Before I had our daughter in late 2011, I was up in arms about what to bring with us to the hospital. Goodness gracious if my husband needed to run home for something just ten minutes away. Right? I was insistent about packing everything but the kitchen sink. Later I learned the less the better. Needless to say when our son was due in early 2014, I packed much lighter for our hospital stay.
Here is a list of top items NOT to pack in your hospital bag for labor and delivery:
- Magazines and Books – I personally did not have any time to read one word in the hospital. Even the packet of reading material was pretty much a skim over that they give you. In labor, you’re way too focused on contractions and your mind going a mile a minute to relax to a good book. And catching up on the latest with the Kardashians when trying to learn latching on…forget it.
- Expensive Jewelry – Just leave the bling at home. Wedding rings and items you wear daily are understandable. But should you go into the OR, you will have to remove every piece. Plus, you don’t want to risk losing something that is valuable to you.
- Diapers – Unless you are cloth diapering, I highly recommend not bringing any diapers, wipes, lotions, etc. Pack small diaper bag for the ride home but the hospital should provide you with all essential needs for baby in the first few days such as diapers, wipes, formula (if you choose bottle feeding), etc.
- Feminine Sanitary Products – Don’t worry about these kinds of things, Mom. Again, the hospital will provide these items for post-delivery.
- Beauty Products – Keep them to a minimum. I totally get the wanting to spruce up and look good for photos but you just had a baby. You’re already glowing! I promise. Bring a few things that make you feel “normal” but leave the curling iron at home.
- Don’t Pack for a Vacay – This is a great mindset to have while packing. Don’t pack days’ worth of clothing. Keep it to maybe some comfy maternity yoga pants and a nursing tank. Don’t pack new and restricting clothing. You will want to still be comfy after birth. Remember, it takes time to heal after such a major life event.
- Snacks – Bring things like hard candies for dry mouth during delivery but you won’t need snacks or drinks. The hospital should provide this for you and even your spouse/birth partner in most occasions.
- Leave the Pride at Home – This is my biggest suggestion. Leave the pride at home. Let people help you. Understand this is the most amazing yet also the most needed time for support. Know you are going to be amazing. Those around you are here to give you that boost.
Of course these are just some recommendations and tips. Pack whatever makes you feel comfortable. However, just remember that your time in the hospital more than likely will be short. You also will be so focused on this new and amazing miracle in your life that nothing else will seem to matter. The outside world is nothing for those couple of short days. Just enjoy the moment.