As of 35 weeks of being pregnant, my doctor had asked hubby and I to make sure our hospital bag was packed. Thank goodness we too her advice, because our tiny baby decided to show up a couple of weeks early!
There are tons of long lists out there, but I thought I’d give it to you straight. Here are my 10 Maternity Hospital Bag Must Haves, without all of the fluff.
- Cell phone & chargers – you’re going to contact loved ones before/during/after birth. Plus, you won’t sleep for 4 days straight, so you’ll be surfing Mom blogs, shopping for adorable newborn clothes, and posting pictures of Facebook of your tiny baby at 3 am. You’ll be thankful for your fully charged device.
- Camera & charger – have someone take pictures of your tiny baby as soon as he or she is born. Think twice about posting these pictures online right away…I personally looked like Jabba the Hut right after giving birth. However, hubby and I are incredibly happy we have those first moments documented. You will also want pictures of you all leaving the hospital together as a new family!
- Coconut water (my favorite is with pineapple), Gatorade, or some other replenishing drink – Bring at least four. You will be parched beyond belief before you even reach 5cm. I was so thirsty that I gave up speaking to my husband during the end of labor, and instead used made up sign language to let him know what I needed.
- Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks – Our favorite were those delicious packages of crackers with cheese and peanut butter. Mommas are fed during their hospital stay but partners need to fend for themselves. Sometimes they can get food at the cafeteria, or maybe you can sneak them some extra helpings from your tray, but they will be exceptionally hungry. Plus, remember I said you will not sleep at all during your hospital stay? Well, when 4am hunger strikes, and you will be delighted you had food. Pack your favorite candy, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, or whatever non perishable items you enjoy. You can’t pack too many…because you’ll eat whatever is left when you get home.
- Non-scented deodorant – Your baby will be held rather close to your armpit, and strong smelling pits of fruit or flowers will not be attractive to your tiny baby. But make sure you put on some deodorant, because you will sweat like a pig for days after birth. I forgot to apply some for 2 days, and made the mistake of taking a whiff. I will never forget to wear deodorant again for as long as I live.
- Boppy pillow – it will be a godsend while you try to breastfeed in the hospital bed. It will also help your partner and guests hold your tiny baby with confidence. Last, the hospital pillows are limp and flat…your boppy will be a welcome addition to your bed if you can squeeze in a nap.
- Nursing bra, lanolin & breast pads – not only will you be a sweaty mess days after giving bid, but your breasts will be leaking all over yourself. You’ll need some extra support, and some absorbent coverage. Plus, if you are nursing, you will want some lanolin. People say nursing doesn’t hurt if done correctly, but they lie. In the beginning it feels like someone is twisting your nipples, over and over again. Lanolin will make this feel loads better.
- Maternity Yoga pants, or some kind of comfortable bottom to wear for three days – You’ll be wearing an adult diaper with tons of pads, so you will want to wear something comfortable as well as something that will help hold up your bulky undergarment. I wore gaucho pants. Yes, I still have a pair of gaucho pants…and boy was I thankful!
- Coming home outfit for your tiny baby & yourself – Keep it simple! I recommend a onesie sleeper that zips up for your baby. You & your partner will not want to deal with buttons, snaps, pants, or frills. For yourself, bring your favorite maternity outfit. You will still be quite squishy.
- Baby book – have your tiny baby’s footprints stumped inside, grab a copy of the newspaper on your baby’s birthdate, and have your hospital visitors write your tiny baby a little note 🙂
Don’t worry about fancy pajamas, makeup, or magazines. The first days after giving birth are all out bonding with your tiny baby, not about worrying about your looks. I wore a johnny for three out of the our days I was in the hospital. I forgot I brush my teeth as well. However, the ten items listed above were used my entire stay! I hope it helps in your packing process!
What must have items would/did you pack in your maternity hospital bag?
A GREAT list!!! I remember with my first baby I had SO much stuff with me. Another important one for me was lip balm- like you said, you get so dry and parched, lip balm was a lifesaver for me after 3 hours of pushing!!! And takeout menus for nearby restaurants. My husband and I skipped the hospital food for dinners and enjoyed yummy Italian food 😉
I think Italian dinner sounds delicious!!
I needed my our mini-projector- no joke, we played the playoff games on the wall in the hospital room (streaming from the laptop). Yoga pants with matching, open top and nursing bras and tanks, camera and a water bottle!
Haha I can't believe you were watching playoff games! Way to go mama!
Great items, Mary! You thought of everything! I have to admit that 12 years ago, our list was a tad different. Yes to the onesies, bras, yoga pants, etc. Coconut water was not really a thing yet. Although I love it now! Same with cell phone chargers. Ha! We brought something that's very DINOSAUR like now…a boom box. Nowadays, I realize people have iPhone speakers the size of a box of raisins. But we did! That, along with lip balm, lotion, contact solution, etc. 🙂
I love that you brought a boom box – the hospital should have had one for you 😉
Great list! This will be so helpful to those heading in to deliver!