We are t-minus 18 days until d-day! I cannot wait to get this baby out, starting to love on the new addition, and am so ready to start getting my pre-preggo body back. Until then, I decided it would be a good idea to put together a little post about all the things that I bring to the hospital while I'm there.
The first time I was pregnant and heading to the hospital, I brought all the things and I didn't even use a quarter of them. My second, since it had been about 7 years between the two, I couldn't remember what was necessary and what wasn't so I ended up bringing more than needed but definitely less than my first.
My third, I had only the essentials, what I knew I would use and that was all… so with this being my last and final pregnancy, I feel like I finally have a good handle on what needs to be brought to the hospital and what you can really leave home.
I have to say that it's definitely better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Especially if you're a first-time mom and not knowing if you'll have the natural birth you want or end up having a c-section due to unforeseen complications. I ended up having a c-section for my first and then have scheduled c-sections for all the rest.
Even though I'm about 37 weeks pregnant currently, I don't actually have my bag packed yet… but I do know what I am going to pack. My first baby was induced a week late (at 41 weeks) and none of my others have given me any inclination that they would come early and have all waited until surgery day.
So I still have 2 weeks until d-day but if there is a reason my OB needs to deliver me early, I'll just throw all my stuff in my bag and head out. Luckily, my house is in between my OBs office and the hospital so even if she wants me to go there right away, I can still stop at home and throw all my stuff in a bag.
All the previous times I headed to the hospital I would use an old duffel bag that had the logo of a company I used to work for on it. This time, I felt I was due for an upgrade (plus with all the traveling were hoping to do) so I ended up buying this Adrienne Vittadini bag off TJMaxx.com and I love it so much!
I posted a while back, when I was pregnant with my third, that I was in the market for a new bag. That time I ended up buying this one off Amazon. While I do love it, it's a great bag, and I use it all the time, it just wasn't big enough for everything that I needed for the hospital. That's why I went on the mission again to find the perfect bag.
This one is so roomy and fits my new laptop and case perfectly along with all the other stuff that I have to bring with me. It would also be perfect for a quick weekend getaway with your girlfriends. I absolutely love the turquoise color, diamond quilting, and the cognac leather details. Oh, and it also has a little strap on the back that allows you to slide it over the handle of some luggage! Score!
So let's get to it! Everything that's in my hospital bag…
- This will be my 4th c-section and is geared specific for that. It will work for you if you have a natural birth but just keep that in mind.
- Secondly, I am unable to nurse. I try but have been unable to with all of my children. Most of this stuff is still nursing friendly because I still try to nurse when at the hospital but I don't buy anything nursing specific – I did with my first and it all was for nothing and I used none of it. If you are able to nurse, then add a nursing bra to the list or actually the specific bralette listed below will still work just fine.
- Finally, I'm usually only in the hospital for 2 days, max. Most vaginal and c-section moms are in the hospital for 3-4 days or more depending. So make sure you adjust your list accordingly for how long you think you will be staying.
Things I Bring:
- Wallet with identification and insurance cards
- For obvious reasons. The hospital already has my information on file but it's always good to have the hard copy just in case they ask you for it.
- Folder for all the paperwork they give you
- I don't know about your hospital, but mine gives you a ridiculous amount of paperwork while you're there. Plus, you'll get a copy of the baby's footprints and unofficial copy of their birth certificate for your records at home.
- Paper notebook & a pen
- for notes, just in case
- Water bottle
- most hospitals give you a nice giant water bottle to drink from while you're there, however mine does not. They only give me a little styrofoam cup that I can drink down in less than .2 seconds. I end up bringing my own giant water bottle to have them fill instead. Then I don't feel so bad because I don't need to call them just to bring me water.
- 3-4 Baby Outfits
- Usually when we're at home, I keep the baby in footed PJs but while at the hospital I keep them in a short sleeve onesie because they are always taking the baby to do tests and whatnot and it's just easier to have the baby's arms and legs exposed for that. You'll have a blanket to wrap the baby in to keep them warm.
- Baby Socks
- Since the baby isn't in footed PJ's at the hospital, I like to keep socks on them to keep their toes warm. They keep hospitals super cold and even though I keep the baby wrapped in a blanket I still like to make sure their toes are warm. My feet are always super cold so maybe it's a product of that that I always put socks (or footed PJ's) on my kids.
- Baby Mittens
- So the baby doesn't scratch their face. These are a lifesaver and definitely a must.
- Blanket for baby going home
- After putting them in the car seat I wrap them in a blanket to keep them warm and somewhat swaddled on the journey home.
For momma at the hospital
- Always Silhouette Underwear
- because I hate the mesh panties and giant pads and these are so much better!
- Fuzzy socks or slippers
- they'll give you socks while you're there but they're not comfortable or warm. Plus, I just like having my own socks or slippers to wear.
