Hospital bag — The Bump
March 2019 Moms

Hospital bag

I know it's a little early, but I would like to start to gather this together. Any stm's have what to or what to not bring? I know a few of us here have alreay had a hospital tour (myself not included), did they give you a lists on what to bring or not? 

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Re: Hospital bag

  • @Kenneylynn3 I'm a FTM but had a hospital tour yesterday. They didn't specifically go over a hospital bag but mentioned we should bring clothes for us to leave the hospital in, clothes for the baby to leave the hospital in, our own pillows (the nurse basically said their pillows suck and we should just use them between our legs) and our own robe if we want. The hospital I'll be delivering at allows us to bring our own popsicles and snacks as long as it's okay with the OB/midwife. The nurse also mentioned that our partners should bring a change of clothes because they might be helping us in and out of the shower which could get wet... And then any music we want to listen to, of course. I can't remember anything else but I'm sure a STM knows more about what is actually useful to have! 
  • mihaelams1mihaelams1 member
    100 Comments Third Anniversary 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2018
    So I got this advice last time around at the birth class I took. I know it sounds very-very strange, but pack a travel-size bottle of olive oil. The newborn poop is very sticky and hard to clean, and when it gets dry it's even harder. If you put olive oil on his/her butt after a diaper change, it will make it so much easier. The nurses were really surprised, but it worked out great! I already bought some to put in my hospital bag (they have it at World Market).

    In rest, I have this blog post bookmarked just because I somehow stumbled across it a few days back when looking at suggestions on how to prepare my son for becoming a big brother, but her list is definitely too long: :smile: Our hospital had everything: water bottle with straw, mesh undies and witch hazel pads, squirt bottle, lanolin for the nipples, baby shirt, diapers, wipes, blankets, towels, body wash for both of us etc. I'll definitely bring baby nail scissors, I remember I used them last time. And some cotton pads to wipe his eyes, they often have blocked tear ducts and the goo accumulates in the corner of the eyes. The nurses gave me some after I asked, but I'll bring them just in case. 
  • On our tour they told us to pack a little bag and a big bag. The little bag only has the items you most need for comfort, chapstick, glasses, etc. that bag goes with you to triage. Leave the other bag with going home clothes and such in the car until you’ve officially been admitted. They emphasized that especially for FTMs we may have some false starts or false alarms and it’s rough to drag the big bag up every time, and then take it back down to your car.
    Another thing I thought of. I know I will be doing antepartum testing and during any test, they could decide to admit me, so it’s not too early to pack that bag and just leave it in my car...

    Me: 36, DH 37.

    August 2014- 6w MMC

    July 2015- CP

    PCOS, plus some medical issues that make me high risk.

    Our rainbow babies are due 3/21!!!!!

  • Our hospital last time had all the regular toiletries you’d expect of a hotel, so unless you have specific products you won’t need anything like that. Honestly, the toiletries last time may as well have been unicorn poop, that was the best shower I’ve ever had and I felt like a new woman afterwards, so I don’t plan to pack toiletries because it won’t matter.

    Other than a few things to make labor more comfortable, iPad, chargers, maybe a little speaker, I don’t plan to bring much besides a change of clothes for LO and I. I lived in a nursing camisole, mesh undies and a hospital gown while I was there last time. I will probably bring the boppy again, but even then some extra pillows are needed when the babies are that small so they are at the right level. Everything else will be provided by the hospital.
    ME: 31  DH: 31 DD: June '16 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
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  • @3rdtime_charmed I like the big bag/small bag idea! 

    We were in the hospital for nearly a week with my first, (waaaaaaaaaay too long!), and we used very little of what we brought. The hospital had pretty much everything, and they even sent us home with tons of pads, diapers, etc. 

    Things we brought and used:
    For labor: portable speaker, labor playlist, backballs. For after labor: slippers, nursing pajamas, belly binder, nipple cream, clothes for going home, nursing pillow. 

    Things I will bring this time that I didn’t bring last time: snacks for labor, swaddle blankets (the hospital ones were too small for my giant baby), favorite water bottle with straw, my own pillow. 
  • For labor last time I didn't end up using anything that I brought. We had a lot of waiting around because I was induced so we did bring our favorite shows to watch and some games. I did bring my own socks to wear but ended up taking them off because I was too hot. I also wore a nursing sleep bra during labor under the hospital gown. I ended up just delivering in the bra, that was it. This time I'm bringing essential oils and massage oil and making a calming playlist. Chapstick is a must! At our hospital they provide a birthing ball and I am able to take a shower or sit in a tub if I want.
    For after labor I brought my own shampoo, body wash, and makeup, etc. I know some women will say the makeup doesn't matter. But those things make me feel normal, so I brought them and used them. This time I bought a nice robe to wear and cute socks. I will also bring a couple comfy outfits to wear there and to wear home, and outfit and swaddle for baby girl. I also plan to pack lots of snacks, because I delivered after the kitchen closed and was starving and then each morning the kitchen took way too long to get food up to the room...again I was starving! Also make sure your significant other packs a bag of a change of clothes, snacks, and entertainment.
    As for prepping it, I just had it in my car towards the end. I kept getting sent every week to L&D the last 4 weeks due to high blood pressure. I was told the day before I was induced that I needed to go in the next day, so that day we obviously brought everything up, but DH was in charge of bags or running to get things in town.

