So Cate posted an AMAZING hospital checklist. If you haven't seen it, go check it out here. For all of you pregnant mamas who are craving even more information (as I was), I wanted to post my own hospital checklist, including the word document that I had printed out - in case you want to create one of your own. I will also critique what I used/didn't use, needed/didn't need, etc. - so you know what my personal opinion is on bringing stuff to the hospital.
I will also add that Ryan and I lived literally only a ten minute walk away from the hospital, so I knew if I forgot anything major (for the day after giving birth), Ryan could run and go get it. Anyways, here we go!
ID: Okay, your ID is a no brainer. Bottom line - you need this to get admitted into the hospital. DO NOT forget it!!! Your hubby (or anyone else that will be on the birth certificate) will need an ID, as well. Also, I would encourage any guests that are present to have their ID on them (just in case hospital staff requires their IDs) - some hospitals are stricter on this issue than others.
Insurance card: if you are not on file with the hospital you are giving birth at, you will need to bring your insurance card. I was on file at the hospital I gave birth at because it was also the place I received my prenatal care at. When in doubt, bring your insurance card. If you happen to forget it, don't stress! The hospital can simply call your insurance provider.
Birth plan: Okay - so Cate may be a little more stringent about bringing a copy of the and sticking to a birth plan because she gave birth NATURALLY - yes I said N-A-T-U-R-A-L-L-Y! I can't believe it either. Go Cate! So for her, having and sticking to the birth plan may have been more important - she will expand on this later. For someone more mainstream like myself, who went the route 80% of the pregnant female population goes, I elected for an epidural. And seriously thank goodness I did! When I gave birth, I will communicate that I didn't give two thoughts about my birth plan when my water broke and when the contractions started because I booked it to the hospital as soon as my water broke ( I didn't have to time my contractions because the hospital requires you to come to the hospital as soon as your water breaks). Then, I literally dilated textbook style - 1cm every hour and I progressed really quickly. That said, I didn't have time to look at my birth plan because of how quickly it went and because of all the pain I was in - true story and more on this later. That said, after I got the epidural, there were a few important things that I noted in my birth plan that I WERE EXTREMELY important and because of this I HIGHLY recommend having a birth plan on hand.
I will expand on my birth plan another time, but see my birth plan here:
Personal pillow: YES! You'll want this. The hospital pillows are stiff, as Cate mentioned. You'll want anything to make you feel comfy and at home after laboring, delivering and being in the hospital for a few days.
Extra Clothes: Bring loose fitting clothes. As Cate said, you'll likely look 5 months pregnant after birth (sorry ladies!) AND you'll be in quite a bit of pain *down there*, so you'll want something that is extra comfy and cozy.
Nursing Bras: I suggest nursing tanks over nursing bras. Nursing tanks you can wear by themselves - nursing bras you have to (generally) wear a shirt over. I brought nursing bras, and with baby #2, I will strictly bring nursing tanks. Also, get dark colors because baby and milk leakage will make a mess of them!
Underwear: bring loose fitting underwear. The hospital will provide mesh underwear. Make sure to grab extras of these to bring home because you'll likely need them for the coming days/weeks of recovery. On top of this, buy loose fitting underwear or both shorts to cover you for that recovery time. I think I went to TJ Max and bought a set of cheap booty shorts XXL :)
Socks: nice to keep your toesies warm! Hospitals can be cold.
PJ's: Definitely need PJ's. You'll want PJ's that are easy to nurse in (think button-down PJ's or a nightgown that has an easy-to-pull-down strap). I think I ended up sleeping in my nursing bra/tank. Also, you'll be changing out your pads constantly because of bleeding, so it may be wise to wear a gown or something easy to pull down (not tight little shorts).
Robe: nice to have - not necessary. If you are a robe gal, then by all means BRING YOUR ROBE! The hospital will likely give you a robe-like garment to wear while you labor. It is NICE to have your own. If you forget a robe or aren't a robe gal, it is nbd.
Slippers/flip flops: If you are a germaphobe like myself, you'll want to shower in your flip flops. It is also nice to walk around the hospital room (not in bare feet) in something that is comfy for you - whether that is cozy slippers or convenient flip flops. Hospital floors can be so cold too!
Nursing Pads: So I wayyy over-purchased nursing pads. I did use them when I first started nursing Lincoln, but my milk regulated super fast and I didn't need them anymore, so I gave them all away. I suggest buying one cheap box. Bring some to the hospital - I honestly can't remember if I used them at the hospital or not. But better safe than sorry.
