Packing can be stressful enough when you are preparing for a travel. You make your list, add and subtract items, and sometimes the dog even eats it out of protest. Amplify this list making and preparation with the anticipation of a delivery and it can be a recipe for a hormonal melt down. Here is a simplified, yet essential list of items I suggest for what to pack in your hospital bag for delivery and the honest to goodness real reasons why. I have included an Essential Hospital Bag Packing List as a printable for you too. Here are some of my absolute necessary items, in random order.
Maternity Pajama Set with a Robe
I bought a pretty, jersey knit, pajama set equipped with clip down double opening nursing functions. Wow…sounds like I got a fancy car. Well, in the world of pajama sets I suppose it was. I had my daughter in the middle of summer – in Arizona. The thin, jersey knit material was soft and comfy against my skin, the spaghetti straps kept me cool. When I felt a chill I just added on my robe. This set is great while in the hospital because I really wanted to be comfortable and not look completely frumpy and exposed when I received guests. Moreover, the clip down openings made it super functional for breastfeeding as opposed to hospital gowns where your entire breast may be exposed. I literally just unsnapped the clip with one hand and poked my breast through like a groundhog popping its head out of a hole. The set I bought was from the Motherhood Maternity store. I almost did not buy it because it was pretty pricey but oh so worth the comfort it brought. Think about adding this to your baby shower registry list.
BIG, HUGE, GIGANTIC, STRETCHY Panties
I am not talking about a body shaper or Spanx, I mean bonafide, enormous chonies. I mean it. I went into the hospital with a positive mindset that I was going to be able to accomplish a VBAC. After over a day of active labor and lack of progression, I agreed with my doctor that a repeat C-Section was necessary. Fast forward a day postpartum. After my first shower my blood pressure increased and I retained a TON of water which made my thighs even more cartoon-worthy and swollen. My regular panties were not going to cut it. Well, they basically did, I mean, my thighs were so big, you literally could not see the seam of my panties so they really did look like they “cut it”. They looked like huge pieces of caramel being sliced with a butter knife. HA, HA….but seriously. Since I had a C-Section and my incision was “inconspicuously” placed in my bikini line (which is great if I ever step foot into a bikini again) it was awful for postpartum maintenance. After only an hour with my regular panties on, I sent my husband to Kohl’s and asked him to buy me a package set of THE BIGGEST under-roos he could find. I did not care about the color, material, or maker. He stepped out, bought my new stash of “not right now – leave me alone” panties, washed them and returned to the hospital with them later that day. Do your mate a favor and just buy them yourself, even if you have a vaginal birth.
Personally Preferred Pads
After my C-Section I had no clue what was going on “down there” nor did I really care. I had a beautiful baby in my arms and time stood still. I was still numb from all of the medication so I was clueless as to what savagery was happening in my pants. Imagine – no don’t. Once I set my eyes on the pair of fishnet underpants and huge pad fit to be used as Barbie mattress between my legs I was done. Even if you do not regularly use pads, go buy some. There are entire aisles dedicated to pads with endless added features including wi-fi and a mini bar. Just kidding, there’s like half an aisle.
Slipper Socks with Traction Grippers
Your hospital should give you a set of “fabulous” sky blue or tan slipper socks in your grab bag of inmate-style goods. However, if you just want to have your toes covered so everyone isn’t staring at the pedicure you forgot to get before your due date and possibly give yourself an adorable focus point while pushing, pack a pair of playful slipper socks in your hospital bag. Your fancy-schmancy socks will be sure to be a conversation piece and hopefully give you something to take your mind off of any discomfort. An added bonus: these socks have traction grippers on the bottom of them so you don’t go sliding across your delivery room like Tom Cruise from Risky Business. My pair of silly monkey-face socks from Stein Mart where their stock of these is unusually robust.
Wireless Nursing Bra or Nursing Sleep Bra
If you are planning on nursing, I would highly recommend packing a nursing bra suitable to your needs especially if it is wireless and ESPECIALLY if you are larger busted. Your girls will feel outrageously full and tender those first days after your baby is born. The added hardware of a wire bra is not another thing you want to be cursing while you attempt to establish a good latch. I suggest wearing a bra that is comfortable and easily accessible for breastfeeding and keeping a breast pad in place. Believe me, if ever you do not want to feel your girls swinging around with every movement, or waking up with them folded into your armpit, now is not the time.
Make Up Bag
I know, I know, what could I possibly be thinking by suggesting make up? Well, I will tell you why. Within seconds of coming to peace with the fact that I was going to have another C-Section after over 24 hours of labor I needed a pick me up. With my first child, my C-Section was emergent. I felt like such failure and that I had nothing to do with his delivery into the world (more on that in another post). It took me YEARS to get over this and accept that I am no less of a slacker mom than the mom next to me. My child was delivered healthy and my physical recovery soon followed. I gave this attempt for a VBAC my everything. My OB/GYN included me in the decision making where feasible and my control issues were soothed. The first thing I said to my husband when my doctor left the room to prep the OR was, “get me my makeup bag, let’s do this”. A simple puff of foundation powder, blush, and rouge and I was ready to meet my princess. I finally felt READY.
Of course there are the other necessary items I would suggest:
- Hair essentials
- Glasses (even if you wear contacts)
- Chargers for ANY electronic item that needs charging
- Snacks for dad/siblings
- Installed car seat
- Going home outfit
- Receiving blanket
- Diaper bag with supplies (keep in mind your nurses will send you home with a bunch of swag too)
- Camera with an extra memory card
- I would totally be remiss if I did not highly suggest ensuring your newborn photography session is already booked (with me of course)
If you are like me and feel a huge sense of accomplishment when you check things off lists, I have included a free printable hospital bag checklist. Download this list, print it, and share it with another momma-to-be. Then, come back and tell me how much you loved it.
This post is intended to be informational with a helping of satire because frankly, I just seem to be in one of those moods. This post is not intended to override any instructions from your health care provider, hospital or birthing facility, talkative Uber driver, etc. I hope you find this information helpful and that my hints of jest bring a smile to your face. If you forget to pack something, don’t fret! Just begin a list of forgotten things to add it to. You will be surprised of how many things you will forget as you embark on this awesome journey called motherhood.
What were your necessary items to pack in your hospital bag when you were preparing for delivery? What did you use and what could you have done without? What do you wish someone would have told you to pack? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Reaj Roberts Photography specializes in natural light, organic, and neutral color tone newborn, baby, maternity, family, and child photography in my home studio located Chandler, Arizona. My clients typically visit my Chandler Ocotillo area studio from the East Valley as well as the surrounding areas including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, Casa Grande and Maricopa and Pinal Counties. Upon special request, I offer a limited number of in home lifestyle newborn sessions each month. My blog posts are designed to feature a few of my client’s favorite images so you have an idea of what you will receive with you commission me to design your custom newborn portrait photography experience. Make up art application by a licensed cosmetologist is complimentary provided for maternity portrait sessions and available upon request for newborn sessions.
I look forward to chatting with you about how we can create a beautiful illustration of your growing family and hope you reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-430-3712 for bookings and additional details.