I realized a while back that I am not really good at writing “how to” or information-based posts, but having just gone through a stay at Labour and Delivery, I thought I’d document which hospital bag items were useful and which were not, for me in an Ontario (Canada) hospital. I know a couple of my blogger friends will be meeting their babes soon, and hope this helps. Also, this’ll be a handy post to look back on when DW is nearing Mochi’s due date.
At 37 weeks, we started packing our hospital bags. I packed for myself and Dumplin’, and DW packed her own bag. Rather than go through everything we packed, I will just include things we actually used and found helpful.
Let me start off with what we received from the hospital. We gave birth in an older Toronto hospital, which apparently was undergoing major cuts in their L&D department. Instead of receiving unlimited supportive consumable items, we had waiting for us in our private room, a bag full of supplies that were supposed to last us the duration of our stay:
– mesh undies, ginormous pads, and thick pads
– some Pampers and Huggies diapers
– a little tube of Vaseline
– a small sample of baby wipes
– a set of sample baby wash and lotions from Shoppers Drug Mart
– a box of tissues
We were also provided with a bassinet, several cotton baby gowns, and receiving blankets- which were for hospital use only. I know people often take the receiving blankets but we didn’t want to steal from a department that was so good to us and going through financial cutbacks.
Since our stay was a bit longer than the regular vaginal births, we found that we ran out of supplies quickly. So on our second day, DW collected extras from home: baby wipes, diapers, Depends for me, and coconut oil for Dumplin’s dry skin.
DW packed herself an extra change of undergarments and lounging clothes- t-shirts and sweatpants, cozy socks.
My hospital bag had a lot more stuff:
– 1 change of clothes for me: loose yoga pants (depending on whether you’re having a vag or section birth, you want to b mindful of where the waist of your pants sits. For example, right now I can’t wear any pants that sit low, because of my incision), a t-shirt, underwear and bra, a cozy pair of socks (sufficient)
– elastic non-slip headbands to keep your hair out of your face (they also helped me look less dishevelled when we had visitors)
– Crocs were awesome for me. I could wear them even though my feet swelled up unbelievably, and could be worn in the shower if I wanted, and were slip in, so I didn’t have to bend over to do them up
– refillable water bottles and electrolyte drinks (I got really thirsty during the induction); Gatorade type bottles were perfect because I could drink from them lying down and not spill.
– toiletries for both of us (I never ended up showering at the hospital, so toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, moisturizer, and lip balm were sufficient for us)
– lip balm… I repeat… Lip balm! Pack a couple of extras too.
– face towel (very useful- as during labour and during recovery I felt so nasty (but couldn’t wash my own face) that I asked DW to sponge wash my face for me. It was amazing.
– 2 full outfits for Dumplin’: sleeper, hat, scratch mitts- one in NB size, and the other in 0-3 months size (he ended up being too long for the NB size sleeper, so we’re glad we packed both)
– phone chargers
– battery operated tealights (these were originally packed to establish a nice ambiance for my L&D experience, but ended up being really helpful in recovery because our private room lights were so bright, so it was nice to be able to maintain a dimmer light level when checking on the baby at night and breastfeeding.
– Fleece blanket to tuck over Dumplin’ in his car seat
Things we had to grab from home:
– travel pillow and fleece blanket for DW (partners can sleep on a pull out chair, but they’re not provided with anything to keep warm or comfortable)
– a mini cooler with food (DW made sandwiches which were handy in the middle of the night when there was no food service. The food kept well because she was continuously replenishing the ice.) Also find out if your ward has a communal fridge. Ours did, so DW also stored meals that my mom had made for us in there and microwaved them when we wanted to eat.
The one item I wish we had packed:
– a light robe or long cardigan (I basically went naked the entire time aside from my sexy mesh underwear + monster pad and hospital gown. I wish I had packed my robe because it would’ve made transitioning to nursing easier, and would’ve protected my modesty a bit when nurses and midwives were popping in and out of my room all of the time. My incision, and catheter made it impossible for me to wear pants.)