With the surprise early arrival of our son while I was traveling out of state, I thought I would have more time to pack my hospital bag – but our son had other plans! The most important piece of advice I have to offer any mom-to-be – especially if she’s in her third trimester – is to pack your hospital bag early and keep it with you. With my limited amount of clothes and toiletries, here are the 8 must-have what to pack items I wish I’d had in my hospital bag.
Hospital Bag Must-Have #1: Headphones
Even though he was 6,000 miles away in Japan, my husband coached me through labor via FaceTime on my phone. A pair of headphones with a mic would have made our conversations a little easier on my end. It would have also been nice to listen to music when I wasn’t video chatting with my husband, to keep me focused during the early stages of labor.
Hospital Bag Must-Have #2: Birth Method Workbook
Even though I wouldn’t get to finish my 12-week childbirth class, we had an incredibly in-depth workbook with tips for managing labor pain naturally, education regarding labor intervention and more. While I remembered the important points, it would have been helpful to reference while in labor.
Hospital Bag Must-Have #3: Pillow and Blanket From Home
Being so far away from home, it would have been nice to have one of my pillows and a blanket of my own from home to cuddle up with before and after delivery. Anything to make your birthing room feel a little less like a hospital helps.
Hospital Bag Must-Have #4: Bedroom Slippers
Walking around the hospital is common for laboring women as it can help a slow labor progress. And while the hospital socks are oh-so-fashionable (okay, maybe not), a pair of bedroom slippers would have been more comfortable to walk around in.
Hospital Bag Must-Have #5: Comfy Pajamas
Even though I had some with me, I forgot to pack pajamas when I finally went to the hospital. Total rookie mistake! I ended up spending WAY more time in my hospital gown than I would have liked; I wish I could have slept in clothes of my own after my son was born.
Hospital Bag Must-Have #6: Favorite Shampoo and Soap
I forgot all of my toiletries except my toothbrush and toothpaste. Before I took my first shower after giving birth, I had to ask my nurse for a bottle of generic hospital all-in-one shampoo and body wash. That first shower felt amazing but it would have been a lot nicer had I brought shampoo and soap of my own.
Hospital Bag Must-Have #7: Moisturizing Lip Gloss
Since you can’t eat or drink while laboring, your lips get super dry. And, after all the hard work of labor and delivery, it’s nice to put on just a touch of makeup to make yourself feel pretty. It seemed like such a simple, silly thing, but when my mom brought me a tube, it did wonders to make me feel “human” again.
Hospital Bag Must-Have #8: Post-Partum Pants
You’re not going to fit back into your old jeans right away and you might find your maternity pants suddenly don’t fit right either. I bought a pair of plus-size jeans a few days after I gave birth that were just the right fit. Invest in a pair you can wear home from the hospital.
Even though I may have been missing a handful of some must-have items, they couldn’t take away from the magical moment when I first got to see and hold my son. Your birth experience should be as comfortable and as magical as you hope it to be, so take the time to pack a hospital bag that will help to create that environment for you!
Moms who’ve been there or moms-to-be: what other items are your must-haves in your hospital bag?