O.K., what do you REALLY need to pack for your upcoming hospital birth? There is a definite balance between just the bare essentials and recreating your living room in your hospital room. Here’s what I recommend!
TWO PILLOWS. Use under you head as hospital pillows are plastic covered and therefore, not very comfortable! Just be sure they don’t have plain white cases on them or they might be confused with the hospital ones!
FLIP FLOPS/SLIPPERS. Do not walk around a hospital in your bare feet, for many reasons! Having something that you can slip on easily, especially after you step out of the bath or shower is a bonus!
BIRTH CLOTHES. You can use the hospital gown for your labor and birth, and you can also opt to use your own clothing. The downside of using their ugly gown is that you feel like a patient. The upside is that it’s easy to use with an i.v. and there is an endless supply of clean ones! If you use your own clothing, choose something comfy and soft, something you won’t mind losing if they need to throw it away (birth can be messy!). You can bring a robe, but only for after birth. During labor, just use the ones the hospital has, you don’t want to have to laundry as soon as you get home! For laboring in the tub, bring a sports bra.
CLOTHES FOR AFTER BIRTH. This is really the time when you do not want to feel like a sick patient, so ditch the hospital gown and use your own comfortable clothing. Yoga pants are a great choice, with a nursing top or tank, both available at Nini Bambini.
LIP BALM. During labor you breathe through your mouth and that makes your lips very dry. Choose one that is unscented.
HAIR ELASTICS/HEAD BAND. Helps keep your hair out of your face during labor, especially in the tub.
GLASSES IF YOU WEAR CONTACT LENSES. Honestly the last thing you are going to want to do is try to fumble with contact lenses.
MP3 PLAYER AND SPEAKER. Lots of hospitals offer CD players or cable music channels, but having your own playlist or even a music streaming site like Pandora can be much better.
TOILETRIES/MEDICATIONS. Many hospitals have hair dryers, so you might want to leave yours at home. All supply you with pads for post-partum bleeding, and disposable underwear that’s comfy enough to take any extras home with you!
LAPTOP/CAMERA/PHONE/CHARGER CABLES. Most hospitals have complimentary wi-fi, so bring your electronics with you, and you’ll be able to upload pics and birth announcements right from your room. You will want to take precautions when leaving your room to be sure that your gear is secure though.
CLOTHES TO GO HOME. Remember that the average weight loss after birth is just 13 lb., and your belly will still be about the same size you were 6 months pregnant. So don’t set yourself up for disappointment by bringing your skinny jeans. Bring something comfortable instead!
CLOTHES FOR YOUR PARTNER. Also, don’t forget medications that he/she takes on a regular basis!
OUTFIT FOR THE BABY TO WEAR HOME. You can bring cute clothes for you baby to wear in the hospital, but you’ll just have to take them home to wash. Instead, hospitals provide long sleeve onsies & swaddle blankets. Bring a warm blanket in cold weather, and make sure your car seat is properly installed before you get to the hospital.
BABY ESSENTIALS. Hospitals will also provide you with diapers and wipes. Hospitals with a “Baby Friendly” designation will not provide pacifiers, so you will need to bring your own. If you are formula feeding, the hospital will have the bottles and formula. Most hospitals have a generic “baby bath/shampoo” to wash your baby with, so if you prefer something natural or organic, plan to bring your own.