What Your ObGyn (and Mama x 4) Packs in Her Delivery Bag
The internet is full of hospital bag packing lists and checklists and while I was perusing Pinterest a while back I noticed a “Minimalist Hospital Packing List” which included crazy things you definitely do not need to bring to the hospital (and which certainly were not “minimalistic”). So, I thought it might be helpful to know what will be in my bag when I head to the hospital for Patpat’s birth day.
With the twins I did not plan ahead. I went in for a routine visit at 35 weeks and got home a week later with my babies in tow. With Milo I packed a bag and went in for a planned induction. I cannot even pull into my brain what was in that bag. This time I’ve tried to organize a little more. I bought a new bag I love (super inexpensive on Amazon and has a nifty zipper shoe-pouch on the bottom).
You’ll notice that almost all of this is focused around postpartum comforts. And, bonus, if you’re strapped for time or money – I packed nearly my entire bag with low-cost Amazon Prime purchases.
DEFINITELY GOING WITH ME:
Nursing Bras and/or Tanks
For Patpat’s birth I bought several low-cost bras off Amazon for the immediate postpartum period and will get some nicer ones later on.
– Buy everything slightly bigger than you think you need. Postpartum breast changes will be a whole experience.
-Affordable, good coverage, lounge/sleep-style nursing bras (no clips)
– Affordable, supportive, daily-wear nursing bras (w/clips)
High Rise Granny Panties
Throw fashion on the window, guys. Find yourself some high-rise, waist-supportive granny panties to support the (very normal) dough-belly we all have afterwords and to fit those giant postpartum pads into.
– Affordable, high-rise postpartum panties that you won’t have to mourn if they get ruined and go in the trash.
Supportive Yoga Pants & Tanks/T-Shirts
This is what I’ve preferred after my last c-sections for clothes. Usually the first day is PJs and then I want something with a little more belly support and switch to yoga pants and a nursing tank with a t-shirt over it. Just bring something loose that won’t make you feel uncomfortable right after delivery.
– Favorite affordable, high-rise, waist-support yoga pants.
Comfy, Loose PJs
Currently *loving* these Kindred Bravely PJs my Aunt so nicely sent to me. They’re super soft and loose enough they’ll still fit with some giant mesh panties nestled therein.
Unless you want to squeeze swollen feet into sneakers, just find some comfy, hard-soled slippers to bring.
MotherLove Nipple Cream!!!!
Buy some MotherLove nipple cream off Amazon. Buy like 15 of them. Keep them in your hospital bag, your bathroom, your pump bag, by the baby’s bed, by the rocker, in your car, everywhere your plan to frequent in the postpartum period. The hospital will probably give you Lanolin. Throw it away or give it back.
Your milk likely will NOT come in to the extent that you are leaking while your’e in the hospital, these are more for protecting your bra and/or clothes from whatever nipple cream you’re using.
– Favorite Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads
– Favorite Kindred Bravely Reusable Nursing Pads (my go-to throughout breastfeeding)
This time I’m trying something new and taking an abdominal binder that “BellyBands” sent me to try out. I’ve never used one before, but postpartum use of belly binders is an evidence-based way to decrease abdominal pain after cesarean delivery. So, I’m giving it a shot. Feeling supported after a c-section is really nice.
– This brand has a nice added feature over hospital binders of being able to put it on without help and still achieve excellent (and adjustable) compression, which I love.
– However, L&D units typically have binders on hand, so don’t feel like you must purchase or bring one. Talk to your doctor about it.
All of our babies have gone home from the hospital in the same thing – a Texas A&M onesie or t-shirt. If you feel the need to get fancy, go ahead, but don’t bring 15 outfits and blankets. Just pick one or two things you love. We will take a Copper Pearl swaddle blanket that we like a lot, but chose to leave most other stuff at home.
Toiletries + Personal Items
After both of my previous c-sections I did not feel anywhere close to “normal” until I took a shower with something that didn’t smell like a hospital. Also, I’ve been on-call and used the hospital toothpaste enough to know I want nothing to do with that.
– Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash
– Contacts + Glasses
– Toothbrush + Toothpaste
– HelloBody Body Cream (gifted) <— Smells INCREDIBLE and is super moisturizing (use “mamajones25” to get 25% your order!)
– HelloBody Coco Rich Lip Balm (gifted)
– HelloBody Face Wash (gifted)
– Face Moisturizer
– Phone Charger
– Hair Bands + Brush
– Makeup (Necessities Only)
- Nursing Bras and/or Tanks
OPTIONAL FOR ME, BUT MAY BE BENEFICIAL:
Nice for nursing and holding baby, but they’re a pain to haul around. I chose to just stuff pillows where I needed them, but would never fault anyone for bringing their nursing pillow with them.
You will obviously need this before you leave, but have someone bring it up after delivery and save yourself the hassle of moving it between rooms and finding a place to keep it.
I’m not a big robe person at baseline, I do have some patients who look adorable postpartum in their floral robes.
I’m torn on this. I never fault patients for wanting to bring a hospital gown rather than wearing the ones we have. That being said, 90% of the time these end up wet/dirty/bloody before you even get a cute picture in them. So, if you want to bring one then throw it in, but make sure you’re not so attached that it can’t be sacrificed for the cause. Or consider saving it to put on after delivery if you want photos.
This is L&D superstition. You’re free to bring a comfy pillow…but know it’s like crossing paths with a black cat in the eyes of labor and delivery nurses and doctors everywhere. I don’t know why, but this has been the case at every hospital I’ve worked at. If you want your own pillow, which you very well may (and I certainly did), maybe just leave it in the car until after you deliver and send your support person out to get it.
Blow Dryer/Hair Straightener
As you wish. For me, nobody can make me care that much about my hair in those first couple days. Air dry and messy bun FTW.
Nope. I’ll be sleeping if I have that much free-time.
We got you covered, boo. Even if you’re going to cloth-diaper (which we did with our twins), I’d suggest waiting until you’re home. Fresh newborn poop is pretty sticky and gross and all you do is set yourself up to have more laundry on the day you get home. Go disposable for until that tar-poop stage is over.
My mom packed one of these and brought it with her, it was actually very lovely to have in our PP room. I’ve had patients diffuse oils in the delivery room as well and it was a nice touch. So, if you’re into that and want to throw in a small diffuser, you might find it helpful/comforting.
- Nursing Pillow
THINGS TO DEFINITELY LEAVE AT HOME:
If you end up needing to pump, we will let you use a hospital pump and all the gear. Don’t worry about this.
You don’t want to keep up with this while you’re laboring or moving from room-to-room.
Don’t try to pack your whole room, you’ll hopefully only be there a couple of days and I hate seeing people’s favorite linens and stuff get ruined by the messy-ness that happens in L&D and Postpartum.