What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag / Expert advice on what to bring
Whether you’re Miss Girl Scout or Miss Fly-by-the-Seat-of-Your-Drawstring-Pants, you’ve probably put a little thought into your hospital go-bag – or maybe it’s already in the trunk. It can’t be too hard, right? You know you need a couple changes of clothes, toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo (because you’re determined to look good) and that adorable first onesie Grandma bought. But you may be missing some essentials or even some not-so-essentials that will make your hospital foray a bit more comfy.
We asked our experts – local doula and lactation consultant Linda Worzer; Tanya Shelton, childbirth educator and former labor and delivery nurse at the Medical Center of Plano; and the labor and delivery nurses of Texas Health Dallas and Texas Health Allen – for a list of goods most moms forget. Take notes.
Pro tip: The experts agree that you should pack separate bags for labor and postpartum. “You don’t want to lug everything with you to labor and delivery,” Shelton says.
1. Lip balm
Dr. Bronner's Organic Lip Balm, $2.99
Whole Foods Market
2. Aromatherapy wrap
Austin-based Ardent Hands Designs makes neck wrap therapy packs (not just for necks) in cheery patterns, including Rifle Paper Company designs. $24; www.ardenthands.com
“Or make your own,” says Worzer. “Fill a men’s tube sock with three cups of non-instant rice. Add lavender or other oil if desired. Tie top. Warm in the microwave for 1–2 minutes. Smells wonderful and soothes achy backs and bellies.”
3. Pillows from home with colored pillowcases so that they don’t match the hospital linens
4. Bathrobe and slippers
5. Hair clips or bands
6. iPod (or iPhone) with your favorite tunes, or a few Spotify playlists downloaded to your device in case of spotty Wi-Fi
7. Chargers for all your electronics and backup batteries for your camera
8. The List, i.e., all the people you promised you’d text when baby arrives
9. Comfy pajamas. The nurses at Texas Health recommend PJs with a button front for easy skin-to-skin contact with your newborn.
10. Nursing gear: nursing pads, nursing pillow, bra or tank top, breast pump.
Undercover Mama Nursing Tank, $24.99
Bravado Nursing Bra, from $34
The Nappy Shoppe
Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter 60 ml, $13.99
Whole Foods Market
11. Shower shoes
12. Adult diapers
Depend Silhouette Briefs 12-pack, $14.79
13. Your baby book or scrapbook so the nurses can add your little one’s footprints.
14. Swaddle blanket and a pint-sized hat
15. Mittens and fingernail clippers for baby
16. Discharge outfit with drawstring pants that fit at about 26 weeks (so don’t consign them yet).
17. Infant car seat. Make sure it’s installed properly before you leave for the hospital. You can even get your installation checked at seatcheck.org.