I find it slightly humourous, the amount of information you can find about what to pack for the hospital when you have a baby. In my 2 previous visits, I have seen everything from women who packed nothing because baby made a surprise early appearance to women who come with a full-sized suitcase jam-packed with their birthing essentials.
I’m not trying to seem like I’m making fun of anyone because, truthfully, to each their own. BUT when you consider how quickly you tend to be in and out of the hospital (after each of my 2 c-sections, I was out in just under 48 hours), what is deemed “essential” can really take on a whole different meaning.
The first time, I paid very close attention to those many lists to ensure I wasn’t missing anything. I ended up with way more than I needed in my duffle bag. The second time, I packed light and had pretty much everything I needed. This time around, I will probably be packing even less because with each child comes a new understanding of what is and isn’t necessary.
Here’s a list of what my hospital bag will look like this time:
–Entertainment: For me, this will include my phone and tablet (and applicable chargers) and 2 magazines. I’m not a fan of lots of hospital visits and prefer to save those for when I’m back at home, in my own clothes and not peeing via a cathedar. I think my family is in agreement with me on that one. So for those down times when baby is sleeping or I just need to do something else with my brain, I like to have those 3 items with me. It also helps to spread the news of baby’s arrival.
–Outfit for me to go home in: though I do like the cute and fun hospital gowns you can purchase, again, I have no interest in creating laundry for myself. The hospital gowns provided are just fine. I’ll have a cathedar, post-surgical mesh undies (don’t be jealous. Those babies are totally hot) and a bed head. Clearly dignity and fashion are not up for debate. This time around, I’m packing a skirt to go along with the yoga pants I’ll be wearing to the hospital. Because I’ll have a tender incision around my waistline, I’m not sure which will feel more comfortable so I’m bringing an extra item. I’m just going to wear the same tank and sweater I go to the hospital in and have two pairs of socks/underwear/nursing bra to round out the attire. I’m also packing Pro Compression socks to help with circulation in case getting up and walking around takes longer than anticipated.
–Snacks: Being that I’ll be in the hospital a couple of days, am a vegetarian and not a fan of hospital grub, I’ll be packing a few snacks for myself so I don’t start gnawing on my arm at all hours of the night. Nothing fancy but sustainable. Afterall, I’ll be going from growing a baby to nourishing it which means I will be very thirsty and ravenous. No one wants Hangry Fit Mom in their midst. Including me. I’ve packed two instant oatmeals, dried fruit, Vega One and Vega Snack bars.
–Pads: If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing/using hospital sanitary pads, you’ll understand when I say that no one needs to go through childbirth of any kind only to be forced to wear a hospital pad that’s big enough to double as a life preserver. It’s like having a mattress between your legs. No thank you. I’ll bring my own.
–Toiletries: Simple things like toothbrush/paste, homemade deodorant (recipe here if you’re interested), brush, hair elastic, headband. I’m personally not a fan of showering in the hospital if I don’t have to. I can go 2 days without a full shower and make due with a Ragnar Shower (if you’ve ever done a Ragnar relay, you’ll get me on this one).
I should also note that my delivery will be fairly predictable since I have to have a c-section this time around so my date is set, my time is set and after having 2 sections already, I have a fairly good idea of how things will go which gives me a bit of freedom to be picky about certain things. Notice that I don’t have any items to help with labour as that’s not an option for me, unfortunately.
Also not included is stuff to pack for baby. Most hospitals provide things like diapers, wipes and so forth. I’m bringing 5 extra diapers, a baby blanket, a girl outfit, a boy outfit. If you’re not sure what will and won’t be provided, you can always ask at your hospital tour or call the hospital directly.