I’m 40+ weeks pregnant, so there really is nothing left for me to do, but wait around and write about things like what I have packed in my hospital bag. After having Frankie, I realized that packing a bag for the hospital to give birth is kind of like making sure you have a security blanket on hand. It brings you comfort and helps make you feel ready, but at the end of the day you don’t absolutely need it. As much as I pack, I’m likely going to wind up partially or fully naked in a room full of a few knowledgeable strangers and the people I’m closest to. Giving birth is a humbling experience and it makes you realize that during the most difficult and exciting moments in life all your really need are people by your side.
Having said all this, here are a few of the things I packed last time and this time that I think are useful. Most of these items are likely come in handy after your little bundle has arrived…
- an old nightgown and robe
- some warm socks and Uggs type shoes or slippers
- an easy dress to put on when you’re ready to head home
- a bikini top (in case you’re considering going into a birthing tub to have the baby)
- old undies (not pictured for everyone’s benefit)
Recovery & Nursing
- overnight pads for that lovely experience of lochia (bleeding after birth)
- a book about the first year that you can read to calm your nerves (for that moment when you finally find yourself alone with your baby and feel like you don’t have a clue what you’re doing)
- a nursing bra and some nursing pads
- a girdle or Spanx – some people swear by wearing these after birth (e.g. Jessica Alba) to help you regain proper posture and help your tummy bounce back. Of course, genetics and exercise could also be at play…
** I think it’s best not to pack too many nice toiletries because it’s really easy to lose little items at the hospital. Plus, there may not be much time for hair and make-up (for the next 18 years).
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- lip balm in case your lips get dry during birth
- ear plugs that you can wear to have catnaps (hospitals are loud places)
- a few bits of make-up
- tons of hair elastics to keep your hair back during birth and while you’re trying to figure out feeding
- phone charger
Snacks & Treats
I had zero ability to eat anything while I was having Frankie, but a few moments after he arrived all I wanted to do was eat the pack of Haribo I had packed in my bag. I remember thinking those gummy bears tasted like the most delicious thing on earth.
It is important to stay hydrated before and after birth so make sure to have a water bottle that is easy to drink from. Drinks like coconut water can help you replenish electrolytes. Make sure to pack snacks that will sustain both you and your support people throughout your stay.
What about you? What did you/would you find useful to pack for the hospital? What would you never pack again?