Nipple Cream: YES! Your nips will be super sore when you start to breastfeed your little babe - whether it is baby #1 or baby #10. Nipple cream will save your life - whether you have this at the hospital or at home, you'll want it regardless. Coconut oil works wonders as a replacement for nipple cream. I found myself rotating different creams because of the pain. I used Honest Co - which is awesome and also Earth Mama Angel Baby - in addition to coconut oil. I suggest buying something very smooth, not harsh. It'll hurt like heck putting it on. Just make sure you use something that is safe for infants - I believe things like Neosporin is off limits. And if I remember correctly, Polysporin is ok.
Preparation H: The hospital may give you this - I'm almost positive. Be sure to take extra home with you. This helps with itchiness and the pain of stitches. Definitely nice to have!!
Toilet Paper (extra soft!): YES AND YES. You'll want soft toilet paper as opposed to the hard hospital grade toilet paper. Bottom line, you will NOT want to wipe with anything harsh. In fact, you'll be doing more of a "pat down" down there for the next couple of weeks. Bring Charmin, or anything soft, and bring quite a few rolls! Even now, the thought of harsh, cheap toilet paper after giving birth makes me queasy.
Feminine Pads (extra thick/absorbent): Hospital will have these, but you'll want extra - at least one box of thick pads for when you return home. If you can find some hospital grade ones that have ice that cools when you bend them, they will save your life! If not, just go for the extra thick pads initially, then you'll likely switch to a thinner pad as your bleeding subsides.
Tucks Wipes: So I forget what tucks wipes are! I'm not sure if I used them, but ask your hospital and they will likely provide something like this.
Lip Balm: I mean, sure! I don't remember bringing this to the hospital or for that matter remembering to put it on while laboring, but I do remember reading that your mouth gets extremely dry. I don't remember it happening, but it couldn't hurt to have.
Makeup: If you wear makeup on the regular, you'll probably want to have your makeup with you and likely on when you deliver. Like Cate said, who doesn't want fab delivery photos? I remember being with Cate as she was having contractions about to leave for the hospital and she made a big deal about grabbing tinted moisturizer!! It's true. Since I had an epidural, I was even able to do my makeup while laboring, right before I started to push. Highly recommend this if you're into makeup :)
Toiletries: You'll want all of your toiletries because you'll be at the hospital for a few days. Bring all the stuff you use at home that makes you feel like yourself. I know Cate said she didn't both drying her hair. I, on the other hand, kind of need to dry my hair or it looks like a puff - so I definitely brought my hair dryer and roller brush. Bring travel sized stuff, as if you are going on a trip.
Towel: Again, anything that makes you feel at home is nice, including a towel.
Hair ties: Great to have these on hand during labor. If you workout with your hair up, you'll likely want to deliver your baby with your hair up. It's the hardest workout of your life!
Camera/Video Camera: I think having a nice big camera (if you have one) is a great idea for hubs or family members to take some photos from different angles. Don't bother with a video camera - just use the iPhone camera. I encourage you ladies to get video coverage saying a few thoughts/feelings before delivery. I wish I had done this and will do with baby #2!
Snacks: Always a good idea. Hospital food isn't the greatest. Encourage your hub to be ready to go out and get himself food and you food after delivery. Pizza, sushi, etc. :)
Magazines, books, cards: During my first delivery, I was too hopped up on adrenaline to even think about this, but for baby #2, I may think to bring something to keep me busy while I'm laboring or laboring down.
iPad/Laptop: I mean, you'll probably be busy enough, but if you want to have these on hand, just in case, may be a good idea. A laptop could be nice if you want to journal down some thoughts while laboring with an epidural.
Music/speakers/headphones: Definitely! Prior to getting the epidural, when my contractions were getting intense, the only thing that got me through was a dance party in the hospital run. Ryan cranked up the music and was dancing around. It was great. I encourage you to have a cross section of music on your playlist(s) because you'll be surprised at what type of music you'll be craving during labor!
Cell Phone Charger: Duh!
Notebook/pen: eh - not a huge deal.
Stopwatch to time contractions: so nowadays you can likely use your iPhone to do this. Also, I never even had to time my contractions because my water broke - and the hospital ended up doing it for me.
Sugarless candies: Not sure if they allow these during labor. I definitely wasn't thinking about food while laboring. I suggest eating a decent, healthy meal before leaving for hospital because chances are you won't be able to eat until after delivery.
Massage oils/lotions: definitely not necessary, but could be a great thing to have on hand, especially while laboring. I will probably consider this with baby #2.
Gatorade: great idea for both you and hubby. You can probably buy this at the hospital store if you forget.
Check on the list, and I second all of these items. Again, I highly recommend snacks for your hub. He will be starving!
I second all of these items, as well. The hospital will have diapers, wipes and an outfit/blanket on hand. Whatever garments you bring, remember to bring things that are warm - think socks, hats, blankets, swaddles, etc.
The most important item you'll need is the infant car seat. This is something that you and the hubs will have wanted to have already installed properly before your trip to the hospital. The hospital will not let you leave until they see your infant car seat.
Good luck mamas!!!