What’s In My Hospital Bag — The Third Time Around

Hospital Bags, What to Bring to the Hospital
Diaper bags: Fawn Design

So many people overpack when they pack their hospital bags (myself included). I know I did the first time. Whether you give brith in a hospital or a birth center, a lot of those items will be provided.

SO….KEEP.IT.SIMPLE!

With all that being said, here are some things I’m so thankful I brought…

Hospital Bags, What to Bring to the Hospital for BirthHospital Bags, What to Bring to the Hospital for Birth

In My Bag:

  1. Snacks. You will be so hungry! I’ve packed Oat Mama bars because they are so tasty, so filling, and help support healthy lactation. Other good ideas are beef jerky, apples, bananas, baked goods (like muffins or hearty cookies). Hospital food is pretty bleh, and it wouldn’t hurt to have some of your favorite snacks with you.
  2. Your own pillow. Hospitals aren’t known for comfy sleeping amenities. And there’s nothing like having your own pillow with you after you’ve finished giving birth! Make sure it’s in a non-white case so that you don’t accidentally forget it.
  3. Extra long phone charger. Outlets may not be close to the bed and you’ll want your phone as close as possible & lots of slack on that cord. And you’ll definitely want it fully charged! I got these and love them.
  4. Chapstick/Lip Balm. Your lips will be SO dry!
  5. Depends/Always Diapers. You’ll be provided with those awesome pads and mesh panties but I was thankful I had packed 1-2 for traveling home (p.s. even C-section mamas bleed!).
  6. Comfy Clothes! For me, this was loose-fitting pants and a soft cardigan. I also brought a pair of slippers I didn’t care about (you don’t want them to be new!). The perfect thing for walking to/from the bathroom.
  7. Whatever you want to labor in. I didn’t really know what I wanted to wear the first time around. I ended up just wearing a tank over a nursing bra and then my doula wrapped a sheet around my bottom half. Second time, I wore a nursing bra and an old robe over it and no undies. It was perfect for me and I plan on doing the same this time.
    1. Side note: I got really cold during delivery the second time (I may have the first time, too, but it’s just hard to remember at this point!). So I kept asking my husband to place a blanket over me/my shoulders in between contractions. You never know how your body will react to labor, but think about it — your body is working SO hard! After I had my first I remember telling people I felt like I had just run a marathon….and I had! So you may be cold and have the shakes during/right after delivery.
    2. SO, with all that being said, bring something you can drape over your shoulders — a cardigan, a zip up hoodie, or something like that. Here is what I packed and am bringing this time. I love that it doesn’t have a zipper so it won’t scratch baby but it’s SO soft and warm and cozy.
  8. Bare Necessities with Toiletries.  Think toothpaste, toothbrush, hair brush. Maaaaaybe some moisturizer. You probably won’t be staying long and won’t be too concerned about makeup. I thought I would be, but I wasn’t. If you’re having pictures taken there, then yeah, bring some minimal makeup! But believe me, you’ll be surprised at how little you care about having makeup on after having a baby!

 

Hospital Bags, What to Bring to the Hospital for BirthHospital Bags, What to Bring to the Hospital for Birth

In Baby’s Bag:

  1. A hat or two (…or three!). They’ll have their own hat provided by the hospital/birth center, but if you want something special, bring your own. I had a hard time deciding, so I packed a couple from Spearmint Love and also a few turbans from Top Knots. It just helps make your baby’s outfit feel less generic. They don’t take up much space so don’t feel guilty for packing a lot! 😉
  2. Two-three outfits. The first time around I went for the cute factor. But the second time around I went for function! Functional can still be cute…no worries! Honestly, you will want to be doing so much skin to skin, so keep them in a diaper and just focus on swaddling for warmth when you’re not holding him/her. I’m bringing one pair of these footed coveralls from Kickee Pants because they are SO soft, the insides of the feet are lined with fleece for extra warmth and the snaps are easy to do. There are also zippered ones that make for easy changing.
    1. I’m also bringing a knotted sleeper from Childhoods Clothing and another outfit I got from them that is just too dang cute NOT to bring! But knotted sleepers are great for easy diaper changes and keeping them warm and cozy. My suggestion is to dress baby in a footed coverall for the ride home since it’s easier to buckle them in while wearing that versus a knotted sleeper gown.
  3. Swaddle blankets (2). You will be provided swaddle blankets to use while in the hospital, but we all know how irresistible swaddle blankets are! I mean, I have SO many now. I bought a couple for Luna, but we have lots from when Charley and Teddy were born! These are perfect for getting those newborn pictures and of course they’re great for keeping baby warm on the ride home. I got this one and this one for Luna and I love them!
  4. Burp cloths + Pacifiers. These are more so just optional, but I had room so I packed them just in case! I love this Wubbanub one and also this 2-pack of BIBS pacifiers.

 

For my birth center mamas:

  1. Bring some diapers and wipes for baby!
  2. Water thermos for yourself! I love my Hydro Flask and Yeti.

 

Optional:

  1. Perineal spray & nipple cream. You may not need this at the hospital or birth center, but you will definitely need it once you get home! The perineal spray became part of my routine after going to the bathroom. Peri bottle rinse, pat dry, spray! And the nipple cream is so helpful when you’re getting started with breastfeeding. This brand is my favorite and the nipple cream can be used on dry skin, so it’s just really handy to have.
  2. Breast Pads. I’m bringing some disposable breast pads just because my milk came in super fast last time (more common for subsequent births).
  3. Essential Oils. I had a few for all of my births, but only ended up using them when I was laboring at home. But it is nice to have them on hand! My doula also had some, so that was helpful, too. I’m just packing a few this time to help keep me grounded. Frankincense is my absolute favorite, so I’m packing that. I’ll probably bring White Angelica and Sacred Mountain, as well. And probably lavender, because I feel like it’s just a good one to have on hand! It’s honestly just something that helps in the beginning before active labor and then after birth, in my opinion!
  4. Belly Bandit/Belly Wrap. I’m bringing my Belly Bandit BFF wrap. It helps provide immediate support for your core right after delivery. However, if I can’t fit into it before leaving the hospital, no big. Sometimes it takes a few days for your swelling to go down. Just be mindful of body mechanics as you’re getting in and out of bed. No crunching! We don’t want you to get diastasis rectus (separation of the abdominal muscles).
  5. Solly Baby Wrap. I’m bringing mine with me because it’s an easy way to facilitate skin to skin. This ended up being my favorite purchase I made for myself when I was pregnant with my first. It helped me SO much that I’ve given it as gifts to friends when finding out that they’re pregnant. I know it’s a lot of fabric and that can be intimidating, but just watch a ton of how to videos and you’ll be a pro. I can’t stress how important skin to skin is and I think this just makes it so much easier. In my next blog post, I’ll be sharing my mommy/newborn must haves and this tops the list. I explain why it’s so important and helpful. But I will quickly mention that it helps with milk supply, it helps regulate baby’s temperature, breathing and heart rate, and it helps promote bonding between baby and mother. It also helps keep baby with the mother (if there are no medical reasons for baby to be attended to). Basically, it eases the transition from inside the womb to outside. I love it so much that I’m giving one away to one of you. Please head to my Instagram page to enter!

That’s it! Believe me. You won’t need a whole lot and you won’t need what you think you’ll need! Everything changes once that little one arrives and both hospitals and birth centers are equipped with everything you need for birth and afterwards! All you need to do is focus on the baby and make sure you are surrounded by people who will focus on you and help tend to you and your needs! xoxo

 

Hospital Bags, What to Bring to the Hospital for Birth

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