Thursday, August 13, 2009

Labor and Delivery, pt. 3 --Packing for the hospital (what TO pack)

What you DO want to pack in your hospital bag:

  • hairband or clips to hold your hair back, if necessary
  • anything that helps you relax for delivery and afterward—an I Pod with your favorite music, a book, a scented lotion
  • change for the snack machines or a bag of snacks (especially for your hubby)
  • at least one nursing bra (a sleep bra is a must, and maybe another one to wear coming home)
  • nursing pads—during the first few days, I would recommend Lansinoh Brand Ultra Soft Nursing Pads (Babies R Us carries them). They are more expensive, but they are the softest, and when you start nursing, your breasts will appreciate the softness of those pads. You will be able to move to other pads later.
  • Tums if you are prone to heartburn. I was not prone to it, but had horrible acid reflux/heartburn during labor. The nurses would not give me anything, but I could have taken the Tums if I had some with me
  • camera, extra batteries/charger, film (each hospital has different regulations about videography during labor, so check for their policies)
  • cell phones and chargers
  • comfortable, loose tops or short nightgowns. Look for something that buttons down or is big enough to pull up for nursing ease. Pants/bottoms are not necessary—you will be bleeding enough after the delivery that you might mess up the bottoms anyway. A light-weight robe is nice—I used a short robe that I pulled on over a tank top, and that worked great
  • moisturizing body lotion—if you should have an epidural, your skin may itch as it wears off. Lotion helps!
  • flip-flops for the shower
  • your favorite toiletries (i.e., scented shower gel from Bath and Body Works if you like that), your makeup, lotions and perfume—anything that will help refresh you and make you feel better
  • slippers or socks—the hospital floor can get cold!
  • know what pediatrician you plan to use—they will ask you this in labor and delivery
  • book or magazine (something light and fluffy) for you; book or magazine for your husband—you may need this during labor and delivery while you “wait” to dilate, or to help you relax at the end of the day when visitors and family have left
  • list of people to call with their phone numbers
  • outfit to bring the baby home
  • outfit for you to travel home—look for comfortable, loose fitting separates: you will not be able to fit back into your pre-pregnancy sizes immediately! Though it is no fun to wear them after the baby comes, maternity pants may feel the most comfortable (or something with a drawstring waist)

Tomorrow: Coming Home from the Hospital

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