18 May What to Add to your Hospital Bag
One year ago, yesterday, I woke up and took a pregnancy test and was blown away to see that it was POSITIVE! The next nine months flew by, and, as you’ve probably figured out, I had my first child, a baby boy, 4 months ago! One thing I’ve learned throughout the whole experience is that the moment you become a mom, you become a member of a HUGE sorority of other moms who want to do whatever they can to help you out, which is wonderful, considering the whole process of being pregnant and becoming a mom is filled with the unexpected [and really weird stuff you’ve never talked about before]. When I first became pregnant, I turned to Pinterest to find what other moms recommended for everything from foods to steer clear of to what to register for.
Now, I find myself as the advice-sharer. I have several friends who either just gave birth or are ready to pop with babies of their own and I want to do whatever I can to make their experiences easier! Since I’ve been there before, and it’s all fresh on my mind, there are several little nuggets I want to share with any new mom-to-be!
When I prepared everything to go to the hospital, I read blog after blog after blog. There was advice that was right on the money and recommendations for things that, really, I didn’t need. Everyone tells you the general things to pack, pajamas, snacks, a pillow… blah blah blah… you know how to pack a bag, I know. But this list is different. Here are some things that you may not find on a list that I took with me to the hospital and was SO glad I did. These made ALL the difference in the world!
DISCLAIMER: I’m about to get real with you about the after-effects of childbirth. Men, you have been warned. Also, thank you for visiting my blog, dude! It’s super girly so I commend you! That’s all.
Unsolicited piece of advice #1: Pack your bag beforehand, duh. But pack it with YOU in mind. Fill it with things that will make you feel your best. Pick your favorite-smelling things, your softest fabrics and anything that makes you feel like a million dollars!
1. Nursing Pajamas // OH. MY. GOODNESS. I’m so glad I thought to buy some nursing PJ’s BEFORE the baby arrived. They make it so much easier to feed in. Plus, it was nice to wear something that I hadn’t ever worn before, like a brand new jammies gift just for me because I had a baby! I bought 2 pajamas–one gown and one top with pants. The first day, you’ll want a gown on because you’ll be changing your ‘undies’ quite a few times and you won’t feel like stepping in and out of pants/pulling them up and down. I LOVE the brand I’ve tagged in the photo above and in the thumbnails below. I also recommend black. Wear a lot of black. You’ll experience lots of fluids… sorry, but it’s true. Black, my friend, so you can wear it again one day.
2. A Leisure Robe // At one point I had 14 people in my hospital room, including the baby. You’ll want to cover up. Plus, they’ll have you walk around postpartum and you’ll feel better wrapped up. Also, nursing pajamas are LOW CUT in the front and your boobs will be bigger that you EVER thought they could possibly be. Trust me on this…
3. Your Favorite Smelling Bodywash and Lotion // I specifically purchased these two [Zents Earth Lotion and Philosophy Grace Bodywash] for my hospital bag. After delivery, nothing can compare to the amazing feeling of rinsing off in the shower. I specifically packed my bag with a spa date in mind. I wanted to make sure that I had what I needed to ‘pamper’ myself once I had the baby. It was the best feeling not only to be clean, but to smell like my favorite smells. Make the most of that hospital trip and reward yourself for the last 9 months of work!
4. Dry Shampoo // You’ll notice I didn’t include actual shampoo. I was not in the mood to wash, dry and handle my hair. I was induced, so I knew it was coming. The day of my induction, I had my hair shampooed and blown-out so that it was fresh. You don’t have to do this, but you can take my advice to wash and dry your hair [then pull it up] during the very beginning stages of your labor. Then use dry shampoo to freshen up your hair after. It was nice to be able to shower, but not have to deal with washing and drying my hair at the hospital! Don’t forget a hairbrush either!
5. Chap stick // Your lips WILL get chapped while you’re in labor. Just make sure you have it. Plus, peppermint eases nausea, so the smell of Burt’s Beeswax Chap stick may help you during the whole process!
6. Essential Oils // I actually packed my essential oil diffuser in my hospital bag and I’m SO glad I did. During labor, I had a blend of lavender, peppermint and grapefruit oils diffused into the room. The lavender was to help me relax, the peppermint helped with nausea and the grapefruit was invigorating, which gave me a boost of energy. Once the baby arrived, I kept the oils going, but increased the lavender to make my room smell good and promote relaxation. Every single person who came in my room commented on how great it smelled–once again this was my way of trying to make the hospital stay as ‘spa-like’ as possible.*Also, during labor, I would pour a few drops of peppermint onto a Kleenex and keep it near my nose. That REALLY helped with the nausea!
7. Eye Mask // You know the saying ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps…’ well, it’s probably the advice you’ll hear the most as you prepare to have your little one… But, baby will sleep during the day or night, which is why I was so glad I brought an eye mask. Also, this is an easy way to give visitors a hint that you need them to let you rest. I would just put my mask down over my eyes and everyone knew they needed to give me some quiet time.
8. House Shoes or Slippers // Because no one likes to walk around a hospital barefoot… Be prepared for them to get dirty though…. I peed on mine.. Twice. Gross, I know, but true.
9. Bluetooth Player // I played my favorite music during labor. We brought our little bullet Bluetooth player and had Pandora going quietly throughout the day. It was a wonderful addition to the atmosphere in the room. Also, the music that I chose was relaxing and, between the oils and the sounds, the environment in the room was very calm, exactly how I wanted it.
10. Happy Mama Nipple Butter, Bottom Spray and Bottom Balm // Let’s be honest, your… um… area goes through a lot during labor and delivery, and the Earth Mama Angel Baby Happy Mama Bottom spray and balm feel HEAVENLY afterwards. They’re all natural and have great healing elements. I lived on these for the first few weeks after L&D. Also, your first few days of breastfeeding aren’t very easy on your nipples, so have this nipple butter and some soothing gel pads ready to go in your hospital bag!
**NOT IN THE PHOTO, but make sure you have them:
Gel breast pads // See #10 above.
Depends // Yes, I said Depends… like the adult diapers, Depends. They will provide disposable underwear in the hospital, but when you get home, you’ll be glad you have these. They’re actually pretty comfortable and you definitely will not want to wear your good stuff for a while. Plus, some women experience incontinence after having a baby [yeah, it’s a thing] and these are just so good for that… Just take my word for it… buy the depends. You’ll be glad you did.
Stool Softener // Start taking it as SOON as the baby is born. Your post-baby bottom will thank you!
Newborn Diapers // Not for the reason you think you need them… We would take a diaper, pull the end open like a bag of chips, fill it with ice and close it back up with the tabs. Then, I’d sit on it. This is, once again, like heaven down there!
Tucks // Take the aforementioned diaper ice pack, line it with tucks and then put the Happy Bottom Balm on top. You’ll thank me for this one day, I promise.
Ibuprofen // That’s right, baby’s out, so you can take Advil again!! Yay! [Just make sure you talk with your nurse/doctor before you take it in case they have you on a medicine that you can’t mix it with!]
Hopefully these little tidbits help make your birth experience as great as mine was!
Was there something you think I missed? Add your must-haves by commenting below! If you want to purchase any of these products, check them out below, as well!
Have a wonderful day!