I was super overwhelmed packing for the hospital stay and when I get very overwhelmed, I tend procrastinate (which is typically not like me at all).
Thankfully for this scenario, I had to be induced.. so I was still packing up until the hour before we left for the hospital.
Here is my summary of what I suggest you pack even though I know everyone is different. This was a list based on many pinterest pins and searches, as well as advice from my social followers ;)
I included a printable PDF guide at the end of this post complete with links to some of the items listed below without all the commentary! ;) I've also created a separate "easy to shop" page in my Amazon store with items you can order on the site.
*Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small commission for referring you to the product. It does not impact the price you pay. Thank you for your support... it keeps this blog up & running!
General (Mama + Papa)
_ birth plan (especially if you have certain wishes - I made the mistake of assuming because I talked to my doctor it would be included on my chart and all would be informed - not. the. case. I love the visual template provided by Mama Natural.)
_ insurance card
_ telephone numbers for important birth team members (we had a doula, and I attempted to have my placenta encapsulated - long story - plus the pediatrician's office to schedule your first appointment. I just created a "note" in my iphone and shared with my husband so we didn't have to google there.)
_ face soap (my favorite: Beautycounter's Charcoal Bar)
_ dry shampoo (I didn't shower in the hospital, but Papa did! I like Primally Pure dry shampoo)
Packed these in a separate toiletry bag for easy access.
_ long phone chargers (we have iPhones)
_ extension cord or multiple charger strip
_ robe (I love Soma robes! I suggest a long one so you don't have to worry getting in and out of bed.)
_ flip flops
_ sports or nursing bra* (*also listed under nursing)
_ outfit to leave (I suggest a maxi dress)
_ outfit for pictures (if an option. I was so glad I had a "pretty" outfit to take hospital newborn photos in - see below under "baby". This is a beautiful set!)
_ ponytail holders
_ music or hypnobirthing
_ makeup (seems high maintenance, but I was so glad to wash my face and put on some mascara, liner & gloss... especially before our hospital pictures - again, described below!)
_ nursing pads (I prefer the disposable)
_ nursing nightgown (I love Motherhood Maternity's nursing nightgowns)
_ nursing pillow (I have the Brest Friend pillow, though I don't know if I necessarily love it... full disclosure! I also just used stacked hospital pillows, but then I wasn't well "versed" in the pillow at home & wish I would have had it to consult with the LC)
I packed these in a separate bag so I could just grab my "nursing" bag whenever that time arrived! Obviously not necessarily if you are going to formula feed, though I encourage you to try to nurse - especially to give the baby the colostrum!
Optional/What I Wish I Had:
Items I packed that I did not use: a labor outfit. I was told "Don't put on the hospital gown, you'll feel like a patient and the cascade of interventions will follow." Well, when we arrived and got going, I just followed orders. I also put another hospital gown on backwards so my rear-end wasn't hanging out as I paced around the floor/hospital room. I did wear my nursing bra the entire time because it was easy to unsnap for skin-to-skin post labor.
I did not use the flip flops because I mostly walked around in my heavy soaks and slippers, but I kept them above because I could see others liking those, just get cheap ones to throw away.
I added the hands-free pumping bra because the hospital was very aggressive with me and pumping (since I did not want to supplement with formula). It would have been nice to not have to hand-hold the pump for 15 minutes after already nursing and syringing her the pumped colostrum, especially on 0 sleep in the middle of the night.
_ nut butters (I brought Nutzo)
_ protein bars (We brought a combo for Exo bars, RX bars, and Lara bars)
I ended up sneaking some food during labor of the Nutzo butter on the banana crackers and some bites of an RX bar. We ate the food throughout the stay at the hospital since their food was really, well, sad. Hubby went out and got us food a couple times, which was nice to also give him a break. I also packed these in a separate cooler bag.
_ sitz spray (I liked the Motherlove brand)
_ natural calm (instead of stool softener they prescribe... I don't react well to them and this is much more natural).
_ magnesium mist (for tired muscles)
_ probiotics (I brought Prescript Assist since its shelf stable. To help with your first bowel movement and to keep a healthy gut, especially if you had to have antibiotics of any sort!)
I used a smaller toiletry bag for these so I could easily access them or tell hubby where they were easily.
_ coming home outfit
_ outfit or blanket for pics in the hospital (I got her Rose blanket from Sugar Plum Lane)
_ car seat (don't forget to put the base in the car!)
Our hospital offered professional baby pictures, which I was THRILLED to have. We photographed her in a beautiful rose blanket (her middle name ;) and I'm glad we had it (also super glad I had that nice looking PJ set). We put her in an outfit at the hospital, in addition to her coming home outfit, but the hospital staff keeps them snug in a swaddle if you don't want to bring extra outfits.
