For me, reading a ton of pregnancy books and scouring the internet on various pregnancy topics, just increased my anxiety. I felt like the more I read, the more confusing and information overloaded I felt. So, I stopped reading. That is correct. I didn’t read a single pregnancy book (I read one book, but it was not about pregnancy, it was about raising your child) and I honestly would recommend all my mommas to do the same, unless you are looking for specific information on something. Instead, what I think is better and far more valuable is talking to other moms. You know, the people you trust, who have lived and breathed every aspect you are about to experience. THEY know the true 411 and they are going to prepare you far more than any book from some person you don’t know, can.
So, when it came to a hospital bag, that is exactly what I did. I asked a ton of people to tell me exactly what I needed and in all honesty, it isn’t a whole lot. It’s a simple overnight bag, packed with only the essentials. This did sort of surprise me too, because majority of the lists I have seen is enough to fill an entire suitcase, let alone a night bag. In addition, because it is strictly the essentials, it is easy to pack in a pinch and your significant other could easily do it, if for some reason you were unable to (which is something my hubby and I experienced last week when we had a little bit of a scare that involved me going straight to the hospital from an OB appointment). So let’s get into it!
- Nursing Night gown and robe for the hospital: You can technically wear the gowns they have throughout your entire stay, but from what I have heard, it is nice to have something comfortable and a little more cozy for after delivery that you also feel good in. This is the one I have, and it is so soft and feminine. If you don’t like this print though, they have a ton of other super cute options on their website.
- Big Underwear: The hospital will provide you with mesh panties to wear, but you may want to pack 2-3 pairs of your own for when you leave or so that you don’t have to constantly be changing them out. This pair was recommended to me by a few different people.
- Baby’s first outfit: This will be the outfit baby wears home when you are discharged.
- Toiletries: pretty self explanatory.
- Flip flops for the shower: As a nurse, I highly recommend this. Just thinking about putting my bare feet in a hospital shower gives me the heeby-jeebies.
- Slippers: These are nice to have when you are walking around the halls either during labor or afterwards. I can tell you right now, the things that spill in patient rooms (and are then trekked through the hospital halls) is not something you want on your bare feet or even socks. If you do not pack slippers, that is fine, just have a pair of socks you put on off when you go walking and DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT wear those socks in your bed.
- Car seat in the car: Not part of your hospital bag, but definitely an essential because you can’t go home without it.
- Leaking pads: These are for when you start to breast feed.Some women tend to leak heavily from the other breast while breast feeding. It then proceeds to get whatever you are wearing wet, so these will come in handy in case you experience that.
- Nursing cover: I was told, just one is all that is needed and the hospital does have blankets, but their blankets aren’t as easy to cover up with. This is especially helpful if you have lots of visitors stopping by. The one I linked for you is nice because it is lightweight, they have a ton of prints and you can easily just tie it and slip over your head. It also can be used as a swaddle for baby.
- Phone charger: I could totally see myself forgetting this and being miserable because of it haha.
- Going home outfit: You most likely will not want to put back on whatever you came to the hospital in, so it is nice to pack something comfortable (no tight waist bands), that you can wear to go home in. Also remember, that this outfit should still be maternity because the majority of us will not be able to slip into our pre-pregnancy clothes upon discharge…and if you can, I hate you just a little.
In all honesty, you don’t really need much when going to the hospital for delivery. The hospitals are so well stocked on things, that they pretty much can supply you and baby with all you and baby may need. All of the things listed above are just niceties and things that I heard over and over again when talking with other moms.
I hope you enjoyed this post and this helps some of my future mommas from overpacking. It is already stressful enough that you are going to be having a baby, you don’t need to add a whole bunch of extra “stuff” you won’t be using.