Friday, March 4, 2011

The Hospital Bag

If you are a male, or if the thought of having a baby freaks you out, skip this post. For reals.

So I have several friends who are pregnant, & I wanted to write a post that would've been helpful for me in the last few weeks of pregnancy regarding -


Dun, dun dunnn.

What to pack, what to pack? That is the question. I'll answer what was in my bag (& some comments about why), so take it for what you will! Take my birth experience into consideration too; these things may not be necessary for everyone.

For you
* Comfy pants/shorts: like yoga pants, or goucho pants - you want to have plenty of space to be retaining water, & not getting anywhere close to where you just experienced much damage! I wore these when I left the hospital, & for a couple of weeks at home.
* Nursing bras, loose tops
* Warm socks: I heard you might need these for the hot/cold phenom, but in labor I didn't wear them, then afterward I was SO HOT I never put them on.
* Nursing gown: I stayed in a hospital gown from the time we got there until 36 hrs after Elliot was born due to not being able to stay standing up without passing out so no shower, but after I showered, a nursing gown was a very comfy option for lounging. You want to be able to hike it up when you're laying in bed so that you don't bleed on it!
*House shoes: I barely got out of bed while I was there, but did use them.
* Bigger-than-normal undies: I didn't wear them in the hospital but did when I got home. You want to make sure they wouldn't be right where a C-section scar would be, just in case. But in case you don't like the mesh underwear the hospital provides (I did!), take your own.
* Your own pillows w/ a non-white pillow case: it's nice to have them to sleep on, & you want to be able to identify them.
* Towels: their towels are like hand towels. Bring your own!
* Toiletries: shampoo, soap, etc. I didn't shave (sorry if that is gross but I don't care), didn't plan on blow-drying my hair (seriously, just gave birth, don't expect me to look good!).
* Breast pump: you never know if you might need it. You can leave it in the car & just send your hubby to run out to get it if you need it.
* Nursing pillow: we brought it but I am not sure I used it? I think I just used a normal pillow while there.
* Birthing ball (exercise ball): I did use it but it definitely didn't help my contractions, so I won't take it next time for sure.
* Chapstick: your lips get dry!
* Nursing pads & cream (though the hospital will probably provide a cream sample)
* I-pod: we brought a dock too so we could play classical music during labor. I definitely didn't pay attention to it the whole time, but it was nice to have something playing in the background - I wouldn't have liked silence.
* Computer: good for loading pictures for long hospital stays (like our 4 days!)
* Snacks/flavored water: definitely came in handy for labor! & good for in between meals.
* Baby book: I took it but never pulled it out. We just stored away the things we wanted to keep for it, like the footprints & other documents.

* Shirts/shorts/socks/underwear
* Towel
* Snacks
* Toiletries
* Camera: Josh was all over the place after Elliot was born, & I was useless
* Blanket: might be a good idea if you are boiling hot after delivery & want the room freezing cold
* Cell phone charger

* Pacifiers: we took I think 4 different kinds, which I am glad because the one that everyone said he would LOVE, he did not take! So glad we took more.
* Homecoming outfit
*Clothes: I don't think this is necessary, because they supply little shirts & hats for baby. You may want to take socks to put on their hands, or feet when they aren't swaddled.
* Receiving blanket: good for the ride home since the hospital provides them while you are there.
* Car seat

What you'll need at home
I've already mentioned a couple of things that you need (comfy pants, big undies), but here are some other things. I took them to the hospital but they provided what I needed, however it was good that I already had them at home because they definitely got used!
* Big, heavy pads: for those first few days, you need the big heavy-duty kind. (Not to mention, it was really great I had these at home when my water broke! Ew!)
* Lighter pads & pantiliners: need these for when "things" slow down a bit
* Witch-hazel pads, Dermaplast spray: while you are in the hospital, ask the nurses for an ice pack (or at my hospital, they froze wet diapers), then in this order from the bottom-up, make this combo: ice pack/diaper, witch-hazel pads, Dermaplast spray (in the mesh undies) = ahhhhh. Great relief when you HURT! When you get home, you should be okay without the ice pack, but still use the WH pads & spray on top of pads.
* Ibuprofen: my midwives provided me a prescription for hospital-grade ibuprofen (w/ 3 refills!) so I didn't need it, BUT you will if you don't get the heavy hospital stuff.
* Stool softeners: yep.

Some people use the sitz bath thing, & your hospital may provide you one, but I never did. Seemed like a lot of trouble... I probably should have used it though.

I think that's it... luckily all of this not fun stuff comes with an adorable little baby. :-)


The Schumachers said...

Very informative... and makes me slightly glad we are not there yet... when that time comes... I'll be asking you LOTS of questions... Like what are witch-hazel pads... I'm just not sure I'm ready to hear all about it now... I need to hear the great thing like how great it is to snuggle that sweet baby when he/she comes home!

The Links said...

I'm so glad you posted this!! This is actually going to be one of my "calling all mommies" post!!

Thanks for the breastfeeding advice too!!

And feel free to comment any time, I should comment on your blog more often, because I click over to it every now and then!! i finally added you to my google reader, so you should hear from me more often!!