I had originally meant to get this post up before I had Otis, but it’s even better now because I can actually share what I packed and what I actually used. The truth is, I overpacked. There was so much stuff I didn’t use. What I will say is I am glad I brought it so that I could feel out what I really needed. I would rather be over prepared than under prepared always. I did separate my hospital bag into 3 different bags: Labor, Post Partum, and Baby. I found this to be SO helpful in staying organized in the hospital and not losing anything because I would only use each bag when needed. Everyone experience and needs are completely different when it comes to what comforts you through labor and after. I had envisioned doing a whole newborn shoot in the hospital and had prepped both my clothes and baby outfits for this but I didn’t end up doing that and instead just took some candid shots with just Blake and I (with the help of our incredible labor nurse). For your reference, all the items with a * next to them are items I actually used in the hospital with an explanation in italics. Hope this post is helpful for all you soon to be mamas out there!
*TDE Nylon Tote Bag: I opted to separate my Labor + Post Partum items so that we don’t have to rush the hospital with 500 bags and overload Blake (since he will be carrying everything). Also this will keep me organized on only taking out the essentials during Labor. I also have some extra room in this bag to stow things from the hospital that we might need to bring home. It was a great plan to separate my labor items and post partum items. We were able to head into the hospital quickly without dragging a million bags especially since I could barely walk in because I was in so much pain. This also made it easy so we didn’t leave anything behind when we switched rooms and didn’t have to worry about packing things up.
*Water bottle: Hydration is so important and it will be great to have my own water bottle with built in straw to ensure I take small sips often. this was so key having at the hospital to be able to easily drink water without spilling all over myself especially in recovery the nurses would just fill it up for me.
*Aquaphor + chapstick: Dry hospital means dry lips so this will be key. I applied this many times in the hospital so happy I packed both chapstick and aquaphor.
*Bluetooth speaker + playlists: I have Blake on speaker duty and we have some playlists/music ready that I love and will help to create a relaxed mood. This was huge for me for delivery. It really set the mood to be listening to music that soothed and relaxed me to distract me from all the medical things being prepared for labor. It helped to really get me in a calm and relaxed zone for before I started pushing and through delivery. Otis came out listening to Otis Redding naturally.
*Phone charger with extra long cord: this was one of the number one things people suggested I bring to the hospital. Extra long charging cords will ensure I can keep my phone charged to get in touch with family and snap some photos of our little guy! I made sure to immediately have Blake plug my phone in when we got to our labor room to make sure my phone was 100% charged for when baby first arrived to snap those precious photos.
*Contacts + contact solution: Through most of labor right before pushing, I was wearing my glasses since I was able to sleep/rest for a bit. But I wanted to be fully alert for pushing. I also was given an oxygen mask in between pushing (since I have asthma) so I wanted to make sure it was all easy and not wearing my glasses. So glad I quick put them in before we started to push. What I didn’t bring was a mirror to put them in but luckily the nurse used her camera in selfie mode to help me put them in. Labor and Delivery nurses are literally angels on earth.
*Glasses + case: Don’t want to forget this since my eyes can easily dry out if I am wearing my contacts.
*Nikon camera + memory card + charger: I am always prepared and making sure we have all the gear to snap those first memories with our new family member. I also made a pinterest board of photo inspiration in case I need to enlist the help of a family member to grab a shot or two for me in the hospital! I am SO happy I brought my nice camera in my labor bag. I made sure to have Blake pull it out and put it on the table and we preset our settings before the big moment to have it ready to grab and snap away.
Laptop + charger: You never know how long you will be in the hospital. If we want to put on movie, or do anything to distract myself, at least I will have the option if we bring it.
Inhaler: This one is important! I have allergy/sports induced asthma so it’s always good to be prepared with my inhaler since labor will be a physical experience.
*Letterboard: I got this one from letterfolk and don’t know if I will use it in an announcement photo but I brought it just in case. I also pre-cut baby’s name out of the letters and put in a ziplock so we don’t have to think about anything if we decide to use it. We didn’t use this till post partum but I am so glad I brought it, pre-written out, so snap a quick photo to share Otis’ arrival. Having it already filled out made it easy to just pull it out and snap a photo without having to worry about setting the board up. This was a time and energy saver.
*TDE Overnight Bag: I was excited for this overnight bag to come in. It’s oversized and comes with a large over the shoulder strap so it will be easy for Blake to tow into the hospital.
*Nightgown + pajamas: Since I plan to try breastfeeding, I wanted to make sure to bring some button down pajama options to not only feel a little bit like myself, but to also have easy boob access. So I have both a nightgown button down from Nordstrom and pants set from eberjey. Both I adore because they are soft and cozy and will make me feel more at home. For the most part, i spent my time in my hospital gown. It was such a bloody mess (sorry TMI) in those mesh underwear that I didn’t want any of my clothing to get ruined. What I did use was one of my pajama dresses for when we had guests visit the hospital so I did feel a little more put together. When they left, I changed back into a hospital gown.
