Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What to Pack for Labor and Delivery.

To many people, this is probably not a big deal at all, especially 2nd+ time moms.  However, in reading forums, blogs, books, and wondering myself, I realized there are, in fact, many people who are dying to know what to bring/not bring to the hospital when they have their baby.

There is a lot of personal preference involved in this, but I'll explain what I did pack, what our hospital had for me, what I didn't pack and what I wish I had packed.  So, this is what we did, but you know yourself, just be realistic.  You really only need yourself, your womb, and your delivery team.

Here is what our hospital room looked like (postpartum, not delivery).  There is not much space to put things, especially once you fill the room with a couple visitors.


For myself:
I packed my/Trevor's stuff in a regular duffel bag-my old track bag to be specific.  Nothing fancy, no crazy amount of pockets or anything, just a bag.
Toiletries: (I kept all these in my big cosmetic bag so I just had to grab one thing from the bathroom when it was time): specifically mini shampoo/conditioner/body wash (I already had these on hand, wasn't going to go buy them but found them in the closet), toothbrush/toothpaste, makeup (people say you won't wear it, and maybe not, but I liked "getting ready" and feeling as least gross as possible), face wash, deodorant, lanolin (yeah, the stuff for nipples-this was all that worked on my awful chapped lips at the end of pregnancy, so this was my chap stick, ended up using it a lot as nursing was difficult at first), lotion (good smelling stuff for relaxation+epidurals can make your skin quite itchy-did not end up using it), pony tail holders (can't stand having my hair all over the place, especially after getting sweaty), hair product (I didn't want to mess around with a blow dryer/straightener, so just some gel or something similar was good to have).
Clothing: cheapie underwear (you hear about lots of blood postpartum-I didn't have as much as I was expecting, don't ruin your expensive undies-I didn't wear the ones I brought, I wore their big mesh underwear the whole time), set of pajamas (bottoms were nice and loose, top with the button down top for breast feeding ease-I also had an old pair I could handle getting bloody), 2 nursing tank tops (I chose not to get fitted for a nursing bra until my milk came in, so these were perfect for in between and covering up postpartum belly while getting the hang of nursing), cheap old flip flops (for the shower and walking around-didn't end up wearing these), sweat pants and t shirt (my fancy going home outfit), old slipper socks (again with the blood, I was about to throw these away but kept them specifically for the hospital-didn't end up wearing these either), regular socks.
Entertainment/extras: iStuff and chargers (we're Apple geeks, so we brought iPhones, iPods, iPads and Trevor's laptop so he could work on school/Army stuff as needed), a Scentsy warmer and relaxing scent (I'm a big scent person-hospital gave me the go-ahead to bring it in since it doesn't have a flame) I ended up using none of this for labor-it went too fast!  The iPad was very handy for afterwards, same with the Scentsy warmer (hospital staff loved it, too).  Otherwise it was just a lot of trying to rest, trying to breastfeed, hanging out with some visitors-we barely even watched TV in the room.  I was glad to have some granola bars/snacks on hand for Trevor and myself (not during labor, but afterwards).  I was able to order off the hospital menu, but if I wanted a quick snack I had some already.  It was good to have some cash on hand so Trevor could go to the vending machine/coffee shop (obviously you could use a card at a cafeteria/coffee shop, but I'm a bit anal about balancing the checkbook and this way I didn't have to keep track!), camera (we took most photos on our phones since they take great pictures, but it's nice to have some "real" photos, too).

For baby:
I packed this stuff in a separate, smaller bag (ThirtyOne's Casual Cargo Purse, to be exact-it was a baby shower gift) knowing we could leave it in the car (same with the car seat) until baby arrived and wouldn't have to lug in a bunch of stuff.
Coming home outfit: I was not too picky about this one.  I packed a cute sleeper and a couple of the hats we were given.  I know the hospital has them, but we've gotten some pretty darn cute ones.  She wore the hats just because we had them, but went hat-less most of the time.  We put her in a cute outfit for part of a day, but honestly it was really unnecessary since she was swaddled up all the time anyway.  I guess if you're into making them all cutesy, bringing one of your own blankets for swaddling would probably make more sense.
Car seat: This seems obvious, but don't forget!  We drove an hour for appointments/delivery and on the day of one of our last check ups I packed the hospital bag to bring along just in case we didn't go home.  Then I forgot the hospital bag and we drove the wrong car (the one without the car seat).  Baby didn't come, but planning is only helpful if it involves some follow through. Also, we had our car seat cover already in place since she was a winter baby.

For my partner:
He actually prefers comfy clothes, so this was pretty easy.  The hospital was an hour away from our house, so going home to shower/change clothes wasn't an option.  
Clothes: One pair of sweatpants (should have brought another) and two each of: boxers, socks, white t-shirt. Should have brought an extra sweatshirt so he didn't have to wear the same ones.
Toiletries: deodorant, body wash (again, had a travel size for him on hand), toothbrush.  We made a baby together, figured we could share shampoo and toothpaste. Our hospital is an hour away from home, we have no other kids and Rowdy was staying with my dad, so Trevor stayed at the hospital with me and used the shower in our room.
Entertainment: We shared the stuff I listed above, didn't use much of it. 

Did not bring: Boppy/nursing pillow (the lactation nurses helped me get started nursing and we just used regular pillows from the hospital), diapers (the hospital provided them and even though we knew we'd be cloth diapering, we figured we'd just start that when we got home), wipes (same as the diapers), blankets (we have many adorable blankets we were very excited to use, but it can wait-we didn't want to pack up the whole nursery), breast pump (I did need this and used the hospital's, plus they sent me home with all the parts I had used there), nursing pads (you typically don't need them until after you go home because your milk hasn't come in yet, but I needed them so my sore nipples wouldn't stick to my clothes-the hospital provided these), our own pillows (I was fine with the hospital pillows, but they're nothing fancy.  Trevor's pull out chair bed thing sucked enough, he would have loved a normal pillow), my own robe (sounded a bit tempting, but I'm not picky and that would have taken up its own bag), pads (hospital provided during my stay), our own towels (wish I had these-those hospital towels were TINY, Tuck's medicated pads (these were great, but the hospital provided them), finger nail clippers (coincidentally my finger nails were in rough shape at the time and it drove me nuts not to have a clippers to cut them, especially once we had to finger feed with a syringe).

Click for:
Myra's Birth Story
Myra's First Week
24 hours with Our One-Month-Old 



  1. I stumbled on this post via Pinterest, and just wanted to say hello from a fellow milspouse. :)

    1. Pinterest must be where all the hits to this post are coming from ;) lots of other military related posts! are you active duty? stationed where?


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