So it's about time to meet baby! The last thing you want to be doing is packing your bag during a contraction, and it's probably not the best idea to leave everything to your hubby. Just sayin'.
We highly suggest packing a bag in advance. If you can, start gathering your items about 3 weeks prior to your due date (you can always add if need be).
Watch with second hand (to time contractions)
Music- I had worship music playing during delivery, so if you want to "set the mood" start creating a playlist in Spotify. Some hospitals may not allow this so just check with your Dr. : )
Candles or aromatherapy (to make the 'sterile' hospital environment a bit more homey)
Lip balm (in case your lips get dry)
Throat lozenges- your chest and throat may hurt after pushing (hence the grunting)
Hair bands or clips- in case your hair gets in your way
Tennis ball or medicine ball- check with your hospital and Dr. before- these can help ease labor pains (especially helpful if you are opting to have a drug-free labor
Massage lotion- if massage appeals to you as an aid during labor
Cord blood kit- your doctor will need this so he can withdraw the cord blood immediately after delivery.
If you are doing placenta encapsulation, remember to leave the hospital with your frozen placenta. It can only live up to 1 week before going bad.
A good herbal laxative- I took this about 2 hours post delivery so that I would not have any pain during a bowel movement...I think we've all heard the horror stories. Let me just say, it works!
For Your Stay:
Slippers- not necessary but can be cozy
Loose-fitting jammies- I opted for a comfy nightgown. Surprisingly the hospital gown are a pretty good alternative.
Nursing bra/pads (although the hospital gowns usually have handy little snap-open shoulders. And who cares if you leak through their couture sleepwear?)
Toiletries- all items for showering
Black or dark colored undies- you will bleed for the next several weeks and CANNOT USE A TAMPON
Maxi pads- The hospital will provide you
Your hospital should provide a squeezable water bottle to rinse off your nether regions and even numbing spray when using the potty. This is oh-so-very-soothing!
Makeup bag- because let's get real, we all want to look hot after giving birth
Hair brush/hair dryer- I could have cared less about drying my hair but, who knows, you may feel up to it.
Pillow- in case you don't like the flat, stiff pillows at the hospital.
If you had a c-section, you’ll want to be careful not to rub against your incision, and if you gave birth vaginally, you might find yourself creating a ‘cocktail’ of soothing treatments - maxi pad, witch hazel, ice pack, numbing spray or cream - that your string bikini can’t handle. Some new moms have found disposable convenience with…yup, Depends.
Your Bible, a good book or magazines- You may not find any time to rest but your hubby may need a break.
Outfit to wear home- one that’s comfy and loose. Don't be surprised if you look 5 months pregnant when leaving the hospital (this is all relative to your pregnancy). Some women may have a flatter tummy after labor. The GOOD NEWS is if you are able to breastfeed, your uterus will contract and tighten over time! Aren't our bodies amazing!
For Your Partner's Stay:
Go Pro- c'mon, let your hubs have some fun.
Toiletries- to shower during your stay
Change of clothes- sometimes hospitals get chilly so bring a sweatshirt or something warm!
Magazines or other reading material- just in case
For Your Newborn:
Diapers- if you are opting for a healthier diaper without petroleum, bring your own. If not, the hospital provides diapers
Cap- the hospital should provide this; however, if you want something cuter then bring your own.
Going home outfit
Buy a newspaper on the day your baby is born- (you can ask a family member to pick one up) It's the perfect memento!
Extra small bag- you may need it for any extra gifts you receive and take homes from the hospital.
For Your Dr. and Nurses:
So this is entirely up to you and may sounds ridiculous, but I brought homemade chocolate chip cookies to the hospital as a little thank you to the staff. No, I didn't bake them myself : ) during contractions. I had my amazing mother make cookies while I labored at home all day before going to the hospital. The nurses were immensely grateful for the small gesture. Again, not necessary. And if you don't think of it when your water breaks ; ), send someone to pick up a little something. LET YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY CATER TO YOU!