As my delivery day approached, I started obsessing over what to bring with me for my three day hospital stay. I have never ever had to be hospitalized (thank heavens!) and really had no idea what to expect. I’ve never been a big fan of hospitals, who is really, and the thought of being stuck in one of those tiny, hard beds in a tiny, airless room was completely stressing me out. My obsession with what to pack was my way of calming my nerves and controlling the only things I could control. Making sure I had everything I’d need to be as comfortable as possible. I realize that not all hospitals are as nice as the one I had the good fortune of delivering in which is why I strongly suggest making sure you pack a few comfortable products, regardless of how frivolous they seem. I promise they will help take the edge off of being stuck in that tiny, hard bed, in a tiny airless room! So here’s my list of delivery day must haves! I hope it’s useful to anyone heading for a stay at the hospital, whether it’s to delivery a baby or otherwise.
Essentials for Mom-to-be:
- Nursing bra(s) – This supports swollen, tender breasts, and helps keep breast pads in place.
- Breast pads – You will need these whether or not you are breast feeding because they stop leaks by absorbing milk.
- Nursing pillows – These can be used if you are breast feeding or bottle feeding; either way they reduce the strain on your arms, neck, and back when feeding your baby. This is not a compulsion though!
- Nursing Nighties– Make sure they open in the front if you are planning on breast feeding.
- Slippers – During early labor it is always recommended to walk around. These will also come in handy as you make trips to the nursery to check on your new baby. I literally was in my slippers from the time of joining to until I reached home.
- Socks – Many women complain of their feet being cold during the delivery, so have a couple of pairs in case one pair becomes soiled.
- Going-home outfit – Choose one that fit you when you were around 6 months pregnant.
- Toiletries – To be more comfortable, take a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, chap stick, makeup, hairbrush, shampoo, soap, lotion, hair dryer, hand sanitizer etc.
- Sanitary pads – The hospital can provide you with these, but many women feel more comfortable when they bring their favourite brand with them. Remember, you are going to need a pad designed for a heavier flow.
- Hair clip or band – if you have long hair- Women with long hair like to have it pulled out of their faces during labor and delivery.
- Magazines– You will not have a lot of down time, but there could be a few minutes here and there when you could read.
- Mints or breath strips– Many women experience nausea/vomiting during labor and delivery; these will help freshen your mouth or the mouths of your support people.
- Candies – These can alleviate dry mouth.
- Other Accessories – You might need your mobile chargers, camera, camera charger, headphones etc in the hospital premises.
Essentials for Baby
- Infant car seat – You can use this beginning from when you leave the hospital for a comfortable ride back with your bundle of joy.
- Going-home outfit – The hospital does not provide you with any clothes.
- Cap – Babies lose the vast majority of their body heat through their heads. So its necessary to wrap their head with soft cotton caps.
- Booties/socks – To keep them warm
- Receiving blankets – Newborns love to be swaddled, and these blankets are perfect for swaddling.
- Newborn diapers – If they do not have the umbilical cord area cut out, make sure you fold them down. Sometimes hospital may provide a worst quality diapers so its better to keep a backup.
- Wipes – Begin with the wipes that are designed for newborns or sensitive skin.
- Mittens – Many newborns will have longer nails, so they can easily scratch their face and other parts of their bodies.