The countdown is nearly over. Your belly is ready to pop, and baby is almost on the way! It’s time to pack the hospital bag.
Prepping for your hospital stay is an important part of feeling calm and in-control during labor and delivery. Whether you want to be surrounded with comforting items or you are concerned with only the essentials, here is a comprehensive list of items for your hospital bag that are new-mom approved.
Like all aspects of motherhood, approach your packing style with what works best for you. Focus on what’s important for your delivery experience and cut out the rest.
Disposable Underwear or Maxi Pads: It’s not going to be fun down there for several days after delivery. Depends Silhouettes are recommended as an alternative to the hospital provided underwear. Large maxi pads also work great in big, comfy panties.
Pain and Cooling Sprays and Pads: Smooth your sore bits with an all-natural cooling spray. We like Earth Mama New Bottom Spray and Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray. Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads also work great.
Toiletries: Bring a travel set of toiletries so that you have your preferred items with you in the hospital. If you wear glasses or contacts, don’t forget to add those to your “last minute pack” list!
Dry Shampoo & Face Wipes: Mobility is restricted for mothers who have had a cesarian, so toss in a bottle of dry shampoo and face wipes in case you can’t get up to shower but want to feel clean.
Stool Softener: A stool softener can ease constipation and bathroom pain in the days following your delivery. We recommend starting these a few weeks prior to your due date, but make sure to run this by a clinical professional before getting started.
Snacks: Most hospitals do not allow you to eat when you are in active labor, but afterwards you’ll be craving some of your favorite goodies. Throw in granola bars, pretzels, peanut butter — anything to keep hunger at bay when you’re famished from labor.
Breastfeeding Pillow: Include your breastfeeding pillow so that the hospital’s lactation consultant can show you how to correctly position the pillow and your newborn during the first feedings. Moms love My Breast Friend and Boppy.
Milkful Lactation Bars: Eat a lactation bar while you are in the hospital to encourage your milk to come in quickly. Milkful bars are individually packaged and easy to throw into your hospital bag! We recommend you eat one to two per day to encourage milk production. These also make a great gift to bring to the hospital for other mothers you may be visiting!
Cooling Nursing Pads: Cooling nursing pads can be tucked into your bra to cool your breasts and ease initial breastfeeding discomfort. We love Lansinoh Soothies Gel Nursing Pads. Ask one of your nurses to get them cold for you!
Water Bottle: Keeping hydrated is key to breastfeeding and breast milk production. Have a cute water bottle handy so that you remember to drink plenty of fluids right away.
Nursing Bra: Ensure the bra you have packed can easily be worn when nursing. The same goes for pajamas and clothing!
Chic Robe: If hospital gowns are not your look, buy a cute maternity gown to wear for your stay. Many mothers recommend changing into the cute robe after delivery so that it does not get covered in blood and goo.
Pajamas and Loungewear: Hospitals are notoriously cold while maternity centers are often kept warm. Pack comfortable layers so that you have options for what to wear throughout your stay (think soft and flowy pants, nursing tanks and long and cozy cardigans). Don't forget to pack pajamas! We love these from the HATCH Collection.
Slippers & Socks: Protect your feet from cold hospital floors by throwing in plenty of fuzzy socks and a pair of slippers.
Flip Flops or Sandals: Women’s feet swell considerably after delivery and a pair of flip flops will always fit. If you are giving birth during the winter, include shoes that have plenty of room in them so you aren’t uncomfortable.
Going Home Outfit: Your body won’t bounce-back overnight. Pack something to wear home that has plenty of room and does not rub against your body.
Camera: You’ll want to capture every moment once your little cutie is born.
Long Phone Charger: Hospital rooms aren’t setup like hotel rooms. Outlets are often far away from the bed and a long phone charger will allow you to keep your phone nearby.
Envelope for Paperwork: Be prepared to bring home documents, hospital pamphlets, new baby educational materials and more. Stuff an envelope or folder into your bag so that you have a place to put these items.
Extra Bag for Hospital Goodies: During your stay the hospital will load you up with diapers, mesh underwear and more, and family and friends may bring gifts when they visit. Fold up a light tote and put it at the bottom of your bag so that you have room to take new items home.
Pillow with a Colorful Pillowcase: Having your own pillow for the hospital nights can drastically improve your comfort. Put a brightly colored pillowcase on it so that it does not get mixed into the hospital linens.
Eye Mask: Block out harsh hospital lighting and sleep more comfortably with an eye mask.
Essential Oils: Scents can calm the body and boost your mood. Throw in some essential oils to defuse in your room.
Bluetooth Speaker and Music Playlist: Distract yourself with a killer playlist and rock your way through your contractions and the rest of your hospital stay.
Mini Bottle of Champagne: This day should be a celebration! Consider including a small bottle of champagne to pop open once your darling baby arrives.
Mittens, Socks and a Hat: Hospitals will provide you with a standard hat and socks, but mittens should be packed in case your baby has sharp fingernails. It is recommended to wait several days before cutting fingernails and these items will keep your baby comfortable and snug.
Receiving Blanket and Swaddle: There are so many cute options for muslin blankets and swaddles. Aiden and Anais offers precious prints to wrap your baby up when visitors are passing him or her around.
Newborn Going Home Outfit: Because your baby will still have their umbilical stump, it is recommended to pack a shirt and pants combo to wear home.
Blanket: Newborns are unable to regulate their temperature right away. Keep baby warm with a cozy blanket for the drive home.
Car Seat: Okay, this item can’t be packed but it should be ready and properly installed in your car before you go into labor.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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Today's #MomTalk comes from Sheryl K, a first-time mama to a baby boy. Read her recommendations for what products helped her survive the first two weeks of breastfeeding and why she recommends them to every new mom.