2 months ago, our precious Scarlett came into our lives and changed them for the best. I have several mamas that are delivering soon who asked what I actually used at the hospital, so I wanted to share an update of what were my favorites in my hospital bag for labor and delivery (L&D). I meant to get this post up a while ago, but newborn life is busy!
A little background on our situation: I delivered a few weeks after our state lifted the stay-at-home order for Covid-19. Our hospital at that time had a policy that once you’re admitted, your spouse/support person cannot leave (which Jake, given that he works there and takes extreme precautions against COVID, completely ignored). I wanted to be extra prepared just in case. I did use most of what I packed (you can find my original post of what I packed here). Things were a little different since I was worried about bringing germs home, so I packed only things that could be washed or disinfected. In all honesty, you could probably show up to L&D with nothing and be perfectly fine. These were just my preferences to make me more comfortable.
When I was admitted to L&D, Jake had to go to the car and get everything. I was in too much pain and didn’t want to bring luggage in just in case they sent me home. Since there was only so much he could carry, I was glad I brought a huge suitcase that he could consolidate everything into it. I put my large suitcase in my car once I finished packing, but kept a separate small suitcase in the house with my temperature-sensitive items, like toiletries and snacks. I highly recommend having everything ready to go because there’s no way I could’ve packed last minute with the pain I was in.
What the hospital provided: Our hospital provided pretty much everything you would need, except obviously personal items. For baby they provided diapers, wipes, thermometer, hats, shirts, swaddle blankets, a comb, and a bulb nasal aspirator. For mom they provided a hospital gown, mesh underwear, pads, a peri bottle, lanolin, postpartum ice packs, Dermoplast spray, toiletries like small shampoo bottles, and deodorant spray. The hospital also had a blow dryer, but I preferred my own. Make sure to take all of the extra supplies home because you are being charged for them anyways. The nurses will also give you extras if you ask.
What I wish I brought:
- A sleep sack for Scarlett: Jake and I are both terrible at swaddling. I wish I had brought a sleep sack because we had to ask for help when swaddling her. I was also scared of the swaddles coming loose during sleep and our room was cold.
- Boppy Nursing pillow: I left mine at home last minute since it’s bulky. It would’ve been so helpful with learning to nurse and made us more comfortable. We ended up just using a hospital pillow, but it wasn’t the same.
- Baby nail trimmer: Scarlett moves too much to file her nails, so this would’ve been helpful.
- A blanket: I forgot to pack one last minute and it would’ve been nice since our room was so cold. I basically lived in my robe.
What I Actually Used in my Hospital Bag For Labor & Delivery:
FOR ANNOUNCEMENT PHOTOS:
Since we couldn’t have a photographer come do a fresh 48 photo shoot I brought my own gear. There was way too much for Jake to carry, so he left the ring light I originally planned to bring. I was honestly okay not having it.
- Charger w/ extra battery (I didn’t need it, but it was good to have it in case).
- Baby’s outfit, I did her bow swaddle for announcement photos, name plate, letter board, pretty blanket for bassinet, pretty robe for me to match her, outfit for Jake (a neutral polo and shorts).
- Tripod: I use this tripod, check out this post to see how I take tripod photos. I was glad to be able to take family photos together. I’m sure our nurses would’ve been happy to take a few photos too. My L&D nurse did offer to take some photos right after Scarlett came and I’m so glad she did because they’re so special.
FOR JAKE AND I:
- A colored comfy pillow: My own pillow was so nice during labor, especially when I finally got comfortable after the epidural. I highly recommend resting as much as you can while in labor. Make sure to use a pillowcase that stands out, because we were worried it would be very easy to forget to pack our pillows back up when we left the hospital unless we had a bright visual reminder.
- Long iPhone cords: This is so helpful so you can use your phone while in bed. I just brought an extension cord to make mine longer.
- Sanitizer/sanitizing wipes: The hospital did have dispensers everywhere, but it was nice to have it just in case since Covid-19
- Protective face masks: this was required until I was admitted into my own room/until my Covid-19 test came back negative.
- Sleep masks: Nurses come to check on mom and baby a lot, so we slept at weird hours. It was nice to have a dark sleep mask. Also there was a light in our room that we could not figure out how to turn off.
- Ear plugs: I didn’t use them, but Jake did. Luckily our hospital room was pretty quiet, even with a newborn in it.
