I have gotten asked many times by friends who are pregnant, “What the essential items I should pack in my hospital bag?”
This list will differ slightly for everyone but it is a good base to start from. I hope it will help and inspire you to bring things that will actually be useful to you, rather than a BS bag of stuff some lady on the internet told you to pack. (But trust this lady on the internet. I have had three kids. And I have forgotten something every time.)
10. Clothes For Yourself
It can be really hard to think about yourself when you are caught up in the excitement of meeting your baby. But you may not remember to wear something to the hospital that you want to be leaving it.
-Comfy pants (sweats, yoga pants– something that you can EASILY PULL UP AND DOWN)
-A big t-shirt
-Sweatshirt (it can get chilly in the hospital
-Comfy shoes (Uggs were my shoe of choice. Easy on. Easy off.)
9. Clothes For Baby
You probably already have the perfect coming home outfit already picked out– now you just have to remember to pack it. The hospital sends you home with almost everything you need– but no clothes.
You may be surprised to find that your newborn baby is way too small for newborn clothes, so try to pick an outfit that will work if its a little baggy or too long in places. Most sleeves and pants can be rolled up, so you really don’t have to worry too much.
I’m not super into my looks– half of the time I forget to put makeup on at all. But one thing I learned after my first pregnancy was that I wished I had packed a little something to make myself feel better.
I came out of labor puffy, red, with a bunch of popped blood vessels all over my face. Even some mascara or lip gloss would have made me feel a little less ravaged. I would toss your whole makeup bag in and give yourself some options.
If you don’t use it, no harm, no foul.
7. Extra Large Pads
Yeah. You’re gonna need these. Blood gushes out of your hoo ha for days after birth and the hospital will provide you with very few pads. You need to change them regularly to keep the area clean but also because the pads will fill up quicker than you can imagine.
6. Big-Ass Grandma Undies
The hospital generally sends you home with a pair of mesh underwear that look like they have been taken off the set of “The Mummy”.
Give yourself a small comfort by bringing a big-ass pair of grandma undies that you don’t care about ruining. Pick something soft, that are either dark colored or have a pattern.
5. Nursing Pads
Some women’s milk doesn’t come in until a couple of days after birth, so you may not need nursing pads right away. But they don’t take up much room and if your milk starts pouring out in the hospital, you’re going to be glad that you have some on hand.
There are liquids that will start coming out of what feels like every orifice. The more prepared you are for containment, the better!
4. Nursing Bra
Pick yourself up a nursing bra and put in your hospital bag ASAP. These things are a LIFE SAVER. They support your aching boobies and are easy to unlatch.
I don’t think I put a bra on until I actually left the hospital, but it was nice to have something that was comfortable and left my food jugs easily accessible.
3. Lip Balm
This may go along with #8 but it is almost more important. Your lips can get super chapped during labor and you need anything and everything that will bring your body even a small amount of comfort.
Don’t think you’ll want makeup? Cool. BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE PLEASE PACK SOME CHAP STICK.
2. Hair-ties and Bobby Pins
Your hair starts to do all sorts of crazy stuff when you’ve been in labor 36 hours. It can stand straight up on end, puff up like a hamster, or may be glued to your forehead and sealed with sweat.
It is nice to have your own stuff to get that nasty hair out of your face when you’ve finished bringing a baby into the world.
This is my best piece of advice– bring enough snacks to feed you AND your partner. Often times the hospital will provide the new mother will a meal, but not her partner. If your spouse was up all night with you, the last thing that they want to do is go run out and grab some food.
All of you are going to be exhausted.
Pack foods that don’t need to be refrigerated and chalk full of protein. Some good ideas are
-Granola bars/Protein bars