    Dx: Non-IR PCOS
    Baby Girl K #1 Born 3/8/14
    Baby Girl K #2 EDD 3/3/19
  • We didn't bring a whole lot. I delivered at a free-standing birth center, which is typically a considerably shorter stay than a typical hospital birth. We went home just over three hours post birth. I brought my own nightgown, but I didn't need it. They had a nice short robe for me. It wrapped and tied in front and was red floral. Not a standard hospital gown, and I just wore that with a sleep-type bra underneath, and I brought a spare bra too. 

    They had an ipod dock, so I just brought my iPod. Also brought phone cords (which we didn't use). A few toiletries. Sleepers for the baby. For me, I brought extra underwear, but other than that, I just wore the clothes home that I wore there. I brought makeup and put some on before we started taking picture. So glad I did! I have a lot of acne, and I did not want to be embarrassed to put those first photos with my daughter in a baby book. 
  • We took and used: my hairbrush, hair ties, make-up, personal toiletries, tumbler with a straw (our hospital never offered one), nursing tanks, nursing bras, zip up hoodie, sweat pants, going home outfit for me, flip flops for showering after delivery, slippers/socks, underwear, phone charger, camera, snacks, DS baby book, swaddle blanket, DS personalized hat, DS going home outfit, and my breast pump (so they could show me how to use it).

    This time I plan to add more snacks, potentially a robe, and some things for our older son to do when he comes to visit. 

    I’m prone to hemorrhoids even if I’m not pregnant so I use preparation H wipes and took some with me. Some hospitals provide them but I didn’t risk it. They weren’t offered but I did use them and was glad I took them.I feel like so much of what you decide to take is personal to your lifestyle, I just took what would help me feel more like myself during and after delivery.  
  • @ashley14598 Oh! Extra hair ties/headbands is a good call. I can hardly workout/eat with my hair getting in my face. That would have driven me crazy if I didn't happen to have one in already.
    ME: 31  DH: 31 DD: June '16 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
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  • We brought half our house to the hospital room. I'd say we did end up using a fair amount of what we brought, but there were the things that were most helpful:

    • Snacks - my labor was loooong. 42 hours. My water broke before I was in labor so I was induced and it was a slog. Once they started me on pitocin they didn't want me eating but my doula was supportive of snacking to help keep energy up so I snuck bites of things in. Kind bars, peanut butter crackers, etc - things with protein that can give sustained energy. The nurse caught me once but didn't really say anything. The snack stash was good for after delivery too, the hospital food was terrible and they actually forgot to give me dinner once, so I'm glad we had provisions in the room.
    • Coconut water and/or gatorade. I needed something more than water and it was nice to have it in the room so someone wasn't constantly having to go get it for me.I just wish ice would have been more accessible, since I like my drinks very cold.
    • Socks with grippies on the bottom. The ones they give you in the hospital are really scratchy and, if you have to have fluids administered, they may be tight - my ankles were really swollen as a result of being on a fluid drip for so many hours.
    • Music. I will probably skip the speaker this time and just use my headphones. I couldn't really hear the music on the speaker over all the other stuff in the room and I probably would have done better if I had headphones in, to tune everything out.
    • Pillows, for the reasons mentioned above.
    • A couple of nightgowns or something to change into after labor, plus something to wear going home.
    • Going home outfit for baby (I brought two sizes - they told me he'd be about 8 pounds at my last appointment but he was 6.5, glad I brought a smaller footie with me or else he would have been swimming in it)
    • Chapstick
    • Nursing pillow
    • Towels for the car if your water has already broken.
    Things I didn't end up using much - birthing ball (it just wasn't that helpful for me in the moment but I will probably bring it this time since every birth is different), my nice camera (just took a few  pics with my phone), an essential oil mister (doula recommended it so the room didn't smell so much like disinfectant, but honestly it didn't make a difference). I can't think of what else, and unfortunately I deleted my packing list file because I thought we were done having kids! I'll come back and add if I think of other things that were or weren't helpful.

