Hey all!! Kristy here! Since Karina and I are so close together in our pregnancies, I thought this was great timing to share about packing for labor/delivery! I’m getting ready for baby Smith #6 and packing my hospital bag this week. Bittersweet, as we are planning for this baby to be our last, that means this is the last time I will find myself frantically and anxiously preparing for a new arrival! While we all know about the common items that we need to have packed in our hospital bag like baby’s going home outfit, a change of clothes for mommy, and toiletries, there are a few gems that you don’t want to forget to pack that will make your experience so much less stressful!
Make sure to pack a copy of your birth plan in your hospital bag. While your doctor is already probably pretty familiar with your birth plan, there is a chance that you will end up with an on-call doctor. You can try FitPregnancy’s birth plan template if you don’t have yours created yet. This is definitely something that you want to make sure you complete before baby is born, you don’t want to “wing it”! I like to keep a copy to give them when I am admitted, and another to keep in the delivery room with us for just in case.
All of that breathing and hard work of labor and delivery makes for dry lips! Make sure to pack a lip balm and keep it handy!
No matter how long or short your hair is, hair elastics are little God-sends during labor and delivery. Having my hair in my face drove me insane, so it’s nice to have something handy to pull it back out of your face. Another perk, you can secure your hair in a cute pony or bun after baby is born to hide that tousled hair until you get a chance to shower.
After baby is born, you’ll likely be staying in the hospital for 1-4 days, depending on your situation. In my experience, the rooms are not really equipped with a lot of outlets, and I always have had problems charging my phone and keeping it close to me at the same time. A small extension cord will save the day and keep you from having to get up to grab the phone if it rings and you are charging.
After baby is born, chances are you are going to be starving! I’m not going to say that a big, fat, juicy burger was the FIRST thing I thought of once my babies were born, but it was not far down the list either! Depending on what time of day/night you have your new bundle, the hospital cafeteria may not be open, so it’s important to pack a few snacks, just in case. A couple of my go-to snacks to pack in my hospital bag are Go-Go Squeeze Applesauce pouches, Protein Bars, and fruit snacks. Your SO might appreciate having snacks on hand as well, so they won’t have to leave your side during a long labor.
Baby Nail Clippers or file
Baby’s nails will most likely be long when he or she is born, and while those little mittens are cute, the best way to protect baby from scratching his or her face is trimming them down right away. If you feel shaky about doing it the first time, you could even ask a nurse to help you.
Slippers or Slipper Socks
You won’t want to walk around on the cold hospital floor with bare feet, pack a pair of light slippers or slipper socks to keep your feet cozy and clean.
There are so many things you’ll need to fill out – birth certificate, hospital menu, taking notes of when baby is eating/changing. Having your own pen with you on hand will keep you from having to beg one from the nurses and that way you will be able to use it whenever you need!
No, you won’t have time for a leisurely game of tennis with your SO or charge nurse while in labor, but a pair of tennis balls will help with back pain if you can have someone rub them on your back! Since my first child was “sunny side up”, she came with so much back labor pains that this was one of the only ways I could get relief in the hours and hours I was in labor. The rest of my labors were too short to get a chance to use them, but I always pack a couple of tennis balls in my hospital bag for just in case! (and yes, they are pink!)
Individual Serving Fiber Supplement Packs
This should be first on my list, because it’s actually the first thing that I packed, but I am putting it last because it is slightly embarrassing! Trust me on this one – you’ll want to take some kind of fiber supplement the first couple of days after giving birth, it just makes everything easier. I prefer to use the Benefiber Stick Packs. While in the hospital for those couple of days, I would add 1 stick pack to my drink at each meal. Continue until your first postpartum “go”, or even for a few days longer just to make sure.
BONUS: It’s also a fun idea to bring a pack of thank you cards that you could fill out and give to the nurses during your stay. With my last baby, I kept thinking how I wanted to send a thank you note, but once I got home and was busy busy with new baby I never got around to it. This time I am bringing some with since I will have lots of down time during those couple of days in the hospital!