A recent trip to my OB/GYN revealed that my little girl could be arriving sooner than expected. Guess it's time to pack for the hospital!!! But what to pack in a hospital bag?
I mean, I have no idea what I want to wear after I give birth. How huge will I be? They say you look six months pregnant despite the mass exodus of your little one. And what should baby wear? I searched the malls for the perfect coming-home outfit but nothing spoke to me. And who am I kidding.... fashion is far from my hospital bag essentials list, though Kate Middleton did look amazing when she walked out of the hospital with her little prince! Don't we all kinda want that picture perfect moment?
So, after staring at my empty suitcase in what can only be described as a pregnant girl stupor, I decided to search online for practical advice and call my girlfriends. Thankfully, one of my best friends is a labor and delivery nurse. Also, two of my favorite girls have just given birth within the past two months, and one is under going induction tonight. It's time to turn to the experts....AKA... those of you who've labored, delivered and survived to tell! Do yourself a favor ladies, don't waste your time scouring the internet like I did. This hospital bag essentials list won't disappoint.
Hospital Bag Essentials from the Labor & Delivery Nurse Who Has Seen Everything:
A Comfortable Pillow - sadly hospital pillows are pretty pathetic. Just remember to keep your favorite pillow far away from the end of the bed if you ever want to use it in the future.
Toiletries- though the hospital does have supplies, they're like cheap hotel samples. Think tangled hair even after using the entire bottle of conditioner.
Entertainment - it might take longer than expected for your little one to arrive. Your favorite music and laptop will be an essential distraction.
Chap stick- hours of panting and puffing will make for a less then perfect pout. Give your lips some love, you'll be giving baby lots of kisses.
Hair ties- because the last thing you'll want to fuss with is your hair!
From the Nurse Practitioner whose water broke in Walgreens:
Lightweight Robe-frequent trips to the bathroom, long walks down hospital corridors to speed up your contractions, an entourage of visitors... but hey, maybe you're keen on flashing your backside.
Socks/Slippers- hassle free, cozy toes, no bending required.
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Nursing Bra/Pads- your boobs are suddenly your hottest commodity (okay, they've always been a hot commodity!)
Large Underwear- think granny panties ladies... because there is nothing cute about the amount of blood you'll be shedding in the next few days.
Maxi Dresses - so you can feel both comfortable and fashionable without added effort.
Baby Blanket- keeps baby comfy but also functions as a cute backdrop for the hospital photographer.
From the Occupational Therapist whose baby was so cute, every nurse on the unit came to visit:
Lanolin- you'll want to protect your nipples immediately! No one knew they could hurt like this!
Nursing Pillow- there's a bit of a learning curve for new mom's and babies, so equip yourself with anything that can make the process easier.
Belly Wrap-yes, all the celebrities wear these postpartum, but friends also swear they are soooo comfortable, ease back pain, and really bring back your once flat belly.
Going Home Outfit For Baby- after the birth of your precious baby, this is probably your most memorable hospital moments. Be prepared for lots of photographs.
From my dazed and confused Internet search
Car Seat- seems like a given, but you might want to practice getting it secured in the car. It took us a couple of tries to get it just right.
Camera- another given, but what if if I didn't put it on the list and you forgot??? We can't have any disappointed mamas!
Your Puppies- my Italian Greyhound is sitting here whining as I wonder aloud what else to include. He wants to witness the birth of his sister. Sorry, no can do little love! But thanks for the reminder Twiggy... if you have pets make sure you've made plans for them too.
Hey Mamas, if you're reading this thinking I've forgotten some obvious hospital bag essentials please comment below! Got to go pack my bag!