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What’s in my hospital bag (and lessons learned after my first pregnancy)

Looking back, I’m pretty proud of my original “What’s in my hospital bag” post but I think I would rearrange priority on things and the quantity I would bring. Please keep in mind that the hospital WILL give you all the basics you truly need so if you want to simplify things, you will only want to throw the things I’ve listed under essentials (Note: every hospital provides different things so make sure to ask for details on your hospital tour!) For full details checks out that post!

THE ESSENTIALS

GET COMFORTABLE

  • Wallet – license, insurance, cash
  • Going home outfit for mom
  • Going home outfit essentials for baby – onesie/gown, mittens
  • Toiletries for mom – toothbrush/paste, contacts/solution, face wash, etc.
  • (If needed) Prescription medications
  • Charging cables for electronic devices (pro tip: consider bringing a small extension cord)
  • Eye mask (weighted preferred) – to help you get some rest between check-ins/feedings throughout the day/night
  • Phone/tablet/camera
  • Chapstick – trust me
  • Hair clips/ties
  • Nursing capable pajamas – ideal for skin to skin time and introducing breastfeeding at the hospital
  • Nursing tank tops – as a busty girl before pregnancy, I prefer these over nursing bras (sleeping or not)
  • Compression socks/slippers – you’ll be encouraged to walk around as soon as you’re able to
  • Robe/sweater – hospitals are cold and it’s a quick way to cover up if you wanted to
  • Shower slippers – there’s something invigorating about the first shower after laboring but you definitely don’t want to go barefoot in a hospital shower

EXTRAS (I’m planning to bring but are definitely not needed!)

  • Light make up (BB cream, mascara, eye lash curler) – I feel better about myself when I get a little bit of coverage and plan to take a few photos while we’re there
  • Perineal spray – I used this one after my first birth and it felt amazing to smell something nice in the midst of all the other things you’ll use down there to help with healing
  • Reusable grocery bags – This is to take all the extra diapers, sprays, etc. from the hospital!
  • Packing cubes – To help keep things organized and give us easy access to find what we need
  • Letter board – Doin’ it for the gram (LOL)
  • Snacks – The hospital will have a cafeteria and food will be brought to the room but I’m planning to bring a few of my favorite things along with me; breastfeeding made me so hungry!
  • Baby book – I brought this last time and had them do an extra stamp of his hands and feet directly into the book and I’m SO glad I did. I did NOT fill out anything else like I thought I would though, give yourself some grace when it comes to expectations you put on yourself while you’re in the hospital recovering!

HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED

  • Nursing bra/nursing tank – As noted above, I plan to bring nursing tank tops with me to the hospital because I found the ones that crossed moved very easily (especially in my sleep) and would create painful dents on my areola/nipple which was NOT fun
  • Your toiletries should include whatever makes you feel refreshed – if you want to bring your curling iron, go for it! I thought I would want to do more but ended up not touching all the “extra” things I brought.
  • Things you don’t need to bring (most hospitals will have these things)
    • Yoga ball/peanuts
    • Towels/pills
    • Homemade postpartum materials
    • Multiple outfits for you or baby (at most I’d recommend 2 for mom in case your time is extended i.e. emergency C-section and 2 for baby because poop happens)
    • Diapers/blankets for baby
    • Nipple cream/ointment – lactation specialist usually recommend using breastmilk anyway!
  • Leave the car seat in the car until you’re ready to bring baby home; the less time you can expose it to hospital germs the better – and it takes up so much room! I also recommend practicing how to adjust the straps beforehand, we had no idea how it worked when it was time to buckle up!
  • You don’t need to bring your Roku/Firestick – I’ve seen this recommended before and I honestly don’t know when you’ll have the time to settle in and watch anything after the baby is born. Between nurse check-ins, trying to get rest, and trying to nurse, your time in the hospital will go by quickly. It’s also important to keep in mind that not all TVs can accommodate them so it’s probably best to leave it at home and download some shows/movies to a tablet or phone.
  • Understand your options for rooms/food/insurance coverage beforehand so you can vocalize what your ideal situation would be. Here’s my example:
    • In my first pregnancy:
      • There were tiers of room coverage and you were moved out of your labor and delivery room into one of the below options:
        • Basic: private or shared based on availability – no extra $, insurance covered cost
          • On maternity ward floor (not upgraded furnishings/accommodations)
          • No guarantee for private vs shared (very tight, no room for guests)
          • Generic hospital food from cafeteria
        • Private room: $$ extra (This is what we did. We walked in knowing we were comfortable paying extra to have a comfortable experience)
          • Guaranteed, separate floor with upgraded furnishings/accommodations)
          • Provided extra amenities that we were able to take home like a comfy robe, durable tote, socks/toiletries, bear for baby
          • Picked food off a menu and made on demand by a chef – no limitations to what or how much we ordered (my husband, mom, and I all ate well for breakfast/lunch/dinner)
          • There was a “snack” room that was open 24/7 that provided drinks, snacks, microwave, coffee machine chairs for visitors at no extra cost
        • Large private room: $$$ extra
          • Same as above but with more space/accommodation for partner/guests
        • Suite: $$$$ extra
          • As it sounds LOL Beyoncé had her twins in our hospital and stayed in a suite for reference 😉
    • Second pregnancy: there are no tiers, all rooms are private, and we will stay in the same labor/delivery room to recover (unless there’s a shortage of rooms, then we will be moved to a small, private recovery room)
      • Meals are ordered but are cafeteria options for the day
      • I haven’t been able to find out more information on what amenities they provide specifically and will update once I do!

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