Hospital Bag Checklist
The nursery is set up, your layette is laundered and ready, everything is in it's place....But wait! If you are birthing at a place other than your home, you will likely need to bring some things with you. Many hospitals and birthing centers offer some supplies to you, to know what your birthing place offers, you can give them a call, ask your provider, or even schedule a tour. Here are some basics to consider packing (and what you can leave behind!)
-Bring your own pads!
Remember those mattresses that you stuck in your underwear in middle school? That is what most hospitals offer in the way of pads. If you have a preferred brand, you might want to bring it along with you! Some new mamas even prefer using incontinence underwear (Depends), instead of pads, for their larger coverage area.
-Bring your own toiletries!
Once you are able to start moving around, you will probably want to take a shower to help you feel a little more like yourself. Some hospitals offer small, hotel style, toiletries, but there is really nothing like washing your hair with your own shampoo. Additionally, you want to look good in all those hospital pictures! Make sure to bring some of your favorite toiletries, make-up, and anything you need to manage your hair.
Don't break out those pre-pregnancy jeans yet! After you have your baby, your body is most likely not going to go quite back to what it looked like before pregnancy for a while. Most moms look about 4 or 5 months pregnant for at least a few weeks after delivery! Instead, opt for flattering, cute pajamas, clothes that will still have space for your (now softer) belly, and your postpartum pad. If you have a C-Section, you may want to opt for high waisted underwear and pants...your incision will be right at your bikini line. This is a great time to break out those favorite high waist maternity leggings you've been rocking!
If you are breastfeeding, your milk won't be in yet, but your baby will still want to nurse very frequently! Bring nursing tops and bras with you for easy access.
A nursing pillow can help you learn how to position your baby, make marathon nursing sessions more comfortable, and protect your C-Section incision if needed. Nursing pillows like Boppy also work great as "Donut" pillows for a freshly postpartum bottom.
-A favorite blanket from home
Hospital blankets are notorious for being chilly, you might want to bring your favorite fuzzy throw with you to keep yourself comfortable.
-Going home clothes for baby....and your car seat!
Make sure to bring a going home outfit for your baby, and a backup going home outfit just in case the first one gets soiled (Trust me, it happens!). Additionally, the hospital will not allow you to leave with your baby without a car seat, make sure you have one and that it is installed correctly by paying a visit to a local CPST. If you are in Washington County, Arkansas, there are several CPSTs at the Fayetteville Police Department who can make sure your seat is installed safely and correctly!
-Coconut or Olive Oil
Baby's first poop is a black, sticky tarry substance called Meconium, and it is hard to clean off! wipe your baby's bottom down with some oil so that it wipes clean easily.
-Phone Charger, Contacts to call, camera
You don't want to miss any of those moments with your new baby! Make sure your phone stays charged or you have a camera avaliable!
Things to leave at home:
Your milk will typically not come in until 3 to 5 days postpartum, at which point you will likely already be at home! If you need a pump while you are in the hospital, most places have hospital grade pumps that you can use, so no need to pack your own.
-Diapers and Wipes
Unless you are using cloth diapers from birth or have a specific brand that you love, you may want to leave the diapers and wipes at home. Most birthing spaces will provide these things to you.
Another thing to leave at home! You may want to bring a special blanket for pictures or for the car trip home, but the hospital or birth center will take care of this need during your stay.