April 2022 Moms

Product Spotlight: Hospital Bag Essentials

First in our mom-centric series: Hospital Bag Essentials! (next week we'll cover postpartum essentials)

goal of this thread is to have one source where we can check back for quick reminders of products and recommendations, so share what you packed in your hospital bags, or what you plan to pack/ leave at home.

Labor & Delivery:  What did you need to have during labor? Your own pillow? some want to have specific outfits during labor did you? Did you have a playlist, and what platform/audio product did you use for that? Distraction options for those who had some downtime at the hospital before serious, active labor? 

Post-Delivery: What did you have for after baby came? Outfits for mom? for baby? Grooming and hygiene products for mom (brush, toothbrush, shampoo, face wash, etc)?  Slippers or shoes? Any particular post-partum care item (sneak peek for next week) like pads or nipple cream or did you rely on what the hospital provided? Did you pack anything to help kickstart nursing, like your nursing pillow or personal pump? what did you need for going home?

Also of interest would be: what did you wish you HAD packed, and what did you pack but did not end up using? And if you did not have a hospital birth nor a hospital bag, please share what products and accessories helped you out during your labor and birth! 

Please share!

TTC#1 10/2016
TTC/IF:included medicated cycles, IUIs and 2 rounds of IVF with 1 embryo each. 
BFP finally in 12/2018

TTC#2 06/2021
planning FET

"Some days are diamonds, some days are rocks,
some doors are open, some roads are blocked" 


Re: Product Spotlight: Hospital Bag Essentials

  • I’ll write out a longer response later, but the first thing that comes to mind is about the clothes you pack for yourself. I expected to leave wearing an adorable dress or maybe even some black leggings, but I didn’t think about the fact that I was bleeding, had a giant pad, and had uncomfortable stitches. Definitely plan for comfort and looseness! 
  • Loading the player...
  • I’ve had 2 hospital births and 1 freestanding birth center. So my first advice is to ask what your place of birth will provide. The hospital sent me home with all remaining diapers from the opened package, a peri bottle, some ice pads, a few pairs of that pp underwear and giant pads. Plus the little baby hat. (I can’t remember if there was anything else). My midwives for the birth center gave me a heads up that I’d be on my own with that stuff. 

    I didn’t have a smartphone with my first two so charging a device in the hospital wasn’t a big deal for me then. And my third I was discharged within a couple hours so… still not a giant deal. I think I brought one, but I handed those things off to DH right away. I didn’t want to deal with all the texts for updates. 

    I brought snacks and things, but never used them. My l&ds have all been 5 hours from first contraction to birth, so I’ve never felt like I needed or could handle a snack then, and am generally not super hungry immediately after either. I’ve brought a change of clothes/comfy pjs or sweats for DH and he’s never used them (I tell him at the beginning that they’re there and then he forgets about them by the time he’d want them). He may have eaten some of my snacks before though. 

    I’ve never bothered with makeup and such at that time, but wish I had brought detangler. My hair was a mess and there was nothing I could do until we got home from the hospital. And if you have any food allergies/restrictions, also ask what accommodations the hospital offers. Or look what’s nearby. 

    I’ve also brought a couple baby clothes options - newborn and 3m size. Think about those layers and blankets for whatever range your local weather could be. (You may want an extra blanket to drape over the car seat just from the hospital door to car if it’s rainy/windy)

    I’ve generally packed comfy clothes for myself. Yoga pants or pjs. Nursing accessible clothing. I’ve liked those nursing bras that are more like sleep bras - no clip to deal with since newborns nurse constantly at the beginning to get the milk flowing. And soft and stretchy for when milk does come in. 

    My hospital liked birth plans and had their own checklist type that they encouraged us to use. So I had that on file and with me. My birth center experience has been different, there’s just a team of two and they know me by then and what I want so I didn’t bother with one last time. 
  • @kiwi2628 have you used thinx for periods before? I have a different brand that I love for periods - but only as backup. I can’t imagine they would work how I would want for right after birth. 

