New Moms ask this ALL the time. What do they take to the hospital when in labor? They also receive a wide variety of answers. See this is because hospitals vary on what they provide. Moms also vary on what they prefer, want, need to make it through the hospital stay, it also depends on the length of time you have to stay in the hospital.
With Big M I had bags packed and I’m not sure that I really cracked into those bags. I pulled out my computer and a change of clothes to go home in. Otherwise I just used everything the hospital provided. We didn’t dress baby in a special going home outfit. We didn’t need all the stuff I had packed. I was fine using the mesh underwear and pads provided by the hospital.
With Little M I had not repacked my suitcase from an emergency trip to see family and did not have anything else packed. When HD grabbed stuff to bring to me in the hospital he just grabbed my still packed suitcase and thought it would be good. I ended up with a random assortment of clothes, a baby outfit and whatever else I had taken with me on my trip. Not really stuff for going to the hospital to have a baby.
With Pirate M I plan on packing a bag. Another question is WHEN should they pack their bag. My answer is that you pack it when you feel the need to. If you have to pack it at 32 weeks to feel better then go for it. DO have it packed by 35-37 weeks though. Ideally 36 as that is when I was told by both hospitals that they would not stop labor at that point. This means that I have 10 weeks to figure out what to pack in the bag.
Below is a huge compilation of things that I have seen on hospital lists.
To me this seems like a huge no brainer. After all many women carry this in their purse and really you shouldn’t be leaving with out a purse.
This should also be a no brainer. If you don’t have the option to pre-register at your hospital then you will need your insurance card. This should already be with you though.
It would really suck for you to pour over your birth plan for hours and days and weeks (we have all done it) only to forget it at home when you make the mad dash to the hospital. Having it typed out is best so that it is available to everyone no matter what happens.
fully packed diaper bag
This would include diapers, burp cloths, change of clothes, wipes and rash cream. Whether or not this is needed is debatable. If you have a longer drive home then bring it. If you live just down the street then its safe to leave at home. If you are crazy like me and go last minute baby shopping straight from the hospital then you might want it.
Clothes – mommy, daddy, baby
Have maternity clothes packed to go home in. More than likely you won’t fit in regular clothes unless they are sweats of some sort. If you feel more human in pajamas than hospital gowns then bring PJ’s and clothes to be in during the hospital stay. If you want to stay in a hospital gown until you leave then you can do that as well. Personally I stay in the hospital gown longer. I like not having to do the laundry afterwards. I just birthed a child. I don’t want to worry about bleeding all over my clothes. Daddy will need a change or two of clothes as well if he is spending the night/s with you in the hospital. Shirts are provided for baby during the hospital stay and to me that was enough. I never took clothes for baby to wear in the hospital. They never had a special go home outfit either. In fact Big M went home in his hospital shirt. If you feel strongly that baby should be in their own clothes then take clothes for them with extras in case of leaks.
This all depends on what is provided by the hospital and what you prefer. My experience has been that they provided a small tube of lanolin. If you don’t like lanolin or prefer a specific brand then pack your preferred nipple cream to bring with you. I don’t use lanolin anymore so I pack my own nipple cream.
With Big M I did use a pump until I got home and had to send HD to the store to get whatever he could find for me to use. Little M I used what the hospital was able to provide for me. A pretty nice hand pump. For while in the hospital that was enough for me. If you feel the need to bring a fancy double electric pump then go for it but unless you are there for more than 3 days I don’t see it as necessary. Your milk usually doesn’t come in before you leave but as with everything else you never know when it will come in.
These were a LIFESAVER with Little M. I wish I had known about them with Big M. My hospital provided the equivalent when they made me “padcicles” and always kept extra in the bathroom for me so I could have fresh ones to reapply. If you hospital doesn’t provide these then invest in some and take them with you.
throw away underwear
I have read about how many women don’t like the mesh underwear provided by the hospitals. They just can’t stand it. So they take underwear that can be thrown away with them. You will want to make sure these are ones you won’t cry over throwing away. I have over bled a pad at least once with both kids. One time was pretty bad. I was super glad to have mesh underwear that I could just toss with everything else. Why should I waste my underwear or go BUY underwear to throw out? I didn’t find the mesh uncomfortable either. In fact I took home the extras to wear at home for the first few days.
You can always try asking for extra pillows. Others find that they can nurse/feed the baby just fine without the boppy. I have a smaller boppy like pillow that I take with me just to help. During those late night feeds right after giving birth having that little bit of extra support while you are fighting to stay awake is amazing. Even if it isn’t a boppy pillow I would still recommend taking something to help support while feeding.
Same thing applies here as with above. If you can’t sleep without a special pillow then take it. I always sleep with a pillow fort at night but while in the hospital I deal with the one or two I get from them. It works for me. Not like we can get much sleep anyways with them doing all the checks on you in addition to having a new baby in the room.
I’m starting to sound like a broken record. If you need your special blankey to sleep or for comfort by all means bring it. I don’t take my own blanket though.
You have to have this. All 50 states require you to have one for baby to ride home in.
Oh my how this post grew!! Be on the look out for Part 2 coming soon!!