So when you go to the hospital to have that uterine-dweller make their grand entrance into the world, you’re going to need some things. Technically, you don’t need anything because ladies can pop one out on the freeway or in the elevator or parking lot of the hospital and never once cry about not having their stupid chapstick. I can be an over-packer for any vacation and I didn’t want to be that way for a hospital stay that would be 2-4 days max. So, here is my real life list of what to pack and what to ditch.
1. A Bag
Some checklists have you pack a small bag for labor and a larger bag for your hospital stay. I didn’t do that. I just packed one bag. I did not get a fancy bag or bring my suitcase. It was one of those quilted duffle bags from the craft store that they always have a giant bin of next to the entrance. I think they’re supposed to look like Vera Bradley. And honestly I have no frickin clue why you’d spend $100+ on a Vera Bradley ugly print bag when you can have an AC Moore ugly print bag for less than $20. I got the black and white one from the photo above.
2. A Robe
A robe was nice to have after delivery. Your hormones will be wacked the fuck out for a while which will make your body temperature fluctuate. Couple that with the hospital being freezing cold at times. They kept L&D very chilly because laboring moms are muy caliente. This robe comes in handy at home too and is good for opening up a flap and breastfeeding.
3. Lip Balm
Chapstick. Specifically EOS is the one I’m in love with. This isn’t specifically related to labor I guess, but I always want chapstick around because when I don’t have it, I sorely miss it.
The hospital will give you the weird non-skid prison socks, but when you’re walking the halls trying to move labor along, slippers are nice. I got the ballet ones shown above, and the slip on ones as well from Kohl’s.
5. Fuzzy Socks
Uh I got these really good socks from Christmas Tree Shop. They have the non-skid bottoms and they’re longer than regular socks. They were big too, which is good. If you have a c-section, they pump you full of fluids before hand. I was more bloated and swollen AFTER birth than before. I couldn’t wear regular shoes and the smaller socks I had didn’t fit. So get some comfy fuzzy socks.
Maybe don’t bring it because I left mine at the hospital by accident. But it was nice to have one big nice pillow instead of trying to make a bunch of shitty hospital pillows work.
What I used: shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body wash, moisturizer, deodorant, travel hair dryer. That’s it, just the basics. You don’t need to get fancy. You just crapped out a baby, you don’t need to be a hero.
8. Clothes to go Home
Don’t fuck around like you’re gonna look good. See above, re: crapping out a baby. Yoga pants and a maternity t-shirt and flip flops is how I cruised on out of the hospital. You might think “a maxi dress” would work well, but you would be wrong, because you need some real pants to hold up the industrial sized maxi pad that you’re riding like a pony.
9. Clothes for the baby to go Home
I had my baby when it was warm out so we put her in some footie pajamas and put a blanket around her in the car seat and she was good to go. Don’t get too fancy. Baby needs to be warm, and you’re going to need to change them often, so easy-open pj’s are best. Dresses don’t do that great in a car seat.
10. Extra long phone charger
Hospitals don’t have a lot of outlets for you to use. Get a 10 foot phone charger, it has come in handy a lot.
11. Nursing Pillow
I did not bring this with me but wished I had. It is far superior to Boppy, first of all. Second of all, trying to use the hospital pillows in assisting with breastfeeding positions was useless. Buy My Breastfriend nursing pillow and bring it with you.
12. Nipple Cream
Your nipples will be on fire for a few weeks, not gonna lie. Use this before you even have discomfort, after every feeding, starting at the hospital. My lactation consultant recommended this at the breastfeeding class I took before I even gave birth and it was a lifesaver. BoobEase Organic Nipple Balm
What I did not need/bring
- Makeup. I know some women like makeup a lot more than I do, but I had bigger problems than my under-eye circles and knew well in advance I’d not be assed to give one flying fuck about putting makeup on. Once I was showered and dressed, that was enough of a happy transformation for me. I was not going to win any beauty.
- Pads. I knew the hospital would have them, and was told to take as many freebies as I could.
What I brought that I ended up not needing
- Those tennis balls to help with back pain during labor. I ended up having a c-section so it was a moot point.
- Nightgowns… I just wore my hospital gown. Even more WTF in my mind is the women who order fancy custom-made hospital gowns. Really why? Does a chevron-print blood and milk stained hospital gown enhance the birthing experience somehow?
- Change: all the lists said bring change for the vending machine but that wasn’t really a concern. Plus my hospital had an Au Bon Pain and was within a block of a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Starbucks.
- Snacks. I know, surprise right? Me, the queen of snacks, did not need snacks. I ate what the hospital provided and didn’t have the time or appetite to be lounging around and eating much more. On the plus side, I had those Nutella snack packs to bring home and eat for a few weeks.