  • I always pack to much.. too many baby clothes and too many clothes for me. I end up using the hospital gown and baby uses those newborn hospital shirts until we get discharged. I like this checklists on Pinterest.
    I also like bringing my own nursing pillow since we start getting into nursing routine at hospital. Bring clothes that are loose and comfy, you will very likely look pregnant and only fit maternity clothes right after giving birth. 

    ******TW******Siggy warning
    BFP1 04/24/2015 EDD Dec 2015 MMC 10W5d;
    BFP 2 09/25/2015 EDD June 2016 MMC 9wks; 
    BFP 3 03/22/2016 EDD Dec 6th 2016 

       Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

  • Long charge cord, your preferred toiletries, minimal effort clothes and shoes, a pump if you plan to use one (helps to get used to yours and have nurses and lactation consultants around while you figure it all out), and hair ties.

    I didn't want my own robe because you end up being a mess at some point. Others love it so do what makes you happy.

    You're changing and checking on the baby so much in the hospital that you don't want some crazy clothes. Keep it simple and you'll be happy.

    My hospital gave us wipes, diapers, formula if we wanted it, and all sorts of stuff. I had one nurse who just started opening diapers because once they are open then they can't give them to anyone else. She said "you already paid to be here, might as well get what you can" lol
  • I second the suggestions to ask what’s provided ahead of time and to wait as long as possible before heading in. Going in too early can really slow things down and hospital policy may not be conducive to an extended labor. 

    Typically hospitals have exercise balls and peanut balls available, but ask! With Covid there have been lots of policy changes when it comes to shared items like that, and IMO they’re worth it to have on hand. Also make sure to bring copies of your birth plan if you’ve written one up. Some people like to have a Bluetooth speaker with a special playlist, a portable EO diffuser (if your hospital allows it), or written birth affirmations. Snacks are a good idea, too! Every labor is different so even if you’ve had a precipitous birth in the past you could be in for the long haul. A little pick me up goes a long way, and if you don’t need it during labor you can always eat it later.

    Also I never thought it was necessary to bring my own gown or whatever since I figured it would just get messy anyway, but if that’s what makes you feel like a birthing goddess, you do that. On that same note I’d at least bring some flip flops for the shower. I’m not big into house shoes so I just wore those grippy hospital socks around otherwise.

    I do recommend getting sample sizes of toiletries that you like (or putting your own into small travel containers) so that everything is packed and ready to go. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, chapstick, a small pack of hair ties, a razor, and contact solution+case if you need it. Unless you’re discharged ASAP you’re going to want all of those things in the 2-3 days following birth. With my daughter she needed bilirubin therapy for 11 days and I was able to stay with her that whole time. There’s no way I would have known in advance so having my own things packed was a priceless comfort. As far as clothes go, stick with what you were wearing throughout most of pregnancy. Think stretchy dresses or maternity pants with a nursing top or low-cut tank that can easily be pulled down. 
  • I somehow over packed and didn't pack enough? IDK.
    Like others have said see what your hospital provides, you probably don't need diapers/wipes. If you plan to use a pacifier and are delivering at a "baby friendly" hospital they likely will not provide one. 

    It was recommended to me to have an L&D bag and then a Postpartum bag. Leave the Postpartum bag in the car until you get settle on that unit, so that's what I did. 
    My L&D bag was just at tote with a few basics my toothbrush/paste, long charging cable and change of clothes for DH and it doubled as a place to put the clothes I wore into the hospital. 

    Postpartum bag: toiletries (in travel bottles), lip balm, flip flops, slippers, clothes for me, DH and baby (to go home in, in the hospital DS just stayed in a diaper and swaddle), a swaddle blanket (the hospital doesn't let you take home the baby blanket/swaddles that they use). I also had the boppy nursing pillow, which i used as a bed pillow too (not intentionally, but it was super comfy, so I did it).  
    Home meds. this may be controversial,  I take allergy meds daily and they don't provide those in the hospital, so I brought my Zyrtec with me. as my RN said, we don't know what you do when we're not in here. 

    I also had a plastic accordion file folder that I put all of the paperwork, birth cert info, d/c paperwork in so it didn't get lost in the shuffle and was easy to find/file when I got home. 

