What do you REALLY need for the hospital during labor
What’s in your hospital bag?
The hospital will have everything you really NEED, but if you want to bring some of your own things for comfort, go ahead and pack them in your hospital bag. You’ll be exhausted and resting most of the time, but of course it’s nice to have things available to you when you want to use them.
You may even want to pack 2 bags; 1 bag for necessities and 1 bag for things that would be nice to have. You can leave the second bag in the car and have visitors bring it in if needed.
If you can visit the hospital ahead of time, ask about supplies they have available. It will be nice to know what they provide and what you need to bring. Here are some ideas that you’ll want to think about while asking them and also while packing:
Something to wear when you leave the hospital, nursing bra, extra underwear, pajamas, socks or slippers, shower shoes. If you’re okay wearing the hospital gown while you’re there, you won’t need to bring much, but you will want a clean outfit to wear home. Non-slip socks are also nice and a few nursing bras are a must.
I remember not having a nursing bra when I had my first daughter and I had to find someone to watch her while I ran to the store to get one a few days after having her. I remember the cashier asking me when I was due and me running out of the store in tears! It really is best to have a few before delivery.
You will probably be starving after giving birth. The hospital will feed you, but it will probably be on their time. You also might not have much of a choice of what you get. It’s nice to have a few snacks with you just in case you need something in between meals. Try to find healthy snacks that are high in protein.
Most hospitals will give you a big water bottle to keep you hydrated. You will want to drink a lot of water! You will probably also want some hard candy to suck on during labor.
Phone charger/phone (camera, laptop, tablet, Ipad, or other electronics). You’ll want to document everything. Plus, when you’re awake and the baby’s sleeping you might want to keep up with the world a little bit. Be prepared with any electronics you will need.
You may even want to listen to music. Beforehand, set up a playlist and make sure it’s on the electronics that you decide to bring.
Contact case and solution/glasses, travel size toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, Chapstick, brush, comb, hairdryer, hair ties, makeup. You will want to pack as many travel sized toiletries as you can.
Chapstick would be on the top of my list. Labor seems to dehydrate a lot of us. Of course, I’m also blind and couldn’t do without contacts/glasses. You may even want to bring makeup for pictures or to put on when you leave the hospital, but I would keep it as simple as possible.
Sanitary pads or even Depends if you don’t want to use what the hospital gives you. If you’re fine with what you’re given, I wouldn’t worry about it.
Nursing pads are a must. Not everyone needs them, but it’s best to have them with you until you know for sure. You can buy disposable or washable nursing pads. A breast pump would also be nice to have if you feel like you might need the nurse to help you out.
Pillow or blanket
Pillow or blanket if you have a hard time sleeping in hospital beds. If you don’t want to bring in too much and feel like the hospital pillows and blankets are fine, I wouldn’t worry about it. If you do bring your own, just be aware they there’s a good chance of things getting stained or ruined.
Things can get overwhelming quickly. It’s always a good idea to bring a baby book or at least a notebook and pen to write down details of your experience. I’m sure you’ve heard many stories from women about how easy and pain-free childbirth is? I’m convinced that we somehow forget about what really happens once we leave the hospital 🙂 Write down anything you want to remember. Or use your laptop, tablet, etc. to document everything.
Plus, they’ll put your baby’s footprint right in the baby book if you have it with you!
It’s always nice to have some money just in case there is something that you realize you need. Extra change is nice to have also for vending machines.
A car seat is required. You need to make sure that you have a car seat to take the baby home. If you can’t afford one, check into local agencies that may be able to help.
Clothes to wear when you leave the hospital and an outfit for pictures. I would only recommend a couple outfits. Most of the time, they can wear what the hospital provides.
A few extra diapers might be nice. Most hospitals send a few home and I would take whatever they offer. You may want to have a few in the car though just in case.
Most hospitals don’t let you take their blankets home. You may want to ask, but it’s a good idea to bring your own for the ride home.
Binky or pacifier
You may want to bring a binky or pacifier if you’re going to try to get your baby to use a specific type Although, many babies won’t take one at all. So, this isn’t always your choice (something you’ll get used to during parenthood- lol).
Dad or other support person:
The hospital should have a pillow and blanket for him, but he may be more comfortable with his own. If you will have someone in your room with you, you will also want to ask in advance about a cot or somewhere for them to sleep.
They will definitely want to pack some clothes and pajamas for their stay.
Snacks are important, but they should also bring money for the cafeteria or vending machine.
Medication such as, ibuprofin, etc. that he might end up needing. The hospital isn’t going to give someone who is not a patient, medication. You may find some in the gift shop, but usually anything in there is going to be a lot more expensive here.
There are also many things you will need once you get home. I would recommend taking anything that the hospital offers to you to take home. Any diapers they give you will be used pretty quickly.
What would you add to this list? What were your top 3 things you needed while in the hospital?