As mentioned in my previous post, one of my favorite lessons from our Birthing Class with Chiqui Brosas was a clear understanding of what we needed to bring along with us to the hospital. Prior to the class I had seen many What’s In Our Hospital Bag vlogs and blogs on YouTube and across the web, and always found them to be quite extreme (it wasn’t uncommon to see suitcases packed with things – dozens of outfits for the newborn, and make-up kits and hair straighteners for the mother). While I don’t judge these women (who all have public personas to a certain degree) for wanting to pack the things that make them feel pretty and more comfortable, I felt personally that I would like to strip it down more to the bare essentials. At Chiqui’s class, we were able to do just that.
One of the things that made it easier was how she split our required packing into two categories:
- The Hospital Bag — the large overnight bag/hand carry that goes with you to the hospital and is where you keep the things you will need for yours and your husband’s 1-3 night stay there (clothing, basic toiletries, baby’s outfits, diapers, and footwear)
- The Labor Kit — the duffel or large tote that goes with you directly into the delivery room and includes all the things that are more immediately needed (snacks, some towels, baby’s first outfit, receiving blanket, basic toiletries, and the like)
Then, she helped us narrow down to the essentials with a Labor Kit checklist, and a lecture on exactly what is truly needed during the hospital stay (aka what would not be provided by the hospital, and what we should take charge of ourselves).
For this entry, I will be showing off what’s in our hospital bag, and in my next, I will cover our Labor Kit. 🙂
Above is a shot of our hospital suitcase!
Based on the lecture at class, here were the 6 most important categories of things to pack in the hospital bag:
#1: Clothing for the mother
- Breast-feeding friendly outfits [at least 3] and pajamas [at least 2 sets] (Sample above: I’ve packed buttoned down tops and comfy, maternity leggings and yoga pants, and buttoned down nighties)
- Cheap cotton panties that you aren’t opposed to ruining (as it turns out sometimes women bleed quite a bit after birth and/or experience heavy discharge and so should as much as possible bring panties you don’t care too much about)
- Nursing bras
- NOTE: NOTHING WHITE! Things are apparently usually messy the few days for most women so even if they might not be for you, you might as well play it safe
#2: Clothing for the father
- Comfortable clothing that’s okay to get a bit messy as he will likely be helping clean up after the baby and the mother
#3: Basic Toiletries
- Toilet paper
- Alcohol-free wet wipes
- Feminine wash
#4: Specific New-Mama Products
- Nipple cream (I’ve got Mustela cream that I intend to start using once baby’s out)
- Malunggay tablets (these are a great supplement for mamas to take to help with breast feeding and milk production)
- Pre/Post-Natal Vitamins (I use Materna by Wyeth)
- A good Vitamin C tablet
- Nursing Pads (I purchased Dr. Brown’s and will be bringing 4 of those with me to the hospital. You can see them in the Hospital Bag picture above)
- Maternity pads and/or overnight pads (These are for any postpartum bleeding that occurs)
- Note: The Mustela and Malunggay pictured above were freebies from Chiqui’s class too, and am very excited to use them! Have already started on the Malunggay supplements and am happy with them so far. (My doctor advises that you start one tablet per day at Week 37, and then up it to two a day from Week 38 onward. Consult your own doctor on this before you take them, though!)
#5: BABY STUFF!
NOTE: In a lot of countries, this doesn’t apply because the hospital provides everything (from diapers to T-shirts for the baby), but as far as I know the hospital doesn’t provide anything really here beyond the first diaper, and so this list applies for us)
- 8 onesies + 1 special “going-home” outfit and 1 special “first” outfit
- 2 swaddles (I will be bringing both the zipped up, velcro kind, as well as the Aiden + Anais kind that you need to wrap yourself)
- 22 diapers (you can see them pictured above inside our hospital bag already)
- Baby nail file
- 2 pairs of mittens
- 2 pairs of socks/moccasins
- Hat (optional)
- Your baby carrier and infant insert or a car seat
#6: Other Essentials
- Gadgets and their chargers (including your camera). We likely will not have our laptops with us during our time there, but we will have our mobile phones, et al.
- Boppy Pillow (not pictured but we will definitely be bringing it)
- Your own bath towels
And that’s about it, folks! Will definitely do a postpartum update on whether we missed out on anything absolutely essential, but for the time-being feeling pretty good about our choices so far.
1-3 more weeks to go! Huzzah!