  • Oh yes, food. My birth center encourages eating and tells you to bring snacks. I actually didn't eat much, but I had a relatively short labor (about 4.5 hours from arrival, when I was not quite yet in active labor, to birth). Also, my own drinks - coconut water and vitamin water.

    My water did break prior to going to the birth center, but unlike @gowenc, I didn't bring towels or anything. I found that using one of the huge pads I had for postpartum (I think they were the biggest thing Always or Depends or whatever makes, size 5 or something) worked just fine. More than fine actually - it wasn't very wet when we arrived.

    I brought pads to the center, but I didn't need them. They gave me two pairs of depends-type underwear in addition to the pair I wore home and four or five extra large pads. I actually ended up needing very few super big pads. This is probably better suited for whenever we have our postpartum care product spotlight thread, but I only needed huuuuge pads for a few days. I had bought size 5 and size 3 Depends/Always/whatever pads. I only used a couple size 5s and a few size 3s. After that, I was just at a regular period maxi pad-level of bleeding for weeks. And of course, I'd bought very few of those! Lol. So yes, you'll want some big pads, but don't buy tons and tons of those. You'll (probably) need regular pads much longer than you will huge ones. 
  • maggiemadeit  You mentioned belly binder. Which one do you suggest? 
  • I can tell you what NOT to pack based on my first experience?  Makeup and a hair straightener. Haha. 

    I would say: comfy jammies, phone cord, a nursing cover and other accessories (cream, gel pads) and then pads in case you manage to escape needing the giant (but so comfy) undies sooner than normal. I always got a binder from the hospital, and it was my favorite one of all the ones I bought. 
  • @BuckeyeNut05 they gave you a belly binder? I bought mine on amazon, I think the brand is belly bandit or something like that. I had the stomach and hip binders. The stomach binder was actually pretty comfy, despite the added heat (June baby) and I never had that feeling of loose postpartum skin. It felt like it kept everything where it was supposed to once there wasn't a baby there anymore. The hip one was less comfortable and kept riding up, but I feel like it helped get me back into my pre-pregnancy jeans, at least hip measurement wise. I plan to use both again.
    ME: 31  DH: 31 DD: June '16 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
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  • @meggyme They did!  I also bought the belly bandit (not sure which one exactly) once my hospital binder began to deteriorate but I didn't really like it because it was so stiff. I have a couple others from friends and family as backups in the event things have changed. I will deliver at a new hospital in a different state this time. 
  • @BuckeyeNut05 I didn't realize it was really a medical item, but I guess maybe for Csections? Yeah, the one I had was pretty stiff, but it was more comfortable than without it.
    ME: 31  DH: 31 DD: June '16 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
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  • @bluebell08 I got this one from Amazon, mostly because it was only $20 and I wasn’t sure if I would use it. I ended up having a c-section, and this thing was great in the first few weeks for belly support. I think this particular one is not currently available, but the style was nice because it was adjustable and the support was quite firm. 
  • I was going to purchase a belly binder this time around too. I wish I had one last time, I felt like jello after birth and I'm sure this would have helped keep things together better. I was looking into the Belly Bandit.
    Dx: Non-IR PCOS
    Baby Girl K #1 Born 3/8/14
    Baby Girl K #2 EDD 3/3/19
  • I have heard good things about belly binders. I ended up getting a pair of bao bei postpartum compression leggings (on black Friday, but some are still on sale!) hoping they will do the same thing. I don't know, though! 
  • I swore by my belly binder after both of my c-sections, and will have it with me again this time.  I felt like it made walking around a lot more bearable, for sure.

    Since I've only had c-sections my list may be different from others, but I'll bring all my own toiletries, my own pillow(s), my laptop or tablet, my DSLR camera, and comfy jammies (that have a comfortable waste-band for post-c-section).  And a change of clothes for LO and I to go home in!
  • @meggyme I had a c-section, so that's probably why. I would beg for one if I wasn't required to have another c-section and had a VBAC. I second all that @dtspmama  says!
  • Here is my checklist. I'm doing nesting bags inside a big duffel bag to keep everything organized.

    ....Also, a "poncho liner" is actually a military poncho liner, but in our family we use them as blankets because they are SUPER warm and very compact. I am always cold in hospitals and they never have good blankets. I figured I'd explain because not everyone is military.

