While I began this post while still pregnant, I did not finish it before getting admitted to the hospital and giving birth to our little bundle of joy – Mason! Thankfully I did have my hospital bag packed and ready for our early admittance, but one thing I can say is that it is hard to be fully prepared for all the possibilities that come with giving birth. I packed in preparation for a regular delivery, and ended up having an unplanned c-section! So there were several things that I packed that I didn’t end up using/needing, and other things that I wish I had packed in the case that I had a c-section.
So all of that being said, the below is partially what I wrote prior to going into the hospital (so it may sound a bit strange, and I’ve added in some commentary to speak to that!) and some of it I have just written.
Outside of getting the nursery finished, my priority over the last week (week 38) has been getting my hospital bag ready to go. Maybe it is just my own hopefulness that I will start into labour early (ha!), but the infamous “they” do say that you should have your bag ready to go a couple weeks in advance of your due date in case! And although there are about a million checklists out there for this exact thing, I thought I would share what I have packed in my hospital bag as well since I have enjoyed reading what other mama-to-be’s have decided to bring along.
I have decided to keep this post to just what I have packed for myself – not for baby or dad – as that could make for an extremely long post, as I’m sure I’ve overpacked for baby just a tiny bit… *shrug*
MY HOSPITAL BAG ESSENTIALS
A cute hospital bag
Clearly one needs an actual bag to pack things in, and I thought, “Why not take this opportunity to get a cute new overnight bag??” I found this one at Chapters Indigo for 50% off and can definitely see myself (or the hubby!) using it plenty in the future.
Comfortable clothes for labour
Depending on whether you plan to labour drug-free or not, I have been told it is essential to have some comfortable clothing to wear for the process. At some point, that attire may switch to a hospital gown, but I can only assume that wearing my own clothing (if possible) will be more comfortable. As I can’t possibly know whether I’ll be boiling hot or freezing cold at the hospital, I have packed my trusty Roots sweatpants for cold and a pair of cute maternity PJ shorts for hot. I also threw in a sports bra which can also be used in the tub if I choose to hop into the whirlpool during my labour.
**To add in a post-birth thought here… I didn’t actually end up wearing any of my own clothes to labour in. Essentially as soon as I told them that I would likely have an epidural (which I did) they put me in a hospital gown. But I wore these slippers the entire time I was recovering at the hospital, so that was definitely a good call! I also was glad to have brought my kimono from La Vie en Rose because it was easy to throw on and not too hot.
Labour-Friends (this is my own made up term)
There are a lot of suggestions out there for things you might like to have during your labour to make you feel more comfortable. I can’t possibly imagine anything that would take my mind off the pain of contractions (I’m such a wimp) but obviously there are some items that might potentially help calm me down a little bit (outside of meds!). I have packed a heating pad (I have had back pain throughout my pregnancy, so I feel like this may be helpful), a bluetooth speaker so I can listen to music (will also have 2 types of playlists ready to go: pump up and relaxing), wireless headphones (in case no one else wants to listen!) my favourite candy/chocolate if I need a little sugar boost, and an exercise ball (most hospitals have a limited supply of these, so if there isn’t one available I would like to have one at the ready).
Post-birth & Nursing attire
I am starting to talk past-tense now, because I hadn’t gotten this far with my post prior to giving birth! So just so we’re all on the same page… 🙂 I would have to say that my nursing attire was the most important part of my hospital bag, because as soon as I got out of my gown (which I wanted to after the first night of profuse sweating — yet another thing I had no idea was an after-affect of giving birth!) it was so nice to have my own clothes that were versatile to feed Mason in, and were also super comfy! I got all of my nursing pj’s from Thyme Maternity, and I’ve been living in them! I’ve linked the pieces that are still available here, here, here and here. My favourite nursing bra is from Carry Maternity – I love that it doesn’t make me feel like an old woman but it’s still totally nursing friendly. Another great nursing piece from Carry Maternity is this swing back tank top which I packed as part of my “going home” outfit.
Having had an unplanned csection, I was glad to have packed some less-tight fitting underwear as well. Everyone always said to me “make sure you pack some granny panties for after birth!” but I didn’t want to be living in baggy white underwear for the next several weeks, so I headed over to La Vie en Rose to see what I could find. And I found some great options that gave me full coverage while still feeling cute!
Another important part of my hospital bag featured some small necessities that made me feel just a tiny bit human while in the hospital: some basic makeup, shampoo/conditioner, nipple cream, disposable breast pads, and Tucks. I had exactly one shower while I was in the hospital (post c-section it is a struggle just to get out of the bed let alone take a shower!) but was happy to have some of my Aveda shampoo samples instead of a generic hospital soap. I packed just a few basic makeup essentials that I applied minimally on my second day when we were having some visitors… Just so I didn’t look 100% how I felt (which was like a walking zombie!). And finally I brought with me 2 different types of nipple cream, which in the end didn’t do the trick for me and I got a prescription for Jack Newman’s nipple cream (if any mama’s out there are struggling with sore nipples from breastfeeding, this is seriously the miracle cream!!!).
So there you have it – my (belated) hospital bag post! I just couldn’t bear to not post it after spending the time writing most of the post, plus taking all the photos! 😉 So I hope this helps some of you mama’s out there that are still preparing for your babe’s arrival… I will end by saying, it’s better to overpack than underpack!