“This ain’t my first rodeo!”
No, it really isn’t! I had my first baby less than 2 years ago AND I’ve worked as a postpartum nurse for 3 years.With that being said, I feel a little knowledgeable on what is needed and not needed in the hospital setting. Although I do consider myself to be “experienced” in this particular area of motherhood, I definitely made some mistakes when packing my bag both times. I decided to write this post AFTER I had Baby J to focus on what I brought, what I wish I would have brought, and what I should have left at home!
First and foremost, I will say that everybody’s hospital is different and their experience is different as well. If you can attend a hospital tour, definitely do it. While you’re there, ask questions about the items that the hospital will provide. If you’re like me and don’t want to pay extra for anything, then ask them to direct you to the person that is in control of billing. By doing this, you’ll be able to know exactly how much you’re paying for any item. This can help you decide if you’d rather bring your own from home or not.
With my experience this second time around, I HOPED that I would be having a vaginal delivery and staying in the hospital for no more than 24 hours after the baby was born. Fortunately, it happened this way.
So, this is what I did bring:
You’re going to get a lot of documents while in the hospital. You should definitely bring your own folder to store all of the information.
- Belly binder
For c-sections, this is a must! Although I didn’t have a c-section, I love the support that this provided on my back after the epidural
- Hospital robe
Not a necessity but I was gifted this beautiful hospital gown by Shop Pink Blush and was planning on taking pictures with my sweet babe
- Going home outfit
- Personal Identification/ Wallet
You will definitely need your ID when it’s time to do the birth certificate so don’t forget this! If you aren’t legally married, your sig. other will need his or her ID also.
Only if you’re picky about wearing the gown in front of visitors!
- Make-Up Bag
- Ice Pack Pads (I tried to find a link but wasn’t able to. I found these at CVS).
All self-explanatory haha!
- Cell phone and charger
- Ipad and charger
- Hydrogel pads
Your nipples are going to be SO SORE! These first two item are life-savers!
- Breast pump
My milk hadn’t come in yet and I knew that it wasn’t going to on day 1. I sort of brought the pump for peace of mind and to stimulate my milk production. Also, in the event that your baby is away from you (i.e., nursery or NICU), using the pump will help your initial production since the baby can’t!
- Pump parts and bottle(s)
You probably won’t need more than 1 bottle
- Nursing cover
I really think the hospital is the best place to start practicing using a cover if that’s how you plan to feed in public!
- Milkmaker’s Lactation Cookies
So I will always recommend these cookies. I’m not positive if they do amazing things for everyone’s milk production but they did for mine. I started eating them as soon as they baby was born. My milk came in by day 3.
- MilkFlow Berry Drink Mix
I didn’t drink this with the first baby but decided to this time around. It has key ingredients to increase milk production so I figured I would try it. I drank one pack with my lunch until my milk came in. (Ask your doctor before drinking anything).
For the baby:
- Going home outfit
I normally don’t care about dressing a baby whatsoever. In the event of going home, the baby needs an outfit because it’s weird to put them in the carseat naked, haha! The hospital only provides a top for your newborn, no bottoms! So bring an outfit that will be appropriate once you put the baby in the car seat.
Note: I didn’t pack anything for my husband because 1) I forgot… 2) I knew he wasn’t staying overnight once I was on the postpartum floor.
What I wish I would have brought:
- Additional toiletries
I didn’t think that I’d need my own face wash but I really did. I didn’t mind the hospital’s soap and shampoo for the night but I would have loved to have my own skin care products, especially because I felt so icky.
- Snacks (for the postpartum floor)
Breastfeeding makes you so hungry. I didn’t think that snacks were a necessity but after waking up multiple times to feed Baby J, I was famished.
- Pillows from home
I slept TERRIBLY the entire hospital stay… I think that one of my own pillows might have helped. Fortunately, I was only there for less than 48 hours!
- Boppy Pillow
I took it the first time around and barely used it so I assumed that I wouldn’t use it this time either. The first time, I didn’t have as much knowledge about breastfeeding though! I would say that if you had to bring one extra bulky item and you plan on breastfeeding, this should be it! It takes away the awkwardness of figuring out the positions while the baby is learning to latch. It also helps take the strain off of your back in the early moments of nursing.
What could have been left at home
- My camera
I had every intention on taking beautiful pictures of my baby in the hospital but I didn’t. I chose to sleep and eat instead and I have no regrets about it.
- Extra clothing
I ended up wearing my pajamas home, so my going-home outfit was untouched.
- Make Up Bag
I never put a drop of make up on my face… I was definitely planning on it seeing as how I would be photographed. In the actual moment, it wasn’t even a thought in my mind.
- Ice Pack Pads
I would honestly say that for your hospital bag, you should pack as minimally as possible. Aside from the hospital provided items and the few personal necessities, you really don’t need much. You shouldn’t bring more than one bag of items! The first time around, we brought way too many things in too many bags. This time, I wanted to pack lightly and I did. Though I could have left a few things and added a few small things, I think that the content in my bag was overall perfect for the occasion.
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