Hospital Bag 101

With only 2 weeks left, Z and I are really in full swing on the baby prep front. We taken care of most of our shopping trips to get some final necessities and get rid of some of the repeat gifts we received and things we don’t really need {HELLO STORE CREDIT}! We’ve been neck-deep in extra organizing around the house to better manage OUR stuff and make room for HER stuff. We successfully installed the car seat so they’ll actually let us LEAVE the hospital and we’re even getting some last minute training for the pups to hopefully help them adjust to life with baby a little easier {that, and give them more obedience so Z doesn’t punt them out the back door}.

But there’s one thing in particular that having ready brings me great peace! We’ve gotten our hospital bag(s) packed and ready to go right out the door! Our midwife reminded us at our 36-week appointment that we should go ahead and get our delivery bag ready… something I had accidentally put off with all the excitement of maternity photos, Thanksgiving cooking, tree buying and Christmas decorating. Although it took us about a week to finally get it done, it’s officially checked off the list and what a great relief it is knowing that, when the time comes, we are all set to walk right out the door.

The Internet is filled with more lists than you can possibly imagine that are made to assist expectant parents in packing their hospital bag. But I thought I would share a few additional items that you may not think to bring {compliments of our midwife who is so super smart and helpful}.

  1. Tiny bottles of mouthwash – pregnant women, and especially women in labor, tend to be overly sensitive to smells. So when Nurse Nancy comes to see how you are doing, after recently chowing down on an onion bagel, you may find yourself in an epic battle against your gag reflexes. There’s nothing wrong with asking your nurse to take a quick swig and spit, so you can avoid upchucking mid-contraction. Obviously you would want to be as KIND as possible and remind them that you’re sure their breath doesn’t really smell bad, it’s just your heightened sensitivity.
  2. 3 bags of candy and thank you cards – I’ve heard this from so many people… one of the best ways to up your chances of having a successful labor {especially if you are very particular in your birth plan} and delivery are to be NICE to the nurses. No matter what your birth plan is, if you go into the hospital with anything remotely resembling a “mightier than thou” mentality, your nurses will NOT want to be accommodating to your crazy requests. Think about it… would you want to bend over backwards for someone being a total biotch? That goes for daddy-to-be as well. Being kind, respectful, and consistently thankful to your nurses for all the hard work they are doing is a sure-fire way to make your labor experience that much better. Bring bags of candy to help “sweeten” up even the biggest sourpuss nurse. And be sure to write a thank you note to all the nurses that assist you from start to finish, to show how much you appreciate them. Who knows, you may play a part in ensuring the next laboring mother they deal with has a more pleasant experience.
  3. Soft hair ties – Hair ties are one of those items that I always THINK I have on me, but most consistently am forgetting. Long or short hair, you’re going to want it out of your face and you’re going to want to be able to lay your head back without getting stabbed in the cranium by a huge plastic clip. Keep it simple, keep it soft, and keep it as comfortable as possible.
  4. Chapstick– Between breathing through the pain of contractions and trying to stay hydrated, your lips WILL get chapped. Especially if you find yourself in your 24th hour of labor, you’re going to want that tiny bit of comfort.
  5. Cheap lotion – Our birthing method is all about relaxation do you can bet that massages from the hubby will be on the menu during labor. Constant rubbing on dry skin will quickly start to not feel good so bring some cheap lotion for mid-contraction back rubs!
  6. Drinks and snacks – At one point or another you’re going to have spouts of hunger and extreme thirst. Staying hydrated and keeping your tummy happy are more important than you might think. Plus if hubby is there supporting you through 24 hours of labor, chances are he’s going to get a bit famished as well. Even if it is his fault that your pushing a watermelon out of your crotch, he deserves some aid too.

SO… for those of you who plan on doing HARD TIME at a hospital in the near future… consider bringing some of these things along with you when you go!

Until next time…

Can you think of any other “not so obvious” hospital bag items? Or, for you mommies out there who have done it before, was there anything you found to be exceptionally helpful or totally unnecessary? How about something you wish you’d thought to bring? TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT!

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4 thoughts on “Hospital Bag 101

  1. You know me, gotta give more advice. As for an outfit for Ms. Keelin, make sure you take at least three, and of different sizes. I took three for Eli, and low and behold, he was so big, that he left the hospital in a 3-6mo outfit! It was the best piece of advice I had about what to pack for the hospital.

  2. I was told to bring my iPod, especially because of wanting to do au natural, it can help calm us “music people!” LOL So I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have it in the bag to try to take my mind off of whatever is going on around me 🙂 These are great ideas! Thanks so much!

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