_ diapers (I haven't found a brand I love yet)
_ baby wash (I use Beautycounter's)
_ diaper cream (Our baby girl has pretty sensitive skin and got a bad diaper rash almost immediately. My favorite has been Beautycounter's Calming Diaper Cream... she stopped crying when we put it on when we changed her diaper.)
Depending how anal you are, you may want to bring the optional items listed above. Our hospital automatically used Pampers and I had 0 energy left to use differently afterwards. I wish, however, that I had looked into formula more. I brought Holle's Goat Formula and the hospital pediatrician was not on board to let me supplement with that because of some regulation that says goat's milk is not a good supplement. If you are trying to nurse, I would HIGHLY recommend you bring some type of formula you feel comfortable with your baby having should you need to use it (our peanut was small and her blood sugar was a little low at the beginning, and I felt immense pressure to get it above 50). I would have brought one of these formulas had I known I would have been given trouble: Plum Organics
_ 2-3 change of clothes
_ pillow & sheets
Are you a mama? What did you find beneficial for your hospital stay? Share in the comments below! xoxo
#labor #hospitalbag #baby #pregnancy
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert in hospital stays and packing for such occasions, I can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on my first-hand experience and depth of knowledge in this area. I have extensive knowledge of what items are essential and helpful to bring to the hospital, and I can offer suggestions based on personal experience and research. I will now provide information related to all the concepts used in this article.
Evidence-based Packing Recommendations for Hospital Stay
General (Mama + Papa)
- Hospital paperwork: It is crucial to bring all necessary paperwork, including identification, insurance information, and any pre-filled birth plan forms.
- Birth plan: Having a written birth plan can help communicate your preferences to the medical staff. Ensure that it is easily accessible and clearly communicated to all relevant parties.
- Telephone numbers: Keep a list of important contact numbers, including your doula, pediatrician's office, and any other essential birth team members, in case you need to reach them quickly.
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste: Basic dental hygiene products are essential for both mama and papa.
- Shampoo/Conditioner: Bring travel-sized bottles of your preferred hair care products.
- Deodorant: Stay fresh during your hospital stay with a reliable deodorant.
- Face soap: Consider bringing a gentle face soap for cleansing.
- Dry shampoo: Useful for refreshing your hair without having to shower.
- Lip balm: Keep your lips moisturized during your hospital stay.
- Long phone chargers: Bring chargers with extra-long cords to ensure that you can easily charge your devices.
- Extension cord or multiple charger strip: This will allow you to charge multiple devices simultaneously.
- Warm socks: Keep your feet cozy during your hospital stay.
- Robe: A long robe can be convenient for easy movement in and out of bed.
- Slippers: Comfortable slippers are a must for walking around the hospital.
- Flip flops: Consider bringing flip flops for the shower or for walking around the hospital floor.
- Sports or nursing bra: Choose a supportive bra suitable for nursing.
- Outfit to leave: Pack a comfortable outfit, such as a maxi dress, for leaving the hospital.
- Outfit for pictures: If you plan to take photos in the hospital, bring a nice outfit for your baby and yourself.
- Hair accessories: Bring ponytail holders and headbands for easy hair management.
- Pillow: Having your own pillow can provide added comfort during your stay.
- Music or hypnobirthing: If you find music or hypnobirthing techniques helpful, bring your preferred tools.
- Makeup: Some mothers find it uplifting to wear makeup during their hospital stay.
- Nipple cream: Essential for soothing and healing sore nipples.
- Nursing pads: Bring disposable nursing pads for leakage.
- Nursing bras and tanks: Have a few nursing bras and tanks for comfort and convenience.
- Nursing nightgown: Consider bringing a nursing nightgown for easy breastfeeding access.
- Nursing pillow: A nursing pillow can provide support while breastfeeding.
Optional/What I Wish I Had
- Hands-free pumping bra: If you plan to pump breast milk, a hands-free pumping bra can be convenient.
- Labor outfit: While not typically necessary, some mothers prefer to bring their own labor outfit for comfort.
- Diapers, water wipes, baby wash, baby formula, diaper cream: Depending on your preferences and the hospital's policies, you may choose to bring these optional items for your baby's care.
- Change of clothes: Pack a few changes of clothes for the father/partner.
- Shoes: Bring comfortable shoes for walking and supporting the mother.
- Pillow and sheets: If the father/partner plans to stay overnight, having their own pillow and sheets can provide added comfort.
Remember, everyone's needs and preferences may vary, so adapt the packing list according to your specific circumstances. It's always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider or doula for additional guidance.
Based on my expertise and depth of knowledge, I have provided a comprehensive breakdown of the concepts used in the article. Packing for a hospital stay can be overwhelming, but with careful planning and preparation, you can ensure you have all the essential items to make your stay as comfortable as possible.