- for when I venture out of bed to walk around a little or go to the bathroom. I like lightweight and uncomplicated so I can just throw it on and take it off with ease. I found this exact one recently at TJ Maxx and it came with a matching chemise/nightgown. I love that it's lightweight and has a silky texture for when it's hot in the hospital room and the chemise that came with it has spaghetti straps so I can just pull down the top when I need to breastfeed.
- 1-2 cotton/rayon chemise or nightgown
- I don't wear pants when at the hospital. There's no point with them coming in to check you often. Just get a camisole, tank, or chemise type nightgown that gives easy access to the girls to be able to nurse. Plus, when you're in bed you'll more-than-likely have the blankets up over you anyway. I bought the one that came with the robe above and then I found another Tahari one at TJ at the same time that I snatched up.
- Like I said in the beginning, I can't nurse, no matter how hard I've tried… so nursing bras are a waste for me. I just wear the same bralettes that I wear every day at home and they work perfectly. They give me easy access to pull-down for when I am trying to nurse.
- Belly Bandit Hip Bandit
- This thing is a lifesaver and I absolutely love it. I start wearing it as soon as they let me out of bed to walk around. It helps keep gentle pressure on my incision as well as provide subtle support for my lower back and abs.
- Neoprene Waist Shaper
- I bought this “waist shaper” after I had my 3rd baby. I didn't have it before my hospital stay last time so I didn't wear it, but I'm going to bring it this time. It gives subtle compression – which will help with pushing everything back into place after birth but it's also long enough and soft enough to not aggravate my c-section incision while I'm in the hospital. Plus, it rolls up and out of the way easily for when they come into check my scar and vaginal bleeding.
- I also have the Bellefit Postpartum Corset for C-Sections that I wear when I get home. That one is a lot more firm and supportive and I love that it helps push my tummy back into place but I think it's too restrictive to use while in the hospital.
For momma going home
- Wide Waist band Pajama Pants
- Still no regular pants to go home in. I'm going home, probably to sleep, or at least to just lounge around the house… why change once at the hospital and then again at home? That's just too much bending and trying to put real pants on. Comfy pajama pants all the way.
- Loose fitting Pajama Top
- Because you can't leave the hospital topless… haha… and you'll still look like you're 4-5 months preggo.
- Depending on the weather, I throw on a lightweight sweater to wear for the 0.2 seconds I'm outside getting in the car. It'll be beginning of April when I'm delivering this baby and I'm not 100% sure what the weather will be like when I leave. I usually just bring one of my husband's zip-ups to wear.
- Flip flops or sneakers
- Again, depending on the weather but more-than-likely slip-on sneakers so I can continue to wear my fuzzy socks to keep my feet warm when I leave.
I pack all my toiletries in an old purple makeup bag that I got at Bath & Body Works years and years ago. Anything that might leak I pack in a clear gallon bag instead so it doesn't ruin anything if it does end up leaking.
Others you might need:
Despite having a c-section, I am only at the hospital for 2 days, max. I don't shower there – instead I just wipe my face and neck and even belly with the face wipes and then shower first thing when I get home. Plus the harsh shower and water at the hospital just aggravate my incision and I would rather be at home to shower. If you are there for longer or have a natural birth or you may just want to take a shower while you're there. Most hospitals do provide these things for you but if you’d rather have your own stuff then I would recommend bringing them.
- Travel shampoo & conditioner
- Shower flip-flops
Things I don't bring:
- Things for my husband
- we have three kids at home already and, really regardless of that fact, there is no need for the hubby to stay at the hospital with you. Of course it would be a nice little perk but sleeping is so uncomfortable at the hospital, why not let him go home and sleep in his own bed at night? And when he comes back the next day to visit you and the baby he can bring good coffee, snacks or anything else you might want him to bring – like champagne, maybe ?? haha. After you come home he can take over for a couple days while you get some sleep in your own bed. Trade-offs and compromise.
- Car seat
- I actually leave this at home and have the hubby bring it after I get discharged. You don't want a car seat taking up space in the room and collecting all the hospital germs.
- Baby Bag
- I have the hubby bring this, empty, after I get discharged from the hospital. I then use it to put all the baby stuff you get while you're there – the bag of diapers, wipes, baby bath stuff, pacifiers, whatever else they give you. Yes, everything in your room is good for the taking home. You've been charged for it, why not take it with you when you leave?
- Nursing pillow
- Again, hospital germs… but besides that, it takes up a lot of space and it's not all that necessary. Just ask the nurses for extra pillows and use those under your arm to help prop up baby and you into the perfect nursing or bottle feeding position
- Special outfit for going home
- I did this for the first baby I had and it was pointless. There's not anyone special waiting when we go home so what's the point of buying a special outfit? Save that special outfit for their first outing or for when someone special comes to visit you at home.