Women can talk, and talk and talk about anything and everything, but sometimes I wonder if we are being honest with each other when it comes to motherhood. If you check your facebook you see all the WONDERFUL things, but what about the hard times? When you are a new mom you are sent into battle with out much of a plan. There is no play book for being a new mom, and even if you already have a child and THINK you have made a playbook, I have a feeling child number 2 will come and you will have to scrap everything you THOUGHT you knew. So I was thinking I’d start a series of posts telling you like it is….for me at least. I wanted to share some of the things that I wish other people told me, as well as the things people did give me a heads up about. I thought I’d start from the beginning and talk about what I found helpful in the hospital. The first edition of new mom tips? Packing for the hospital!

One of the best pieces of advice I got when it came to packing my hospital bag was to pack TWO bags. Yup, you read that right…TWO! It may seem like overkill, but just hear me out. One smaller bag was pack for labor and delivery, and second bag was for when you get moved to your hospital room. That second bag can be left in the car till you move, so when you are rushing into the L&D you aren’t lugging around a huge bag…just the necessities!

So what would be considered an L&D necessity? The answer is…not much! I packed a whole bunch of things I thought I’d use, but lets be honest. You aren’t thinking about much other than the pain.

Packing For Labor and Delivery

  • pregnancy binder/paperwork: In here I had all my forms and paperwork that I needed for the hospital. I recommend not forgetting this.
  • Camera: Have your camera ready! I am bummed I didn’t get a picture of us BEFORE baby was born, so think ahead about pics you want to take. If you are up for a video camera be sure to have that too!
  • Cell phone and charger: I am sure you go nowhere without your charger these days, but it’s something to add to the list!
  •  My cord blood kit: was included because I had to give that to the doctors. I was terrified I’d forget this, so I packed it early.
  • My own Pillow: I thought I would be more comfortable with my own pillow.
  • Sucking Candy: You will thank me for this one. I didn’t pack this, but The Captain ran out to buy me some because my mouth was soooo dry and ice chips weren’t cutting it. Lifesavers will now always remind me of labor!
  • Slippers: They give you horrible ones, and it’s nice to have your own.
  • Maternity/Nursing Pajamas: These can probably be put in the other bag, but I liked having them just in case. I stayed in my hospital gown till after I showered. Either way I recommend bringing your own. I also recommend a bathrobe.
  • A soothing visual: I laugh at this one because I packed a flameless candle to relax me. I never used it, but I still think it is a good idea.
  • Soothing Music: If you have an Ipod or MP3 I think it would be fun to pack it. I didn’t pack this, and I remember Captain Awesome putting on a soothing music station on the TV in the room. He put this on when I was pushing. It definitely wasn’t at the forefront of my mind, but I definitely liked it.
  • Page from baby book/Men’s white T shirt: I was so happy to get this tip from our Lamaze coach. Bring the page from the baby book so that you can get foot prints put on! The T shirt for the same thing! My husband now has a white shirt with his sons feet on it, and we will bring the same one for our next child!

Packing For Your Post Labor Hospital Room

  • Clothes to go home in: Comfort is key, so I recommend sweatpants, but keep in mind you WILL NOT go back to your pre pregnancy body right away. I was told you will still look 7 months pregnant post baby, so be sure to bring maternity ware.
  • Clothes for baby to go home in: I was so excited to pick this outfit out. Keep in mind it may be rough because you don’t know how big your baby will be. I always thought I needed newborn, but if your child is born over I think 9 lbs, newborn will be too small!
  • Pajamas: I put this above, but wanted to also put it under this category. You will be happy to have something comfortable. Make sure it’s appropriate for visitors to see you in!
  • Throw Away Underwear: I was so happy to get this tip. I went to Target and bought HUGE granny panties that I knew I would throw away. I PROMISE you are going to be so gross post baby that you will be happy you brought this. They provide you with throw away undies, but they suck. Bottom line.
  • Overnight Pads: Buy the biggest and longest pads you can buy. They give you them, but they suck. I was so happy I brought my own.
  • Toiletries: Pack all the basics. You know what they are. I also included the little waterless toothbrushes to keep myself fresh for visitors.
  • Nursing Bras: If you plan on nursing be sure to have these. Bring the pads for them too!
  • Entertainment: Whatever it may be…books, music, Ipad, magazines. You get the idea. The night will be LONG! I don’t remember what I did during that time, but best to have it.
  • Snacks: Food isn’t always readily available, and hospital food may not be all that great. Having a snack to munch on is always good.

I am sure I will think of more, but I think this list covers it pretty well. At least in my opinion. Don’t be afraid to bring what keeps you comfortable. It’s all a very overwhelming experience, so anything that can put you at ease is worth packing.

Remember to leave the hospital with more than you came with! Take all you can home…blankets, diapers, wipes, ice packs you name it, I took it! Hey…I paid to stay there right!?

Did you bring something to the hospital that you felt was helpful? What is your MUST bring item?