    My hospital provides you with a large water bottle/cup w/a straw, but if yours doesn't I'd recommend bringing a reusable water bottle/cup 

    In hindsight: the peri bottle they have at the hospital is awful, so this time I'll bring the frida mom peri bottle

    TTC#1 10/2016
    TTC/IF:included medicated cycles, IUIs and 2 rounds of IVF with 1 embryo each. 
    BFP finally in 12/2018

    TTC#2 06/2021
    planning FET

    "Some days are diamonds, some days are rocks,
    some doors are open, some roads are blocked" 

  • I brought my own pillows, and I bought pillowcases in a color I didn't think would be possible for the hospital to have so they wouldn't get confused for hospital pillows.

    I brought little battery-powered tea candles? I think there are better options now, but I really liked them for feeds motn in the hospital rather than turning on super super bright lights. I think it helped DD3 never struggle with day vs night. 

    I brought my own v soft hospital gown for labor because I have a ton of sensitivities to scratchy fabrics, and labor is already so uncomfortable anything more would've sent me over the edge. It got destrooooyed in labor (still worth it, it was like $20 on Amazon), and then once she was born all the oxytocin seemed to calm some of my sensory stuff and I was fine just wearing the somewhat scratchy hospital gown the rest of the time. 

    Ask your hospital about the sleeping setup for your partner bc you might need to bring blankets/pillows for him. We definitely should have, but we also lived 2 blocks from the hospital last time. 

    Definitely bring snacks for yourself for the hospital recovery time period. I was starrrving. I was like slamming apple sauce middle of the night. My mom would bring me a bunch of broth in giant thermoses too, and I really liked having that because I was really thirsty. 

    Bring all your BFing stuff - the nursing pillow, nipple creams, whatever. It's gonna hurt the most when you're learning how to BF and getting ahead of it with stuff that will improve your odds is a good idea. 
  • @bluecampanula I use thinx regularly so I’m used to them. They have specific postpartum ones that are massively absorbent so they may not work on day 1 but from the second day on they should be good to have
  • I liked wearing my own gown during labor. It was just comfier for me. I brought a second gown and robe to change into after labor. I just don’t like the hospital gowns and it creeps me out! Haha. I’m weird.

    After the initial 24 hours loose fitting comfy pants tank top and light sweatshirt are great. 

    I think everyone above has covered most of the important stuff, but I would add swaddle blankets (easy to use ones like Velcro or miracle blanket). The hospital has swaddle blankets but I couldn’t figure out how to do it properly and I couldn’t just keep paging the nurses to come in and reswaddle.

    Can’t remember if they give lanolin but that’s good to have in hand while you are getting the latch down. Also if you struggled with nursing a nipple shield is worth buying and having even if you never need to use it. Maybe a few back up pacifiers too since the hospital usually only provides one kind.

    Snacks for you but also throw some protein bars in DH bag too in case he becomes hangry during a long labor. 