    Let me know if you have other suggestions!
  • Random, but I"m going to throw in an Emery board into my bag this time. My hospital didn't have them and my last baby came out with super sharp nails. I peeled them mostly but the edges were sharp!
  • @AprSnow59 I totally took the baby nail scissors in my hospital bag when I had DS1, and used them right after we settled into the recovery room. Those nails are no joke! I don't remember where I got that tip from, but was definitely useful. I already have them on my packing list. I bought the piyo piyo ones from Amazon and they have been great so far (going on 3+ years).
  • sejicasejica member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    @chocolatelemons same, but I'm still bringing a big bag so I can transport home all the 'freebies'*
    *disclaimer, may not be free, depending on your insurance.
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  • I agree with @chocolatelemons on the less strategy. So much I packed last time wasn't used. I was a scheduled c section so packing under that assumption. Boppy, nursing bras, going home outfit for me and baby, robe or a sweater, dry shampoo, hair ties, few snacks (trail mix, pringles, granola bars), chapstick, lotion, light makeup, basic toiletries, my nurse gifts (these were well received last time). 

    We has a Thursday AM appointment and I was discharged Saturday morning. No complications, healthy baby boy, so if that is the case again, you can bet I will work hard at getting out of there quick again!

    On discharge day, we bought the nurses good coffee, fruit and donuts. That helped get us out quick, lol. Treating good nurses well goes a long way!
  • lisee923lisee923 member
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited January 12
    I am on the hunt for a snap down (henley style I guess?) nursing nightgown preferably short sleeve.  Apparently this is some sort of unicorn because I can't seem to find it.  Anyone seen this anywhere?

    Edit: theres tons with buttons - but I'm hoping for snaps if possible.
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • The suggestions here are great. I would definitely suggest bringing your breast pump. I didn’t pack mine because a lot of things I read said the hospital would have them available, but they were super busy when DD was born and did not have enough to go around. 
  • @swanbrooner good point. You could also make sure you’re using it right when you have a meeting with a LC. For FTMs the flanges are not one size fits all, despite the pump usually only coming with one size.
    ME: 31  DH: 31 DD: June '16 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
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  • @meggyme Excellent point and also a reminder about how massive my nips are about to be.
  • We were in the hospital for 4 days, due to emergency c section. We didn’t pack enough or the right things. Our hospital had everything we needed as far as pads, mesh underwear, baby diapers, samples of nipple cream, etc. My milk didn’t come in right away, so they had infant formula too.
    What I’ll bring this time: 
    Belly binder
    Nipple Cream
    Small makeup bag (there was a newborn photographer via hospital, so nice to freshen up)
    Ipad/cellphone (and charger)
    Extra baby outfit (DS spit up on going home outfit,extra fluid from not having vaginal birth)
    Swaddle blankets
    Nursing Top
    2 Comfortable loose outfits (you may be swollen from fluids, sore from c section, and your tummy doesn’t magically disappear after baby is born😜)
    Flipflops (again I was super swollen from the fluids)

  • Is anybody considering buying/packing compression leggings for after delivery?  I've never used them and I'm not sure how effective they'll be to reduce swelling, and would love to hear others' thoughts!
  • @dtspmama yes, definitely thought about it as I have some I love. But, I also know I was so exhausted and sore (I felt like I’d been hit by a truck) that I can’t entirely imagine getting into my compression leggings at that point. Plus I can imagine they would dig into my postpartum tummy in an unpleasant manner. I’m planning to bring my maternity leggings to the hospital hoping they’ll be comfy enough to work. But that’s just my 5 cents!
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  • edited January 24
    @dtspmama I may purchase a pair or two later once I'm not feeling so sore or jello like. But as @lelkcot said I will also be bringing a pair of maternity leggings with. I'm currently wearing cotton leggings in a bigger size because they don't squeeze me as much and it's colder now. I was wearing a nylon blend legging, throughout the Fall, that fits tighter. I plan to bring the tighter fitting pair and I think it will do the job and be comfy enough.

    ETA: I wear compression socks when training for races and I can't imagine trying to squeeze into compression leggings right after I delivery either.
    Dx: Non-IR PCOS
    Baby Girl K #1 Born 3/8/14
    Baby Girl K #2 EDD 3/3/19
  • @dtspmama I have a pair from bao bei maternity, but I haven't decided if I'm going to bring them yet (this is my first). Emotionally I'm feeling the looser fit yoga pants right now but I might throw them in just to have the option. I also have their pro bump support band, but I haven't been using it because even though it helps with my belly support it makes it harder for me to breathe easily. I might toss that in as well. Let me know what you decide! 
  • I'll be bringing knee high compression socks for sure. I swelled up terribly last time...
  • I've never heard of that (bringing compression stuff for post delivery). Huh. I was wearing compression stockings the last week prior to delivery for minor swelling, and I wore them to the birth center, but I didn't leave wearing them or ever wear them again. 
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