Top 10 Things to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
It turns out that I “lied” in my previous blog post about my maternity leave dates. Our little potato had other plans when it came to his birthday and instead of the end of April, he thought that the beginning of April was better.
So I’d like to introduce you to Alexander. For those of you who know me in real life, you’ll know that my husband and I have been at odds on what to name our little dude. Jeff had ONE option that I was adamantly against, and he then proceeded to nix every option I gave. Well, it looks like we finally settled it and our little potato did indeed leave the hospital with a name picked out!
For those of you who know me personally, you’ll know how extremely organized I am. Yes, I will fully admit that I’m one of THOSE people who used to organize their CD collection in alphabetical order by artist/band back in the day! However, because of Alexander’s 3.5 week early arrival, I actually didn’t have my hospital bag fully packed yet and was running around my house throwing things into my bag after my water broke at home …
So, having gone through what you should NOT do, I wanted to compile a list of the things that I thought were absolutely NECESSARY to pack into your hospital bag well ahead of time!
1. Put everything into a light weight overnight or duffel bag that fully zips up
Our labour experience at our hospital had us starting out in a room in the Labour & Delivery Unit, and then moving into the Mother & Baby Unit afterwards until we were ready to be discharged.
I’d highly advise you to pick out a bag that’s medium sized so that you’re able to toss whatever you can into the bag without worrying about stuffing everything in. Also, remember that your partner will also be the one packing this bag when you transfer from the labour & delivery unit into the mother & baby unit. This means that the bag might not be packed as neatly and orderly as you might have done so yourself!
2. Your smart phone and its charging cable
I think this one goes without saying and I’m not even sure I need to put this on the list since I’m sure everyone will bring their phone with them to notify family and also take their bazillion photos of your little one!
However, don’t forget to bring its charging cable and wall charger as well. And while you’re at it, I would highly recommend that you throw in your partner’s phone’s charging cable and wall charger too.
3. Plug in heating pad
This was one of the few things that I had already packed into my hospital bag and thank goodness I did! I have a thermophore heating pad and I’ve used it for years because of endometriosis. It’s one of the BEST things for cramps, and I will 100% testify that my endometriosis menstrual cramps that I used to have for 4 days every month are pretty comparable to contractions!
I put my husband to work and his job was to make sure to put that heating pad on my lower back and put LOTS of pressure on my lower back during my contractions. I LOVE that heating pad and it’s seen me through a lot of pain in my life!
4. An extension cord
I read a lot of “top lists” for hospital bags earlier in my pregnancy to get an idea of what I would need in my bag. I don’t think that I ever saw this on the list. I have this one in my top 5 because of personal experience at the hospital.
I don’t know about your hospital, but the hospital rooms that I’ve stayed in ALL have the plugs in the panel behind the head of your bed. It’s often mixed into a whole bunch of medical equipment that’s plugged in and are doing very important things.
This extension cord is great because as a soon-to-be new mom who is going to take a million and one photos of your little one, your phone is going to need to be charged. And from one labouring mom to another, I know that you’re going to also want to be on your phone during the “down time” of earlier labour when you’re waiting for the next contraction while your partner sleeps and you want to throw something at their head!
5. Flip flops
Bring a pair of flip flops that you can use when you need to walk around or even take a shower once you’re up to it. Trust me, you do NOT want to be bending down to deal with socks or shoelaces!
6. A big thermos mug with a sealable lid
Again, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen this item on any other hospital bag lists out there, but I also put this on my list from personal experience. As a patient who needs to spend at least a day or two in the hospital AND the fact that you’re going to be going through labour and delivery which is very comparable to a marathon, you want to stay HYDRATED.
Sometimes you’re going to want to have a hot/warm drink. Other times you’re going to want something icy cold. Having a good sealable thermos mug will keep your drink the temperature that you want it to be for hours at a time! And the sealable part of it will save you from having to make extra changes to the sheets or your hospital gown because you or your partner accidentally knocked over your drink from the flimsy tray while you’re going through contractions.
7. Organic perineal spray
The lovely nursing team will provide you with the biggest pads you’ve ever seen, those snazzy post-partum underwear and a super handy peri-bottle. I promise you that bringing your own organic perineal spray is going to bring you a lot of relief! It’s also great for starting your healing process.
8. Some snacks
There’s a pretty good chance that you’ll wake up late at night when the coffee shop and cafeteria are closed, and you’ll be starving! So it’s a great idea to pack a few snacks that you love and will fill you up a little bit while you wait for your partner or family members to bring you some much needed fuel.
9. Your breast pump
If you’re planning on breastfeeding your baby, it’s a good idea to pack your breast pump in your hospital bag because you usually have a bedside consult with a lactation consultant before you leave the hospital. It’s always a good idea to run through using a breast pump with your LC so that it’s fitted properly and you’re comfortable with how to use it.
10. Muslin swaddle blanket
One of the best gifts I received from a good friend of mine is a super soft and large bamboo muslin swaddle blanket. It’s great because it’s soft and won’t feel scratchy on your little one’s skin. Its big size is great as a swaddle, but you can also use it as a blanket, a breastfeeding cover, a bucket seat cover and even to shield your baby from the sun while in the car!
Plus the usual suspects
In addition to the above, here are a few things to also throw in:
- A nursing bra
- Your going home outfit – comfy stretchy pants, a soft loose top and some slip on flats
- A pair of socks to keep your feet warm
- Your toiletries bag including toothbrush & toothpaste, hair brush, dry shampoo and a little bit of make up (for those photos!). Don’t forget to make some room for some extra pads (take however many the nurses will give you!)
- Pro tip: ask your nurse for an EXTRA peri-bottle (or two!) so that you can have one at home in your upstairs and main floor bathrooms PLUS one in your baby bag (for when you go out) for the at least the first couple of weeks
- Pro tip: Also, ask your nurse for a ring to sit on and ask for an extra one so that you have one in the car and one at home on a harder chair such as a kitchen/dining chair
- A going home outfit
- A newborn pacifier just in case
- The car seat (all set up and ready to go in the car)
For your partner
- A change of clothes
- Toiletries bag including toothbrush
- Extra thermos mug – because you will NOT want to share!
- Extra snacks
If you’d like my support during your fertility or pregnancy journey, CONTACT ME HERE to set up a complimentary 15 min discovery call/meeting and we can get started.
What’s a discovery call/meeting? It’s where we get to know each other better to ensure that I’m the right practitioner for you and that you have the opportunity to ask your questions about Naturopathic Medicine before we move forward with an initial Naturopathic consultation.
Here are the other posts about my fertility and pregnancy journey:
- My CRAZY IUI Story
- My IVF Story: Part 1
- My Surgery Surprise
- My IVF Story: Part 2
- TW: My Big News!
- My Fertility Journey on Facebook for #CIAW2020
- My Fertility Journey on Instagram for #CIAW2020
And, here are a few more posts on fertility or pregnancy that you might also be interested in:
- Pregnancy Care
- Fertility: How Naturopathic Medicine Can Help
- Acupuncture for Infertility
- The Effect of Obesity on Fertility
- What Can or Can’t You Eat When You’re Pregnant?
- Weight Gain During Pregnancy
- Trying to get pregnant? Test your ferritin levels!
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