I’m now 37-weeks and full-term! Although technically I still have 3 weeks left, I feel a sense of urgency now because Toddler Heels was born at the beginning of my 38th week. Ever since I started maternity leave last week, my self-imposed list of to-do’s have been endless – I’ve been feeling this huge surge of energy and have this need to just do stuff!
Now, I can finally cross “pack hospital bag” off my list. Since this is my second round at this, the biggest advice I can give is try not to overpack!
Here are my essentials for a vaginal delivery, as well as my hospital bag for baby, and things I left behind because the hospital provided them:
1. Boppy Pillow – I didn’t bring this when I went into labor the first time around, and I wish I had. We were fine nursing at the hospital with regular pillows, but it would’ve been really nice to have a boppy. This is great to sit on for that sore bum too should you have a vaginal delivery.
2. ID, Insurance, and Birth Plan – I’m reusing my birth plan from my first birth.
3. Comfy Slippers - I put my slippers to use quite a bit for walking around, but didn’t bother with socks.
4. Smartphone with charger – to take pictures, record video, and keep me entertained.
5. Makeup - Nobody wants to see this girl in all her glory, especially after giving birth.
6. Robe - I liked having a lightweight robe I could quickly wrap around myself when visitors showed up, or when I got cold.
7. Coconut Water – For hydration and to replenish those electrolytes.
8. Coconut Oil – I have been telling everyone who will listen about the wonders of Coconut Oil! For the hospital, I plan to use it for a perineal massage, nipple cream, rash cream for baby, and night cream. It’s really an all-in-one essential for this mama! I’ll be putting some in a smaller travel sized container.
9. Energy bars and snacks – Our hospital provides 3 set meals a day, but packing healthy snacks kept my energy up and the hunger at bay in between the meals. In case you’re wondering, my favorite bars are the ZonePerfect Chocolate Almond Raisin ones – yum!
10. Nursing Bra - I love the Bravado ones. I wore them through my first pregnancy and post-delivery, and I’ve been wearing them all through my second pregnancy. The clips make for easy-access nursing and they’re comfy enough for me to sleep in too.
11. Toiletries & Travel Blowdryer - I’m the type that can’t sleep with wet hair, so a blowdryer is a must.
12. Going home outfit (Yoga pants and loose-fitting top) – I made the mistake of packing my “fat jeans” the first time around, and I still couldn’t fit them. I didn’t realize I’d still look like a 6-month pregnant woman after pushing an 8-lb. baby out! Luckily I also packed PJ pants, so I didn’t have to go home pants-less. I like the idea of yoga pants because it’s stretchy at the waist, but still tight enough that it’ll keep that bulky pad and any other “loose” things down there in place.
13. Point-and-shoot camera with charger
14. Flip flops - For the shower. One of the first things I wanted to do post-delivery was take a steaming hot shower, even though that’s a huge no-no in Chinese postpartum culture.
1. Hat – Most hospitals provide this so it’s not really necessary, but it’s such a small item, why not bring it?
2. Onesie – to go under the sleeper.
3. Fleece Footed sleeper – He’ll be born in winter, so I want to make sure he’s warm and cozy
4. Receiving Blanket – The receiving blankets at the hospital felt so coarse and scratchy, this time I’ll be bringing my own Aden & Anais ones.
5. Mittens and/or socks - My baby was born with scratch marks all over her face! Those newborn nails are lethal. Mittens tend to slip off their teensy hands – I found that baby socks work much better (my favorites are Robeez and Trumpettes because they actually stay put!).
Things I Left Behind/Things the hospital provided:
1. Pads - I preferred the bulky, hospital pads over the ones I brought. They just seemed to contain everything that was going on down there better.
2. Undies – I was fine wearing the mesh undies the hospital provided and even went home in them.
3. Diapers and Wipes – Take as much as you can from the hospital!
4. Dermoplast Numbing Spray – Again, take as much as you can from the hospital. I still have some left over from my first pregnancy!
5. Pumping accessories – If you can, see if you can pump at the hospital even if you intend on nursing because any spare parts you use are yours to keep! I got an extra set of breastshields, tubing, and bottles this way.
I found that I didn’t need much in terms of entertainment. Either I was too focused on the pain of labor, or I was too mesmerized by my newborn to even flip through the magazines I brought. I never even opened up my laptop the first time around. Post-delivery, I was either nursing, napping, or tending to the guests that dropped by. Everything I would want to do – update FB status, take pictures, browse the internet, I plan to do on my phone!
Did I miss anything? What would you include/exclude?