I have certainly been the mama who has overpacked for birth, my first time with Wisdom, I had all the things and it felt like I used none of them. I have also been the mama who showed up to labor and delivery unprepared. My second labor with Courage, I had an emergency induction and it felt like I was running around the house with my head cut off grabbing things to throw in the bag. Although that birth experience was so beautiful, there were things I felt like I forgot from moving so fast.
This third time around with Glory, my approach was "less is more," and I intentionally wanted to focus more of having a birth experience of my dreams and less on stuff, so I brought things to the hospital that would make me comfortable and get me closer to a labor and delivery experience that I would never forget.
Here the deal, the thing that they forget to tell you is that the ONLY thing you need for your labor and delivery experience is a car seat, a blanket and an outfit for your baby. You could essentially walk into labor with those 3 things and everything you need to walk would will be provided you, included diapers and wipes, so you really need very little.
Knowing that, I chose to pack the things in my bag that would make me comfortable, help me to make memories and put some control back into my labor experience, because giving birth during a pandemic means that things can change at a moments notice.
So, what was in my Fawn Design Weekender Bag?
Below a quick list of all of the things & products I HAD to have during labor and delivery and the why behind each item.
For Mom & Baby:
Hospital Bag: I am deciding to use my Fawn Design Weekender bag. Its the perfect size and has all the pockets and space I need to pack for baby and I.
Fragrance: This probably seems weird, but someone encouraged me to choose a new body wash and lotion for the birth, so I could establish scent recognition to the event. I love the idea of smelling a certain way throughout that process so I chose a new perfume and body wash and lotion
Long charger cord: hospital rooms are tricky and outlets aren't always comfortably available, so bring a long cord so you always have access to your phone
Laptop: for downtime. Depending on how fast your labors go, you may need to still work ( I spend no less then 4 days in hospital) or want to watch Netlix/Hulu so a laptop is ideal
Essential Oils: You can't burn candles in the hospital but aromatherapy can be a powerful tool for relaxation during labor. My doula and I brought a few favorite oils and they were incredible for breathing, massage and setting the atmosphere: peppermint, lavender, Deep Blue (DoTerra), frankincense, orange are a few of my faves.
Nursing Bra - I love the "Everything Bra" by Bodily, you can check it out here
Underwear - you don't really need underwear because the hospital provides the best underwear for postpartum, but if you want to try some, check out the Knix Underwear made with postpartum in mind.
Portable Bluetooth Speaker: music was essential in helping to get my babies here. I had a playlist for each of their births and it kept me focus and encouraged throughout. If you want an inspirational playlist, start collecting songs now that remind you of your strength OR email me and I will send you mine.
Silver nursing cups: Forget about all of the balms and creams for your nipples. All you need is silver nursing cups. You can start wearing them when you arrive to the hospital and wear them throughout your stay. I love these by Silverette and swear by them. They are ALL you need to heal your nipples and keep them protected.
Nursing Pillow: if you are a first time mom, the Boppy nursing pillow is one of my faves and will help support you as you nurse.
Hard Candies: to suck on. My mouth got dry often and I didn't always want to suck on ice, so Jolly Ranchers, Life Savers are a nice alternative.
Nursing Breast Pads: You likely won't need these because the first milk is colostrum, but some get a let down in the hospital and you want to be prepared. I use these by Lansinoh to stay dry.
Having a cute set of loungewear or a robe to change into while laboring or after giving birth felt so nice. I labored in a robe by Posh Peanut and then wrapped my new baby in a matching swaddle. I had dreamed of being one of those ladies and loved that experience and the pictures were so cute.
Toiletries: toothbrush, soap, deodorant, face wash. Everything you could use in a day at home should come to the hospital with you.
AirPods or another headphone option, in case you need to zone out.
Lip Balm: lips get dry during labor
Comfy Loungewear to go home in.
Go home outfit for baby: You’ll need a cute going home outfit for baby, consider the seasons and shop appropriately. A few cute options and shops to check out if you want something other than Carters and Old Navy: LouLou Lollipop, Kate Quinn Organics, Goumi Kids, Toora Loora Baby, Red Rover Kids
Baby blanket: since I’m having a winter baby, I want to make sure it’s cozy and warm in the car seat or when I’m holding her at the hospital and I loved many of the shops listed above for that
Wipes for body: freshen up my face and body when necessary, these smell incredible
Car seat: don’t forget the car seat for going home. Our favorite is this one by Baby Jogger. Make sure it is properly installed as well to keep baby safe.
Ike was my birth partner and then I had a doula. For anyone who is joining and assisting you at birth a backpack with the following items will be ideal :
Change of nice clothes for photos
Comfy lounging clothes
Change for vending machine (in case you have a craving!)
Because Ike IS my photographer, he brought a camera and a GoPro. :) (that blog is coming soon).
Extras Items to consider
Extra bag to take home supplies: the hospital will give you a lot of stuff to take home — take it ALL.
Extra pillow/blankets for comfort: a lot of people suggested bringing your own pillow or blanket from home for comfort and security.
Makeup to freshen up for photos: if you're planning to document your deliver, or take pictures afterwards, makeup (if that's your thing) is always nice to have
Your own towels: because hospital towels are little and barely fit around you.
Shower shoes/flip flops: if you don’t like your feet touching public surfaces, bring flip flops.
If you're labors are long like mine, you're definitely going to want to bring some snacks. With Courage, we brought a whole cooler set up. Here is a few of our favorites:
Liquid IV (to stay hydrated!)
Your favorite trail mix
Cheez Its or another starchy cracker
Bob's Red Mill Bars
Dried fruits (mango, craisins)
Peanut butter packets
Fruit snacks for a bit of a sugar boost
To go oatmeal cups
Sparkling water ( I love AHA or Topo Chico)
Hospital food can be less than desirable (no seasoning). Keep in mind that even with COVID-19 in play that meal delivery services like GrubHub, Postmates, Door Dash, Uber Eats are available to you (and maybe add those to your registry list for your baby shower).
If. you are on your first baby, or your sixth, I hope that my little list was helpful in helping you create and/ or think about what you might need for your own labor experience. What did you pack in your hospital bag? Would you add anything additional? Tell me in the comments.
With courage and wisdom, for His glory,
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