MUST HAVES for your hospital bag
When I was pregnant with my Knox man, people from all realms of motherhood gave me their two cents on things I just HAD to have in my hospital bag (among many many other things). Some advice was really welcomed and I could see myself using it, but other items people claimed were important just seemed like they would be adding weight in the suitcase to make Mat´s biceps burn while he carried it in on the walk in and out of the hospital.
All in all, my first baby hospital visit was smooth, not many trips to the store for forgotten things, but I did end up having an emergency C-section, so many of the items I had packed up were not needed (items like the soothing cooling panties I made for after a vaginal birth).. THEN Aspen Blayke came along, and I found myself going through my ¨must have¨ list in a different way.
- Bathroom Necessities
This is going to be a range of items depending on your nighttime/morning routines. I was sure to bring my toothbrush, toothpaste, my own shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor, and towel. Most hospitals are not going to supply these.. you´re not at a hotel, and honestly hotel shampoo and conditioners aren´t enough to really make you feel clean anyway.. especially after labor. I brought a razor because even after a c section when I was really sore.. shaving gave me a sense of ¨normalsy¨ which is EXTREMELY needed when my body hasn´t really felt like my own in months and after having my stomach sliced open to remove a human.. (I also included face wash and lotion, but I didn´t use the lotion because after my shower, my body never regulated enough for me to stop sweating.. until I was home of course).. The towel- I can´t explain this one, but there´s something about having your own towel to use that you know is going to cover your body up (in case you have unexpected visitors in your room), and it´ll give you peace of mind knowing that you know WHO has used that towel 🙂 I’ll just let that sink in for a bit then move on to the next MUST have….
2. Phone Charger
This one seems like a DUH.. but when I was making my list, everyone and their mom was sure to remind me of chargers. If you´re bringing any type of device/game just bring alllll parts.
3. After birth panties
Depending on your delivery, you will need different types of undies. For csections, I loved the high waisted with a band because it added the needed pressure I needed for the incision. Plus, after a csection, it is VERY important to keep the incision dry, so I recommend putting a pad along the band of your undies to help keep the area dry and infection free!! I chose these and these. If you are delivering vaginally, you will need just some good ol´ granny panties that can hold your ice pack/soothing kit without becoming a hassle. Remember- you just pushed out a human so sexy is not exactly your goal here- comfort is. I have been told that this is a great choice, but again, I did not delivery naturally, so do you research with this one to be sure it´ll be a good fit for you, these are just the kind I had in my bag for my first baby (later I used them for period panties, and they worked great and added that extra peace of mind).
You are going to have visitors coming and going from your room while you try to figure out breastfeeding, so it is a great idea to have a set of lounge wear that is comfortable and easy to maneuver. I had a maternity tank top that I swear by. I wore them alllll through my pregnancy because they are tight enough that they support to an extent and also cover the bottom of my belly (which was huge, Aspen was a 10.7 baby) while also covering my chest, which is a 38F. I had them in every color available. I highly recommend having your lounge wear acceptable for walking the halls.
5. Slip on shoes
Let me just reiterate—->>YOU HAVE TO GET UP AND WALK THOSE HALLS GIRL!!!! #Heal #Good4You #MoveIt #RecoveryAintEasy
6. Postpartum Belly Wrap or Girdle
Your belly has just had a whole human in it. For months. Your muscles are still trying to figure out what they just went through.. so give them some support and order you some type of girdle or belly wrap. I swelled with both of my babies, and I don´t mean typical pregnancy swell… I mean like you could push into my shin bones and that indention would stay for MINUTES… With Aspen I swelled all the way up to my forehead-literally. So I did use this girdle at first with Knox, however I had to stop because it worked so good and held me in SO tight, that it also kept that fluid from passing out of my system, so I moved to a softer support band for about 9 days, just long enough for the fluid to get out, then back to the tighter girdle. I wore some type of support for at least a month- your belly muscles will thank you!
Good gravy this was a total GAME CHANGER from Knox to Aspen. The Haakaa is a way to pull down and catch all the let down from your breastmilk on the side you are not nursing. For example, if Aspen was nursing on my right side, I attached my Haakaa to the my left side and caught all the milk that otherwise would have wasted away in my bra/breastpad. It also helps build your supply early on.. Your baby can absolutely still nurse on both sides, but the Haakaa comes in handy throughout your entire breastfeeding journey.
8. Going Home Outfits
This is one that is pretty self explanatory. Make sure you think through which outfits you, your spouse, and your new bundle will be wearing. Don´t forget to take that picture walking out of the comfort of nurses on hand and walking in to the open world!!
This is another no brainer- you, your baby, and whoever else is staying at the hospital with you will need a change of clothes for each day. Don´t forget your nursing bra!! I would recommend 3 outfits to be on the safe side. With Knox, I checked in at 11am, had my water broke/started the induction at 11:20am, and we didn´t have Knox until Wednesday at 4pm. We left Friday morning (it was a forever long stay), and I was so relieved I had brought enough outfits.
10. Photo Props
If you are wanting a specific picture of your newborn, be sure to have those shared with your spouse and the props packed in advance. I know that if I were to send Mat to the house to pick up my letter board, he would most likely show back up super proud of himself with my Cricut machine in hand….. so just make it easier on yourself and pack that stuff ahead of time.
11. Baby Book
This one is often forgotten! Pack up that baby book early. The nurses will be able to stamp your sweet babies footprint into the page directly, and you can write about the labor experience. I can´t tell you how many times I have heard someone say ¨I bought a baby book, but I haven´t taken the time to fill that out¨ ……..but let me just say: I have my baby book and reading what my mom wrote 30+ years ago is such a cool experience for us to share together, so I want to have that with all of my babies.
These are the random items that some people highly advised me to add to the list. They´re personal preference of course depending on your lifestyle. Talk to your hospital, they may provide some of the following. Pads/adult diapers-they really came in handy, nipple cream, nipple shields, mesh undies for right after birth, cooling serum for after labor (vaginal birth), snacks, snacks, snack!! Mostly for your hungry hubby because there will be a time where you are not allowed snacks.
13. Makeup bag
This one kind of goes along with your bathroom essential section, but I felt the need to touch on it directly because there are so many people that made a point to reach out and tell me NOT having this was a regret they had. The main thing is, after you labor for however long your sweet baby causes you to labor, you may not feel like getting all dolled up, but that is not going to stop those cameras from flashing. When you look back at the pictures from the day after, you want to enjoy what you see. I am the type that feels better when I look better. I have always had the ¨look good, feel good¨ mentality.
That´s a wrap! If you have any ideas for me to add, or have any questions about some of the items on my list feel free to reach out!! I would love to help in any way.