- Towels/wash cloths: This was recommended and it was nice having our own towels. I’d also recommend bringing towels that are not white, so you don’t accidentally forget them when you pack up.
- Steamer (this might seem excessive, but I was glad to have my travel steamer to get wrinkles out for photos)
- Snacks: You cannot eat during labor except the popsicles and Gatorade they provide. I was so glad to have snacks for immediately after because I was starving. I didn’t eat for almost 24 hours because I was in too much pain the night before and that morning before I came in. Also, the hospital food was slow to arrive so it was nice having snacks. My favorites were breakfast bars and snacks like Chex Mix.
- Gatorade: I was so thirsty after delivering.
- Trash bags: anything fabric that couldn’t be wiped down with Lysol wipes was put in a trash bag to go straight to the washing machine at home. It may have been excessive, but you cannot be too careful right now.
- Insurance card/driver’s license
- Toiletries: (The hospital had basics like a hotel would, but I preferred most of my own): hair brush, hair ties (as soon as it was time to push I put my hair up), my own shampoo/conditioner, make up remover pads, face wash, moisturizer, tooth brush/paste, my retainers, dental floss, dry shampoo, lotion, etc. I did wash my hair because I knew I’d feel better, but I hear a lot of mamas just wash off in the shower and use dry shampoo.
- Makeup/travel compact mirror: The next morning I immediately put on makeup because I knew we would take lots of pictures and it also made me feel better.
- Chap stick: My lips got really dry after labor.
- Curling iron and Revlon drying brush: I loved having the drying brush to be able to quickly do my hair.
- Glasses and contacts
- Slippers (I brought some free ones from a hotel that I left at the hospital).
- Shower shoes- flip flops
- 2 nursing gowns: I packed this one and this one.
- Nursing bra: this is my favorite
- 1 dark robe
- 1 pretty robe for photos
- Going home outfit: I wore this dress and it was nice having a dress that’s loose, flattering and nursing friendly. If you don’t want to pack much, you could just wear what you came to the hospital in since you change into a gown once they triage you.
- Postpartum underwear: These ended up giving me a rash, but were more comfortable than the hospital-provided underwear. I’ll share more about postpartum at the end.
- Laptop: to edit photos of baby girl
- Ziploc bag to keep hospital bands for her baby book.
- Portable sound soother: I don’t think we used this, but it was nice to have the option in case it was loud. Everyone swears by the Baby Shusher, but it didn’t work with Scarlett.
- Going home outfit: I ended up throwing in a baby gown last minute and was glad since all of her newborn clothes swallowed her tiny body. I was so glad someone recommended this.
- Some casual onesies (not necessary if you want to just keep baby swaddled, but I was glad I packed them.
- Car seat: We left this in the car
- Extra bag to bring home supplies. We were able to fit these in our regular bags, but I highly recommend taking everything. You pay for it!
- Boppy nursing pillow (I didn’t bring this and it would’ve been so much better easier to learn how to nurse with this)
- Footprint page in baby book
- Going home outfit
- Comfy clothes/sleep clothes
- Shower shoes
- Ear plugs
Postpartum Items I liked:
I saved this for last since it’s a little TMI. I was very lucky to only have 1st degree tearing, so my postpartum recovery wasn’t bad. I did get an awful rash a week later and we have no clue what caused it. My guesses are hormones or lanolin because the postpartum underwear gave me a rash. I had read lanolin could help get rid of it, but my rash ended up spreading all over my body after.
- Tylenol prescription for pain
- Freda Mom Peri Bottle: I did use the hospital peri bottle while I was there and left it behind, but the Freda Mom was was way better when I got home.
- Colace: trust me, you’ll need this. My doctor gave me a prescription
- Tuck Pads: These sooth down there. I’ve also heard the Freda Mom foam is great, but we couldn’t find it at the store.
- Ice packs for down there
- Maxi pads ( the hospital pads were terrible and didn’t stick)
- Underwear that were 1-2 sizes bigger
- Loose fitting clothing
- Nursing Bras
- Nursing Pads
Thank y’all so much for reading and for baring with me as I navigate motherhood. Scarlett is now 2 months old as of July 14th and weighs 9 pounds 10.5 oz. She is 21 3/4 inches long. She’s in the 50th percentile for height and 22nd percentile for weight. She has grown a ton.