    If you have older kids, some people get small gifts for them from the baby. I think it’s a good idea depending on the ages.
  • On the swaddles... I would ask about those, too. The hospital where my daughter was born had the smaller size Halo sleep sacks embroidered with the hospital logo and we got to take it home. 🤷‍♀️
  • I’m sneaking in snacks this time. My labor lasted way too long to go without eating, and since the research doesn’t really support the need for abstaining from food, I’m not going to this time. 
  • @monstera13 I’m planning on bringing those little tubes of honey because I’m not sure if I would be able to manage anything more solid but I know I’m going to need some kind of calories during that marathon! And you’re right, the hospitals keeping snacks and food from laboring moms is based on really outdated and bogus research. 
  • I’m a c-section mom lol 
    I was there for 3 nights with my first, 2 with my second and here is what I pack…
    - Comfy PJs that button down the front for nursing (I wanted to be in my own clothes and not a gown when I had visitors)
    -comfy/warm socks 
    -basic makeup (to feel more like myself for visitors)
    -toothbrush, tooth paste, my own body wash, shampoo, conditioner, chap stick 
    -eye masks for me and my husband  (my hospital provided too but not all do)
    -extra long charging cord 
    -nursing pillow 
    -socks for baby! The hospital provided us with onesies and hats but no socks either time
    - going home outfit for baby
    -sweats for going home 
    -extra bag for bringing home supplies (bring home a ton of the disposable underwear!! It’s all you’ll want to wear for like 2 weeks 
    Me: 36 DH: 36
    Married: October 2011
    DS: January 2016
    DS: May 2019
    #3: April 2022
  • And shower shoes! Duh 
    Me: 36 DH: 36
    Married: October 2011
    DS: January 2016
    DS: May 2019
    #3: April 2022
  • And shower shoes! Duh 
    Me: 36 DH: 36
    Married: October 2011
    DS: January 2016
    DS: May 2019
    #3: April 2022
  • And shower shoes! Duh 
    Me: 36 DH: 36
    Married: October 2011
    DS: January 2016
    DS: May 2019
    #3: April 2022
  • Hi mums! 
    My first labour was in a birth clinic in Sydney, Australia. I had a short labour that ended up being in a birthing pool: totally recommend if you're interested in drug-free pain relief and something relaxing (as tricky as that can be haha). For that labour I'd packed fruit juice, slices of fredh fruit and toast, museli bars and popcorn I think. In hindsight I drank litres of water during active labour, some fruit juice and because I was doing some vocalisation and deeeep breathing I barely have myself time to eat giant things. The small bite sizes really helped without getting distracted by the surges. Pack portions of whatever you like that are really quick to eat. Once you're in a birthing suite, it's not a social occasion where you're fine dining and chatting. You're doing the labour and when baby's coming you won't be able to hold much in your mouth for long, let alone speak whole sentences! Actually maybe that's possible if you have an epidural?

    I was about 6cm dilated by the time we drove into the clinic so most of the contractions were managed at home with a TENS machine. Hiiiiighly recommend this, which I leased from the birthing centre for AUD$60. I recall trying one of these machines on my arm at a birthing class and thought ,"what the heck? Would this even work?"

    When applied to your lower back during contractions it interrupts the pain receptors and it's much MUCH easier to focus on your movement and breathing throughout labour. When I was close to pushing, that's when I had to say bye to the TENS machine and hop in the water, cos as you can imagine, electronics and water don't mix!

    Check your hospital or birth clinic's check out/postpartum monitoring policy. They're all different, and the Ryde Midwifery Practice sent us home within 4 hours because we didn't have any complications. Then they had continuity of care at home afterwards for just over a week. Mind you, these were pre-pandemic times too. 

    Baby 2 is due early April and now with Omicron raging everywhere, this other public hospital I'm attending is yet to confirm what their birthing procedures are going to be by then. My husband and daughter aren't allowed currently so it'll be just me and probably a lot more comfort foods and pillows for an overnight stay!

    Best wishes to you all xo

  • Hey @knottie206db33da1df00fc I'm also from Sydney, not too far from the Ryde area! Small world. I used to teach at a local school in Ryde 😶 I'm shocked your hospital isn't allowing you to have your husband with you for the birth! My husband is my one essential thing to bring to the hospital lol
  • I’m sure I’ll miss answering some questions but here goes. 

    For delivery: Chapstick!!! More important than clothes IMO. I packed some snacks that DH could sneak me, a sports bra, warm socks, hair tie, phone charger, phones, change of clothes for DH, soda for DH, face wipes, brush, dry shampoo, and mascara. 

    For the hospital stay, everything above, a couple changes of comfy clothes, make-up, toiletries, snacks, soda for DH, change of clothes & toiletries for DH, babies take home outfit and another for a backup, car seat, car seat cover, blanket, pacifier (my kids have hated the normal newborn ones from the hospital), diaper bag, extra bag for taking hospital supplies home (be nice to your nurses!), more warm socks, pumping bra, lanolin, and other pumping supplies. 

    After 3 kids with this being my 4th, I don’t worry about looking put together or dressing cute. I’m there to give birth, soak up all the help that I can from nurses, snuggle my baby, and take baby home. I love, love, love raw authentic photos right after delivery…. Maybe a few from the hospital room where I may or may not be showered and have light make up on… and some going home pics of me in the newborn glow. I’ll glam it up for the newborn pics later, not while I’m the hospital. 



Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards