What You Really Need in a Hospital Bag
The weeks leading up to the arrival of your new baby can be some of the most exciting and overwhelming days that you'll ever experience. You're putting the finishing touches on your nursery, having to take multiple trips to the doctor's office, and trying to get in as much sleep as you can. Next comes the painstaking task of packing your bag for that big trip to the hospital. So, what do you need in your hospital bag? You never want to feel unprepared, but packing a bunch of unnecessary junk will only make your hospital trip feel even more chaotic. Here are a few non-negotiable items you should have in your hospital bag to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Once you get to the hospital, you'll have the honor of wearing a gorgeous hospital gown! Having your robe handy will be a lifesaver for any time you need to walk around the hospital without accidentally flashing fellow patients. It can also be a much-needed comfort that will make you feel more at home.
While most of us will only be in the hospital for a day or two, there is always a chance that your stay could be longer than expected. Pack a few pairs of comfortable clothes that you will feel good in during your stay.
It might not be a resort, but you should still treat the hospital packing the same way you would treat a hotel. Have small sizes of your essential toiletries like body wash, lotion, and anything else that will help you feel clean and fresh post-labor.
Pads of All Varieties
There are two prominent pads that you should have on hand while you're in the hospital, ones to go in your undies and some to go in your bra. Experiencing leakage after giving birth is inevitable, and you should be well prepared for this with a good stock of pads or adult diapers. Additionally, you should have nipple pads ready, regardless of if you have on breastfeeding or not. These will keep you dry and leak-free on either end of the spectrum.
One thing that many of us fail to realize is how slippery the hospital floor can be when you're walking between rooms with no shoes! This is even more true after giving birth when your coordination resembles that of a newborn deer. Invest in a good pair of warm socks with sticky bottoms that will keep your feet comfortable while you're navigating slick hospital floors.
Hospitals can be extremely cold and dry, which will wreak havoc on your skin and lips after the first day. Be prepared with some of your favorite chapstick or lip gloss to keep your lips hydrated and smooth during your stay.
Let's be honest; food selection in a hospital can leave a lot to be desired. After you've given birth, you're likely to have a pretty strong case of "the munchies". Stock up on some of your favorite non-perishable snacks for your post-labor cravings. These can also be your comfort foods, and you will have earned them.
ID, Insurance, and Birth Plan
This seems like a no-brainer, but you should have all of your essential documents ready to go before you get to the hospital. This includes your ID, insurance information, and a birth plan if you've decided to make one. Sometimes in the chaos of preparing for our new little one, we can forget even the most prominent items. Be sure to double-check that you have your documents and save yourself from making an emergency run back home.
Most of us rarely leave the house without our cell phones, and the hospital is no exception. Ensure you have your phone, chargers, and any other electronics that will make your stay more enjoyable. Maybe you have a fancy camera that you want to take pictures with or a Bluetooth speaker for bumping your labor playlist. This experience is all about making yourself feel at home, and you should pack anything that you think will help you feel at ease.
Most importantly, have your hospital bag ready to go at least a few weeks before your actual due date and prepare a checklist for the items you'll be packing up at the last minute. We never know when the big moment will finally arrive, but a well-stocked hospital bag will give you one less thing to worry about.