Since having two babies, both via C-section and staying for about 4 days in the hospital after delivering them, I can tell you that there are some things that you want to make sure you have in your hospital bag, and some things you totally don’t need.
I’m going to tell you why doing a hospital tour is important to this and then what to pack in your hospital bag.
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First, I strongly recommend doing a hospital visit before you deliver your baby. We actually did a visit before both of our deliveries because they were delivered at two different hospitals. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest needing to do a second visit if you are delivering at the same hospital as the child prior, especially if it isn’t too many years apart. Likely the process is the same and so are the amenities, but that’s up to you.
Going on a tour not only tells you where to go when you get there and are in labor or even if you are showing up to a scheduled C-section, you also get an idea of what the rooms will be like.
Hospital maternity rooms are now outfitted with nearly a hotel like feel and some of the amenities, some of which you will want to take advantage of, others maybe not so much. As you go on your visit be sure to take a look, especially in the bathroom and consider what your spouse will have for accommodations, or lack thereof.
I say the bathroom because this is where you will see that they probably already provide you with a hair dryer and some basic shampoo/conditioner options. Personally, I’m good with using their hairdryer, but opted out of using their shampoo/conditioner and packed my own.
Also, when you are on your tour, find out if you will deliver in the same room you are going to be staying in for the duration of the stay or if you will move rooms. If you have a C-section they will either prep you for surgery in a pre-op room, then move you to the operating room, then you will be moved into a post-op room after delivery, and THEN you will be moved to your final room. There is potential for moving rooms four times!
Finding out if you will be moving rooms may indicate that you leave most of your items in the car and then once you’ve been moved to your final room, have your significant other bring everything else in. I learned this the with the first child. With my second I had a small bag with my wallet, planner, baby folder, flip-flops and grippy socks, contact items and glasses, and chap stick.
What to pack in your hospital bag
So here is what I recommend packing for you, your significant other and the baby, with a few additional notes on some of the items.
Items for Momma
- Baby Folder: I recommend that you have a baby folder for things such as your list of to do’s for benefits, pediatric doctor’s information and a good place to tuck all of the paperwork they give you during your visit and at discharge
- Phone charger
- Chap stick
- Nursing pillow
- Glasses/contact solution/case
- Face lotion/wash
- Body wash/shampoo/conditioner
- Razor – yay for reaching your legs again without a huge watermelon in the way!
- Hair brush/hair ties
- Tooth brush/paste
- Makeup: I’m a minimalist when it comes to makeup and don’t wear it unless I’m going somewhere, but we had planned to have some baby pictures taken so I packed a few quick and easy makeup essentials for pictures
- Clothes to go home in: spoiler alert you will not fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes! I recommend a pair of maternity leggings which help hold everything in place a little and if you have a C-section, are comfortable over the incision. And then a comfortable shirt
- Nursing bra, one or two
- Shoes: flip flops for the shower and when you get up and walk around, slip on slippers for walking around, grippy socks which are amazing to wear during delivery
- PJ’s: Nursing Cami Gown , I spent most of the time in this both day and night. If you have a C-section you really won’t want to do a ton of changing or be wearing pants. I bought 2 really pretty ones so that I felt comfortable yet presentable for visitors. This is also more ideal for accommodating the doctors and nurses when they come in to check on your bleeding and incision heeling
- Light Weight Robe: I liked having a second option to wrap around my nursing cami that had long sleeves and covered up my bottom half again; this made me feel better to have more coverage
- You seriously don’t need a million outfits for the baby!
- 1 – 2 outfit options for going home in
- Items for professional photos: outfit, blanket, hat
For Your Significant Other
- Snacks: Gatorade, granola bars or trail mix, you won’t need these as much for after you deliver, but when you are delivering or in post op from your c-section, daddy will be hungry and thirsty and he may not want to leave you or baby or there may not be a snack station close by
- Personal hygiene items
- Change of clothes
I like to pack minimally, plus everything you bring in you have to take out too! Also, people will bring you gifts that you have to haul out and in addition to those you will now have a small child to take with you when you leave as well. You may have a relative take any gifts with them when they come to visit so you don’t have to worry about that when you leave.
You should feel comfortable, so if there’s something that you really need to be able to sleep or feel at home with, then add it to the list, but if you take just these minimal items, you will definitely be all set!
Did I leave something off the list that other momma’s just couldn’t live without? Any soon to be momma’s that have questions about what to take I’d be happy to give you my thoughts and opinions. Make a comment below and there may be other momma’s with the same questions or tips to share, or send me an email and we can Connect.