It is so weird to think that from this point on, every Bump Day post can be my last. I know I’m not due for another 3 weeks, but every morning and every night I think to myself that today can be the day. I have been 2cm dilated for the last two weeks and 80% effaced. Yesterday while going for a walk, I literally had to stop and cross my legs because I thought she was just gonna fall out of my vagina! Oversharing? Sorry. I’m pretty sure it is perfectly acceptable to talk about anything and everything when you’re pregnant. My conversations lately consist of lovely topics, such as Mucus Plugs which I find to be the worst combination of words ever. Seriously. We have all these fancy schmancy scientific names for things and we couldn’t come up with something better than Mucus Plug?!! If you don’t know what it is, feel free to Google it, but it is just another lovely part of pregnancy and labor. And I suppose that once the baby is here, the word “poop” is going to be used at least 57 times a day, so this is now what my life has come to and I’m just gonna go ahead and accept it.
I am very fortunate to have a ton of close girlfriends who have recently gone through the experience of becoming a first time mom. There are books and a gazillion articles on the internet, plus moms, aunts, sisters and your Doctor you can certainly talk to, but for me the best advice and help has come from my friends since the second I found out we were expecting. So if you are the first of your friends to be going through this, or if you are surrounded by men mostly, hopefully this post can help prepare you on what to bring to the hospital.
Hospital Bag: What to Pack?!
1. Diaper Bag or Empty Tote: The hospital lets you take things home such as pacifiers, newborn diapers, newborn cotton long sleeve tops, baby hats, pads for moms, and possibly some other goodies. Okay, maybe they aren’t “goodies” but they are things that you will need and will be happy to bring home with you versus having to go out and get it on your own. You may want to bring your Diaper Bag because you’re excited to finally use it, but any tote will do.
2. Chapstick: The air in hospitals is very drying to your skin and lips. My lips get dry so quickly, so I’ve literally packed 5 different kinds of chapsticks and lip moisturizers in my hospital bag.
3. Bath Robe: You will mostly be in a hospital gown the entire time, so it will be nice to have a robe to throw on if you need to use the restroom or just want to get up and walk a little bit. Comfort is key. Leave the sexy silky robe at home. You also don’t need a massive velour one that makes you look like an Eskimo. A light to medium weight cotton will do just fine.
4. Hair Brush: I know some people who brought their own blow dryers which isn’t a bad idea since you will be showering after labor. For me, I can basically go a week without washing my hair. It also takes forever to dry, so if it’s too gross to wear it down, I’ll just throw it up in a high pony or bun and wash it when I get home. But a brush is definitely a must have.
5. Pillows: Bring a pillow for both you and your support person. And while you’re at it, bring a blanket for them too. You may only be in the hospital for 2 to 3 days, but honestly, you want to be as comfortable as possible and whoever is staying with you, whether it’s your mom, significant other or a friend, deserve to be comfy too!
6. Socks: Hospital floors are cold, so be sure to bring comfy socks or slippers to walk around in.
7. Mini Speaker or Entertainment: This isn’t a necessity, but it may be nice to set up a playlist of calming music to play in the room. You may want to also consider bringing a movie or two to watch if your hospital has a DVD player.
8. Going Home Outfit for the baby: Don’t forget to wash the baby’s outfit at home with gentle detergent that avoids dyes and perfumes.
9. Toiletries: Face Wash, Shampoo, Toilet Paper (yes toilet paper), Body Soap, Baby Wipes (for you, not the baby), Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Contact Solution, Lotion
10. Make-Up: I personally do not wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis. I typically put on a tinted moisturizer, two coats of mascara, lipgloss and call it a day. Although it’s very minimal, it still makes me feel more human if you will. I can’t say that I’m going to care about putting on makeup after having a baby, but I certainly would rather it be available.
11. Camera: A smart phone will do, but if you have a nice camera, this would be a time to whip it out and use it.
12. Swaddle Blankets: I would bring one or two of your own blankets that you plan on wrapping or swaddling the baby in. Again, don’t forget to wash it first!
13. Phone Chargers: This is a must! And you may want to bring an extension cord or something that has multiple outlets so you and your support person can charge up after all the texts, calls, and picture taking.
14. Flip Flops: You may decide to shower in flip flops as if you were a 12 year old at sleepaway camp. Or if you’re feet are not cold, you may prefer to walk around in these versus socks.
15. Bottled Water: Bring bottled water and snacks for your hubbs or whoever is staying with you. Fruit and protein bars are always good options. Find out if there is a refrigerator in your room or on the floor that you can use.
16. Towel: The hospital towels are tiny and rough so do yourself a favor and bring your own.
17. Nursing Bra: If you plan on nursing, it’s a great idea to bring a nursing bra or tank. You will start to learn how to breastfeed almost immediately and a Lactation Consultant will be available to teach you and make sure you are doing it correctly before being discharged from the hospital. Some people bring their breast pump as well and ask to be shown how to use it.
18. Going Home Outfit for Mom: Don’t forget about yourself! Maybe you plan on wearing home what you wore to the hospital, but again, think comfort. Leggings and a comfy tee are probably the best way to go.
Hope this list helps! Don’t forget to have your car seat. If you can’t figure out how to install it properly, the hospital has people that can help you. They won’t let the baby go home without checking it. Also, you may want to create an email list or phone list in advance so that your support person can contact your close friends and family with updates on your status. There are plenty of other “Hospital Packing Lists” online that can give you more ideas of what to bring, but this is basically everything I have packed up and ready to go!!
Oh, and Baby C weighed 6 lbs 2 oz last week, so this week she is probably around 6 lbs 10 oz. Casey and I got to see her in our final ultrasound and I’m still convinced that she is a little alien! 🙂