
  2. Girly stuff- Hairbrush, rubber bands, make-up, face wash and moisturizer.   At the very least I am going to put on a tinted moisturizer and lip-gloss.  I am learning from my girlfriends who had washed out faces and raccoon eyes in all of their hospital pics…
  3. A towel and blowdryer for showers.
  4. Panties/knickers- 7 Pairs with a pack of panty liners! I went out and purchased a cheap pack of underwear that I would have no problem throwing away in the hospital. FYI- from what I have read and heard, regardless of how you deliver, you will have some very unsightly fluids draining from your lady bits. I have NO desire to bring that home from the hospital. 
  5. Oversized nightgowns-the kind that button down mid-way so nursing will not be too difficult.  Unless you like having your ass out the entire time by wearing a hospital gown, you will want to bring your own clothes.  I chose long nightgowns with short sleeves so I can still have IV’s and my blood pressure checked. I have also heard that these will probably get ruined, so don’t bring your favorites!
  6. A fluffy cozy robe to put on every time I get out of bed.
  7. Cozy fluffy no skid socks.
  8. A pair of slippers with rubber soles so I can walk around without the fear of slipping.
  9. A pair of cheap flip-flops incase the shower /bathroom floors are gross to walk barefoot on.
  10. 2 Nursing bras with nursing pads-
  11. Nipple cream and body moisturizer
  12. Pen and paper for notes I may want to take.
  13. A “going home outfit” I am going with an oversized pair of sweatpants and a comfy loose fitting shirt.  Unfortunately we will still look at least 6 months pregnant when we leave the hospital, so don’t bring anything you wore pre-pregnancy.
  14. A photocopy of my driver’s license, and insurance card.  I know it sounds silly but better safe than sorry. Any other paperwork you may have- i.e. a birth plan...

Things for my husband

  1. 2 full changes of clothes for my husband- he may not want to leave the hospital or the baby may throw up on him, either way I don’t want him to be a smelly mess in 3 day old soiled clothes. 
  2. Phone charger, batteries for the camera and extra change for the vending machine. 
  3. List of important phone numbers— Family, close friends, boss, coworkers, insurance company, pharmacist...
  4. Snacks and hard candy.  I was told to eat sugar free so I doesn't make me thirsty.   
Things for baby

  1. The baby book!  I heard the hospital will let my husband get the footprints and all other things possible added while we are there.
  2. A been there done that mother told me to pack an outfit for “baby’s hospital photo.” Some hospitals will allow you to give the nurse an outfit to put on your newborn for the photo that is uploaded to the hospital’s website. 
  3. A receiving blanket
  4. A going home outfit
  5. The car seat!
 The things I was told not to bring were the usual- too much money, jewelry, and anything else I don’t want stolen or misplaced.  I heard from a couple of moms that they packed WAY too much and only needed a change of clothes.  Also EVERY mom told me that the hospital provides the gowns, mesh panties, panty liners, socks, toiletries and a thin towel for showering.  So technically you really don’t have to have anything but the car seat, the hospital even gives you the receiving blankets!

However, in my case this is a VERY exciting and scary time for me, I need to have all of this stuff dammit! I just feel better having all of these things at my disposal.  I even threw in an aromatherapy candle just like the one next to my bed at home. I am staying at the hospital for a minimum of three days, I NEED to have some of my creature comforts.  

My hospital bag is packed nicely in a small carry on size suitcase with wheels.  I'll admit my husband was a little concerned that I had over packed...  Whatever, I don’t care, again I am freaking out, so if a lavender candle and a new pair of slippers are going to make me feel better, so friggin be it!  Pack everything you need and want, you have worked hard over the last ten months and deserve to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible! 

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

7 comments:

  1. Bring a small bag to pack the diapers and other baby items the hospital will give you... you're paying for it, take them home! Also, I didn't see the pediatrician listed in the 'who to call' list. And a camera! That is a must! Also, if you're not used to sugar-free candy, beware... read the packaging - most have a warning that it can cause diarrhea if you eat too many! Not something you want to deal with!
    You'll do great... enjoy these final few weeks with your hubby!

    ~ yet another 'been there, done that mom'

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  2. Bring a small bag to pack the diapers and other baby items the hospital will give you... you're paying for it, take them home! Also, I didn't see the pediatrician listed in the 'who to call' list. And a camera! That is a must! Also, if you're not used to sugar-free candy, beware... read the packaging - most have a warning that it can cause diarrhea if you eat too many! Not something you want to deal with!
    You'll do great... enjoy these final few weeks with your hubby!

    ~ yet another 'been there, done that mom'

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  3. Oh, one more thing...
    Set up a breast feeding "station" before you leave for the hospital. You will be tired and worn out and, if you're anything like me, will sometimes be so exhausted that you will forget to eat. Having healthy snacks right there will be so helpful and will help with your milk supply. My supply diminished if I didn't eat well, so I learned quickly.
    For those of you not breast feeding, you'll still want to have a station set up. Bottles, water, formula, burp cloths, snacks for you and anything else you think you may need!

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  4. Girl, I don't know how it is with C-sections, but from what I've read and been told you will have a bloody nightmare extruding from your body. Panty liners just won't do. This is why I was going to buy a box of serenity pads, but the hospital does have huge pads to wear while you are there and will probably give you some to take home. But you may want to stock up because, are you ready, it will last 3-6 weeks.

    I'm also taking an MP3 player stocked with my favorite tunes, and a birth ball (just an exercise ball) and yoga mat (so the ball doesn't slip on the hard tile floor. My hubs will probably bring snacks for himself, we may be there awhile and who knows what the cafeteria food is like. Thank goodness there are some good restaurants close to the hospital.

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  5. Yay!! I packed my bag too this weekend. Less than 6 weeks to go!! The only thing that I added in addition to everything you listed is earplugs and a sleep mask. I am a super light sleeper so in the event that I get the chance to sleep in the hospital those two are a must! I was present for my niece's birth and spent the night at the hospital and it can get pretty noisy with the nurses coming in every hour to check on you.

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  6. Prolly won't let u light your candle, oxygen tanks being explosive and all. I'm goin with black nightgowns. and yoga pants. And i want my blankie.

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  7. You all are Awesome!

    @Moonshine-Between my husband and sister who has 2 boys of her own, i expect them to take everything not nailed down. In the words of my sister-"Everything they bring in your room you pay for so TAKE IT!" but bringing a bag for it, I didn't think of so thank you! And I have a table in the nursery next to the glider with a basket tucked underneath filled with feeding stuff. Great idea!

    @ Food Pixie- Good thinking on the mat for the ball! I have an MP3 on my phone but I hear so many people will be in and out of the room, anything of value I am not bringing. I have also heard of people taking the MP3 into the delivery room too for relaxation. Since I am sure only drugs will make me relax I am opting out of that one!EVERYONE says bring snacks. I have asked my mom to bring me a fruit basket and a pound of washed grapes.

    @Alissa! YOU ARE MY HERO! I totally forgot about the eye mask and Ear plugs. Good one! I plan to sleep every minute I can, since I hear they are few and far between.

    @Anonymous- The candle is just to stick my fat nose in so I can shut my eyes and pretend I am at home. Bath and Body Works has miniature candles in both their Stress relief ans Sleep scents... I LOVE THEM and have both. And LOL, I'm bringing my blankie too. It's name is "Big Red" So soft and so plush and so much better than those thin hospital ones.

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