Robe: Who really knows if I will feel like wearing clothes… besides the mesh underwear I hear the hospital will give me. HA! But it will be nice to have something warm to wrap around me since I always tend to be cold. This robe is from Ingrid & Isabel and is thicker than a silk robe so it will really keep me warm.
Nursing tank: Brought this Ingrid & Isabel tank along to either wear as a pajama top or wear home and to be able to nurse easily.
Nursing bra + nipple pads: I had a really hard time finding nursing bras that I loved, but this one from BOOB is so comfy and I have big hopes for it.
Sleep mask: A friend of mine (thank you Erin!) recently shared that I should slip a sleep mask into my hospital bag. I typically don’t have trouble sleeping with lights around me but she reminded me that in the hospital environment, everything is always on and blinking since everyone is constantly checking in on mom and baby. So I packed one just in case and so did Blake!
Slippers: This is a luxe item to pack, but honestly, I hate my bare feet touching the ground ESPECIALLY on a cold hospital floor. The UGG slide slippers are perfect to keep my feet happy and will still fit my fat foot if it’s still swollen after pregnancy (which I have heard you often swell more after) so glad to have something that will fit even when I head home.
*Flip Flops: These have 2 jobs. Both for in the shower (ew gross hospital floors!!) I can also wear them home since my feet will likely be swollen from delivery. These havianas are a go to fav always. Glad I brought these for when I took a shower in the hospital.
Nipple cream: Everyone said, “pack nipple cream” so I did.
*Travel size shampoo + conditioner: Packed my fav tresemme mini shampoo and conditioners to feel like myself. So while I didn’t use any of my makeup during my stay, it was very comforting to be able to wash my hair and take a hot shower. It made me feel so good to get clean and have a tiny bit of self care in the hospital.
*Bodywash: Hospitals are so dry so packing my own Dove body was is key.
Dry shampoo: In case I am not allowed to shower, or I just don’t feel like, dry shampoo from drybar will save my day!!
*Facewash: Can’t leave home without a little face wash from Simple (and facewipes from neutrogena below) because who knows what state I head to the hospital in. Washing my face felt SO good in the hospital. A tiny bit of self care goes a long way.
Makeup (concealer, bb cream, primer, mascara, bronzer, eyebrow pencil): My makeup dream team. I know, I know some people are likely rolling their eyes like, “there is no way you will have time or want to put on makeup etc” but you know what, I would rather be prepared and there is something to be said about pulling yourself together with some basics to lift your mood and spirits after Labor. Also if I get the chance to take some photos with our little man, a little concealer is gonna make me feel HUMAN. I only packed my ESSENTIALS: tarte shape tape concealer and bb cream because I slather them on with my hands and fingers in 5 seconds. Also I add 2 drops of Laura mercier radiance primer into my bb cream for a little instant glow. Then my new fav bronzer + eyebrow pencil from Hourglass to give my face a little dimension and my brows life. And mascara to finish it off. Can do this simple look in less than 5 minutes.
*Colace: So glamorous I know. But I want to be prepared and EVERYONE has recommended I bring this to help ease…. Well you know. Poop. Luckily the hospital started me on colace but I am glad I brought it as a backup.
Towel: Alot of people suggest
Compression socks: With my one foot being so swollen these last few weeks, I am bringing compression socks to the hospital for after labor.
Silk pillowcase: I brought one of my favorite pillow cases from Silk with me. Not my actual pillow (bc I don’t want to forget it there!!) but the pillow case will at least make me feel more at home. Who knows if I will ACTUALLY use it but it’s so small that it’s really easy to pack. Also I made sure to pack a colored pillowcase so I don’t forget it.
*Going home outfit: I packed a couple options to go home in since I didn’t know how I would feel. Some leggings, gym clothes, and a loose dress. I ended up wearing a loose dress from Boob design since I had on those bulky pads and mesh underwear and didn’t want to wear anything tight for comfort.
*Pottery Barn Diaper Bag: This was actually a gift and I love that it’s monogrammed with our last name initial. Perfect bag to tote babies first outfits! I used my baby blankets, swaddle, and hats for some snapshots of Otis during our hospital stay. Was nice to dress baby up for the first time and make the experience a little more personal than the hospital blankets they provide. I enjoyed dressing Otis up for the first time!! Swoon.
*Cord Blood kit: I actually had Blake pack the cord blood kit since it’s a little too large for the diaper bag. We went with CBR as the company and I have referral codes if any new mamas out there are interested just shoot me an email. Not everyone does cord blood + cell banking but it’s been something I am very interested in so we hope to be able to collect samples at birth.