The Infamous Hospital Bag
Every new mama-to-be wonders for a few months leading up to Go time what needs to be in the infamous hospital bag. To be honest, it’s the least of your concerns and no matter what you have or don’t have in there, you’ll be just fine. But to put your little hearts at ease, we’ve come up with a list for you. This list is a collaborative effort between myself, my sister and my 3 closest friends. We all had the joy of companionship through the good, bad and ugly. We each welcomed our first children (all girls) within a 6-month span.
If you want to cut to the chase, scroll down to the bottom for the full list.
I laugh when I think back to my vision of how I would arrive at the hospital. I even bought a little mint headband, since I thought I would have my hair pulled back in a cute topknot during labor. Ummmmm, I was not on planet earth when 12 hours into contractions, we headed to the hospital. I literally had a contraction in the middle of the street because I refused to move. My husband, concerned, did his best to coax me, but I was not budging. Needless to say, that cute little headband never made its way onto my head; instead my mom pulled my hair into a wild, side ponytail which represented the wild ride ahead. So hair ties or a scrunchie, regardless of what they look like, are a necessity. You’re hot and you’re bothered, so hair out of the face is a must. I could only imagine the rat’s nest that could take shape if you had your hair down the whole time. All my other knotty-haired ladies, if you know, you know. I actually only stayed at the hospital for 3 hours post birth, so I’ll share my must haves, as well as hospital must haves recommended by my friends who spent a night or two. Bring snacks like nuts, Lara Bars, coconut water, lemonade- it’s a marathon and you and your crew can certainly use the energy. Vending machine snacks or Timmy’s work in a pinch, but if you can come with a bag of goodies that don’t scream hospital food, you’ll be thankful. **For those who get the epidural, as I did, you cannot have any food once administered. So sip on that lemonade, coconut water and water to keep you hydrated and your sugar levels stable. A refillable water bottle comes in handy. My mom, husband and midwife noshed on the snacks I had brought throughout the night, and to be honest it felt like it was the least I could do for them. They were such an incredible team who all played a pivotal role in bringing Georgia into the world.
When you get to the hospital, depending on what point you’re at in the ever-so-fun baby marathon, you may want to throw on some warm socks and slippers and a light cardigan. Maternity wards are notoriously toasty to keep the babes comfortable, so keep that in mind when packing your PJs and cardigan.
After your sweet little bundle of holy sh%$ I have a baby arrives, and you’re making your first trip to the bathroom in your hospital room, here are a few things you’ll want on hand. Toothpaste and toothbrush…it’s probably been awhile. When taking your first shower, do not be shy about asking for help. You may be seriously shaky, so an arm to hold, whether it’s your partner or your mother or a nurse, really helps while you rinse off. You’ll want a travel shampoo and conditioner, a mild soap, a hairbrush and a towel from home. Hospital towels tend to be pretty small and not the softest. For those who opt not to shower, or those who can’t (we’re talking C section mamas); face wipes, deodorant and a hairbrush do wonders. Speaking of deodorant, bringing your baby into the world is the workout of a century! And don’t be shocked if you suddenly develop the b.o. of a teenage boy in the weeks to come. Thank you hormones! Don’t stress, this will pass, you may just need to temporarily ditch your natural deodorant for the harder stuff during this time. I digress, back to the hospital. Undies that keep that pad in place and tuck in that soft tummy, are a must. The Magic Underwear are your best friend! Bonus, they look like normal undies and are more discreet under leggings over the next few weeks. You’ll have access to hospital grade pads, but you may want to bring a pack of maxi overnights as they are a tad smaller. You’ll be thankful to slip into some comfortable pajamas or a nightie when you get the chance. A soft nursing bra and a nipple cream should also be in your arsenal. We recommend a natural, organic one that soothes your gals like this Nipple crack nipple balm. The thought of going to the bathroom can be quiet scary, so a stool softener helps alleviate that fear.
It's pretty stinkin loud at hospitals, with announcements over the intercom, other babies, visitors, etc. so we definitely recommend bringing that portable noise machine you asked for on your baby registry. It will definitely come in handy so you can get a little shut eye. Like seriously, a little teeny tiny bit of sleep. If you have trouble sleeping you may want to bring an eyemask, as those neon lights are real bright. Think end of the night at a bar, lights on and Closing Time playing, minus the tequila buzz.
We can’t forget about your partner and their needs. We recommend comfortable sweats, a few tees, a hoodie, a toothbrush, deodorant, a towel, a water bottle, a phone charger and a pillow.
Alas, they’ve given you the greenlight to head home. I brought a pair of lululemons and a t-shirt. They were highrise and a size up from my normal size, so I thought perrrrfect. Um no, just no. The last thing I wanted was any pressure anywhere. So I recommend soft, loose sweats and a flowy top as your heading home outfit. Now on to baby. Everyone told me ‘you don’t need newborn clothes’. Well, you do. Atleast for the first bit, so borrow them or buy them second hand or whatever, but please for the love of god have at least a handful of newborn sleepers and bring 2 or 3 to the hospital. I brought a few 0-3 month sleepers for Georgia, and we could have fit like 4 of her in each one. Also, they asked me where my blanket was for the baby as we were getting ready to leave. Of course, they gave us a blanket, but I felt a bit sheepish since I assumed they always sent you home with one. So bring a blanket, a hat and of course, the car seat. If you’re a little worried about your precious cargo’s first car ride, ask the midwife or nurse if they can take a look and make sure your seat is in properly. Speaking of rides, buckle up cause you’re about to be in for one wild ride!
The Infamous Hospital List:
-PJs and/or a nightie (easy to feed in)
-a portable noise machine
-travel-size shampoo & conditioner
-toothbrush & toothpaste
-hairbrush & hair ties
-sweats/outfit to go home in (not tight)
For your partner-
-a couple tees
For the bae-
-2-3 newborn sleepers