Hospital Essentials [and what you DON’T need to bring]

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As a first time mom, I was terrified to give birth. There are of course, medical procedures you worry about [episiotomy, c-section, epidural…] but that doesn’t mean you don’t worry about the simple stuff to! I scoured various blogs for what I should bring in my hospital bag and ended up way over packed for my 48 hour stay in the hospital. While there are a lot of good resources and opinions out there, I’m going to share what my personal necessities were, and will be for the next time!

Must have’s:

Nursing tank [and PJ pants] After giving birth, you’re going to want to be as comfortable as possible. A good nursing tank [like this bravado one] should offer you some support without being uncomfortable and obviously allows for nursing access. PJ pants don’t really need explanation….

light weight robe If you have to go out to the ice machine, or just feel like taking a walk after being bed ridden, a light robe is nice to have since you most likely won’t be changing out of those PJ pants [or you may just forego the pants altogether]

comfy socks with grippers OR light slippers The last thing you need is to slip and fall after giving birth, or while holding your precious, new bundle. I preferred socks, because they kept my feet a bit warmer, but I also used my ballet-type slippers a good bit too.

luxe shower/bath products This one sounds indulgent, but after sweating and being miserable for 12 hours, I wanted to have the greatest shower of my life when labor was over and done with [and you deserve it!] I had this really luxurious, handmade bar of soap my mother got for me during a trip to wine country and I saved it especially for my post-labor shower. It was so nice! I can still vividly remember how relaxing that shower was, so pick out a really nice bath product you normally wouldn’t splurge on and save it for that shower!

tinted lip balm This might sound dumb, but tinted lip balm made me feel great when the visitors started rolling in. Even though I love my make up, I did not even want to put it on. You’re fading in and out of sleep those first few days, adjusting to new-parent life and ain’t nobody got time for that! Besides, I found the hospital to be a little dry, so I needed some chapstick anyway. Having a tinted balm helped me to feel a little more put together, while also solving my dry lip problem. Not to mention, I was more open to a few pictures, knowing that I felt more “put together” and those are pictures i treasure to this day!

your own pillow It sounds silly and unnecessary, but that is exactly why I am writing this post. Bring it. Hospital pillows are pancakes and they will only allot you so many pancakes. My nurses called me “pillow queen” and indeed I was, a very happy queen sitting on my throne of pillows. One pancake on my lower back, one pancake under my feet, and my special, memory foam pillow from home, underneath my head. Pure bliss. If for some reason you don’t use it, Hubs probably will, so just bring it!

phone charger Before I was in active labor, I was snapping hospital selfies and uploading them to instagram [#laborday!], playing games, scrolling through my newsfeed…. You do a lot of waiting around before baby really decides they’re coming [for real]. In addition, we use our phones for everything nowadays! You’ll be taking pictures with your phone, or if you’re me, calling your family in the morning to tell them active labor has officially begun! Whether it’s you or your significant other, make sure one of you has a phone and charger.

a comfy outfit for leaving the hospital Let me tell you a cold hard truth– no amount of preparation will allow you to walk out of that hospital looking like Kate Middleton. Don’t.even.try. And yes, you’re still going to look at least 4 months pregnant [or if you have my luck 8 months…] so don’t toss those yoga pants just yet, you’re going to need them for the ride home.

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What you DON’T need

camera Smartphones have amazing cameras these days, so just use it. If you want nicer pictures later, put a family member in charge of bringing a nicer camera, but you have other things to worry about.

make up I swear you won’t need it. Even if you want to wear it, you’ll be too exhausted to apply it. It simply takes up space. Go for the tinted lip balm instead.

a wardrobe for baby I brought every adorable outfit in the newborn size. Don’t. The pictures of your baby swaddled in that hospital blanket are cute enough without a coordinating outfit. If you feel like your baby needs a hate or socks, the hospital is usually able to provide those things too. Also, baby doesn’t care!

any other clothes for yourself besides the nursing tank and go-home clothes. I had all these sets of coordinating PJs and loungewear. Don’t bother. Bring your reliable, favorite jammies, and a comfy go-home outfit and leave it at that.

to worry about things for your husband I’ve been seeing so many posts lately about “don’t forget hubby!” and I’m here to tell you, forget about hubby. He’s a grown man, for God’s sake. Grown enough to impregnate you, anyway… I think he can handle grabbing an extra pair of boxers. If you have crazy nesting energy and feel the urge to pack a bag for him, go for it. But don’t stress about him having what he needs. Most women don’t pack their husbands a hospital bag, and whoever wrote a pin suggesting it should have to answer for this crime against pregnant, exhausted women.

a ton of snacks I don’t know where the misconception about hospitals starving new moms came from, but you absolutely do not need to worry about going hungry during your hospital stay. I brought a whole variety of lara bars that I thought I’d have to craftily consume behind the nurses backs. They offer you food before you’re in active labor, they offer you food after. When they tell you can’t eat, you won’t want to eat because you’ll just want to get that baby OUT. Also, if for some reason your hospital doesn’t cater to your inner foodie, I’m assuming you have friends and family [or god forbid you send the husband…] who will go and get you take-out from your favorite place. Seriously, don’t bother bringing snacks.

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What were items you couldn’t have survived without during your first hospital stay?

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