Packing My Hospital Bag Guide

At 35 weeks, the hot topic what goes in a hospital bag? My last hospital bag was massive and full of things I didn't end up using at all. This time, I'm packing a smaller bag with just the things I remember using.

Snacks and drinks
Snacks for Hubby: I think this has changed recently but during my first birth, I wasn't able to eat while I was laboring. My poor husband tried to starve along side me but I encouraged him to go to the cafeteria and eat as well as snack on the food we brought for the nurse's station.

Gifts for the Nurse's Station: Last time, we brought a basket with a sign that said, "Thank you for all you do! From the N family in Room XXX!" The nurses really take care of everything for us while we're in the hospital so giving them an extra thank you is the least we can do. Our hospital staff is wonderful to begin with but I feel like we got extra attention from the nurses and lactation consultants because we expressed our appreciation.

I was in the hospital for almost 4 days, 25 hours of laboring, emergency c-section followed by nursing challenges. We brought enough snacks to refill the basket twice a day for a couple of days.

Champagne for Revelers: I love champagne and I thought I was going to pop a bottle and drink right after childbirth until I remembered that I would be breastfeeding and unable to partake. Bringing the champagne was a good idea though because we were able to offer people who visited a celebratory drink. I suggest splits and cans instead of full sized bottles though, as our nurses looked the other way, I don't believe you're supposed to be pouring the alcoholic bubbly in a hospital room. Plus, the splits/cans are enough to serve 2 people and can be chilled in the hospital provided water bucket cups easily.

Clothes to Pack

Here are a few key things to keep in mind while you are packing your bag for clothes.

1. If you are hooked up to an IV, which is common, you will likely swell. As a result, you can pack fuzzy slippers that don't end up fitting. Skid free toe socks are a better option as they can expand and contract with your feet and you can wear them with flip flops if the ground is cold. Flip flops are also good if you are planning on showering.

Most hospitals also provide skid free socks but they are one size fits all.

2. There is a huge possibility of blood staining. I know there are a world of adorable nightgowns and pajamas out there targeted towards the postpartum crowd. Whatever you spend on clothes that you will be wearing in the hospital, be sure you're comfortable with those things possibly being blood stained and thrown away after, whether you have a natural, medicated or c-section birth.

This time, I packed black items so I wouldn't have to worry about staining or blood being visible. Also, my toddler will be visiting and I don't want anything light that might highlight blood on me.

In terms of undergarments, the hospital usually provides disposable mesh underwear which is very loose to not put pressure on c-section incisions. Many people prefer their own underwear, just keep in mind you don't want anything rubbing on your incision if you end up with a c-section.

3. Think about breastfeeding tops and how many visitors you will have and what you will feel comfortable with showing. I tend to be more conservative, especially about my upper body, so I packed deep v-neck t-shirts and nursing bras so I could easily breast feed by pulling down the neck  instead of lifting up my shirt but also be able to quickly cover up when not nursing.

4. How much do you hate hospital gowns? Me, personally, I don't hate them very much and even if I did, the postpartum pain was enough for me not to worry about the gowns because they allowed my medical team to easily access the areas of my body they needed to check. As a result, the clothes I pack are really a backup in case I feel well enough to actually get dressed. If you hate hospital gowns, you might consider packing clothes that give the same access as hospital gowns.

If what you hate about hospital gowns is that they open in the back, pack a robe. That way, when you are out of your bed, you can throw the robe on and have your backside covered.

5. What are you going home in? I packed a loose fitting maternity sweater and high waisted leggings. I know that I'll look somewhat put together enough for pictures but comfortable enough around the sensitive areas of my body.

Skincare: Being able to get up out of bed and do my morning skincare routine made a huge difference to me in feeling like a human being post surgery. Also, having one's own skincare products makes a hospital stay feel a little bit more like a vacation than a stuffy hospital.

Hygiene: The hospital does provide a certain number of hygiene products but, quite honestly, I have brands I prefer and make me feel fresh.  Plus, there's nothing worse than wanting something that the hospital doesn't provide. Yes, hubby can run out and get it but it's better just to have it and not worry.

Supplements: It's a good idea to bring any supplements, vitamins or medication that will be taken postpartum. It allows the doctors to make sure there are no drug interactions as sometimes things like painkillers are prescribed after birth.

Makeup: The basics of a BB cream, eyeliner, mascara and lip balm are enough for me to feel presentable at the hospital. Bringing whatever makeup is needed to feel comfortable enough to be photographed is very uplifting.

Gifts for Siblings: Leading up to the birth, we've been talking up baby brother to our son to prevent sibling jealousy issues (more on this in a future blog). We've read him books on being a big brother, showed him babies, etc. What got him really excited was when we told him that baby brother would bring him a gift at the hospital. That gift was a doctor costume.

Swaddler: The hospitals have blankets to use to swaddle but they're not very good. I like Aiden + Anais swaddlers so I packed one in case swaddling with hospital blankets is too frustrating.

Going home outfit: A cute going home outfit is important, not only because it's baby's first real outfit, but because many hospitals have professional photographers who come in to take pictures and sell photo packages. I packed one outfit in premie size so it would hopefully fit perfectly and then bought a newborn outfit in case the premie size was too small.

Not Pictured

Additional items I pack but didn't picture include bed linens for my husband, yoga ball, My Brest Friend pillow and infant carseat.

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