Today I wanted to throw out a random post that I have been itching to write for a few weeks now. If you are a mama or mama to be I’m sure you’ve considered what you’ll pack for your trip to the hospital. If not, well…. now is a good time to start. Just for kicks and giggles, I thought I’d write a section on what I packed last delivery day, whether or not it got used, and what I’m changing for this go round. 🙂
With my first I was fairly proud of my packing job. I had thought through EVERYTHING from birthing gowns to socks, from makeup to depends (hey, I’m a realist). And what I took mostly got used (if not by me, by someone in my posse).
So here’s the list of goodies I packed and actually USED during birth (or around that time).
1.) Pajamas – A button down top and some loose fitting bottoms. I even treated myself to a brand new set from Ross. I knew I would be nursing so I tried to be practical. Also, you never know how your birth will go when things start moving so I also purchased them based on how they’d fit in case I had a C-section.
*Note- you don’t walk of the hospital with a fit figure. It took 9 months to grow this baby in your belly, so your body will still be round when you leave. #Truth
2.) Toiletries- These aren’t really necessary (the hospital has soap and shampoo). But when I’m out of my comfort zone having a familiar soap and shampoo (which I’m super picky about, being a hairdresser) really helps ease those nerves. Plus razor!
3.) Nursing pillow- VERY helpful. Babies are super tiny and if you’re not familiar with nursing you may bend all weird while trying to get that perfect latch.
4.) I.D. And Insurance- Probably should be number one on the list but… SUPER IMPORTANT. At our hospital anyone who was staying the night with you had to be registered at the front desk. To do so they needed your I.D. Plus, you need them to drive among other things.
5.) Going Home Outfit- A pair of maternity pants and a cute/comfy top are nice for the ride home.
6.) Electronics and chargers- You will need a cellphone to keep everyone up to date. During my delivery I was there for 24 hours before they began the pitocin. It was nice to keep people updated. You may also want a camera??
Okay, now for the non-necessities that may or may not get used. Still a good idea in particular situations.
7.) Nursing bra- Now technically this is a good idea no matter what. But let’s be real guys, you probably won’t wear a bra while in labor. Sure it’s nice to have that support, but when they have to do the epidural, that thing’s gotta go! Plus, the maternity hospital gowns have slits for nursing in the front. (More on that last detail in a little bit.)
8.) Dry shampoo- I wasn’t sure if I’d use this or not, but I felt better having it around. Just something for the lazy shower when you don’t have the energy (which you may not) to wash your hair.
9.) Makeup- So…yeah… PLEASE don’t fret over your makeup. People will probably take photos when you’re not really anticipating. Leave the vanity at home. I packed a tinted moisturizer and some lip gloss for a simple, clean look that was easy to throw on in two seconds.
10.) Robe- It’s nice to have just in case you decide to (or have to) take a walk around the ward.
11.) Snacks- I put these in this category because you may or may not be able to eat during labor. If pitocin is involved, forget eating. C-section, nope! Induction prior to pitocin….maybe.
12.) Tucks and Dermoplast- The hospital may provide these but you can never have enough. See note in next section.
13.) Baby necessities- A couple of onesies (we did a newborn and a 0-3 mos just in case). I highly recommend taking a onesie with the fold over sleeves. You know, the ones where the little sleeves fold over their hands. My newborn managed to remove the little mittens we tried to put on her. Fair warning. Also, throw in diapers, wipes, and the like. (Or consider packing them their own diaper bag.)
Now on to the list of what not to pack.
1.) Birthing gown – Okay… keep this in mind: you do not go home the same day you deliver. If you give birth in a birthing gown you will, more than likely, get some gross fluid on it. Which means it will sit with that lovely goo on it in your bag for multiple days….. Now, some people use this in place of a robe. Others want to rant about the hospital gowns not being mom friendly. As I mentioned above, they tend to have folded slits in the front of them for nursing and make getting that epidural easier with the tie back. See my point? Less laundry = Less hassel
2.) Socks- Primarily I mean this during labor. Some people talk about being cold during dialation. But when you’re in pain and possibly feeling sick during labor, you REALLY won’t care about your feet. Besides, it’s a hospital. They have blankets (typically in a warmer) and non-slip socks.
3.) Underwear- TAKE ALL THE MESH UNDIES!!!! And BEG or BRIBE your nurses for the ice packs. You’ll feel like a baseball player wearing a cup, but you won’t give a rip!
*Note: A layer of mesh underwear, ice packs, giant pads, Tucks (witch hazel pads), and Dermoplast spray….. your bottom will thank you. Especially if you have stitches. Buy the Tucks!!
4.) Flip flops- If they are just for wearing around the hospital, sure! But people tend to freak out over germs and gunk in the showers. Can we remember that this is a HOSPITAL?? It may feel like a hotel, but I can assure you they have cleaner showers and beds.
And last, but not least, the things I’m packing different this time.
1.) Baby bottles- Okay…. nursing is my number one. I loved nursing my daughter. However, in all honesty you have to consider that it could take a couple of days for your milk to come in. They will want to see that you can feed your infant and that they are gaining weight. And don’t be an idealist when it comes to feeding your baby. Your baby will be just fine with a bottle (fed is best) until your milk comes in. It never confused my newborn one bit. What did frustrate her was trying to “tube feed” her. (They take a syringe, fill it with formula, attach a tube, and feed it into your baby’s mouth. Wanna talk about confusion?? Wanna talk about gas??) Take a bottle, you won’t be sorry.
2.) Baby blankets- Receiving blankets to wrap your tiny one in for the ride home. Apparently hospitals frown on stealing the baby blankets. Although, we brought home about four and eight newborn hats. (Don’t ask, my husband was needy about the tiny hats.)
So if you happen to be planning on reproducing and need a few tips, I hope this list helps! There are a million articles on this same topic, and advice from nurses and the like. Find what works for you, but remember to be open minded. You may have a birth plan, but in the end remember to do what is safest and best for you and baby.
Side story: A friend of mine wanted to have her son vaginally. All was going well until the cord wrapped around his neck. She then needed an emergency C-section. Moral of the story, you can have all the doulas, midwives, and empowering thoughts there are, but things can happen that cause circumstances to change. At the end of the day you still are a mama with a new bundle, however they decided to come into the world.
Second Story: I wanted to go in all natural. My mom did it, so I wanted to try. But I had gestational diabetes and had to be induced. My daughter was perfectly happy in my belly and didn’t want to come. The only way I dialated was when they gave me some pain meds. I wasn’t stressed or tense, but it’s what helped. So, I got the epidural and dialated rapidly soon after. Keep an open mind!