I will admit that part of me felt like I should just bring everything, just in case, but after watching the episode of Jwow & Snooki when Jwow gave birth I changed my mind. She had about 3 suitcases for herself and a huge bag for the baby. Not only did I think we would look ridiculous bringing all of this to the hospital but I also had no energy to pack more than one bag towards the end. So I decided that I would get everything I could in my cute Victoria's Secret carry on and that would be it! At 35 weeks I started throwing things in a bag, a little at a time, and by 37 weeks I was all done. Thank god for that because the baby came at 38 weeks!
Now that I have gone through labor and am happily at home I want to share what I brought, what I used, what I needed and what I will bring with me next time.
What I Brought to the Hospital
1. Labor SocksOne thing that I did not need but was happy to have was labor socks. I got these cuties from Amazon and I did wear them during labor & delivery. They are really soft and kept my feet warm in the hospital. I actually wore them for most of my stay. I forgot to bring my house shoes from home so it was nice to have these to walk around in. Make sure you get nonslip socks. After having the epidural these helped me feel more secure when I took my first couple steps.
2. Labor GownWhile watching YouTube labor & birthing videos I noticed some girls wearing these cute labor gowns. I bought one from Amazon but didn't end up wearing it during my delivery. I really regret that; it would've made my pictures look a lot better. I ended up wearing it on day two of my stay. While you're in the hospital the nurses and doctors will be constantly coming in to check your stomach, vaginal bleeding, and vitals and wearing my gown helped make this easier. The hospital will provide you with extra gowns to wear post delivery but I would suggest bringing pajama shirts or your own gown to wear if you do not want to wear what they provide.
3. Nursing Bra & Breastfeeding suppliesIf you plan on breastfeeding you will want to bring at least one nursing sleep bra. I wore mine during my entire stay. It was very comfortable to sleep in, gave me the right amount of support and easily allowed me to breastfeed while wearing the gown. All I did was unsnap one shoulder of the gown and pull down one side of the bra. If you're anything like me, after delivery you won't care who sees what but being able to nurse without being completely naked will protect your modest while doctors, nurses, house keeping and guests steadily flow in and out of your room. I should have bought two with me but one was enough for two nights in the hospital.
Learning to breastfeed proved to be difficult for me and the baby but having some supplies really helped out. Make sure you at least bring nipple cream and breast pads. After a week of latch problems, I ended up using nipple shields to nurse my daughter (which were a godsend to my sore and cracked nipples!). I didn't have these in the hospital but next time I will bring one with me. You could bring these too but I would suggest trying to nurse without one first, especially since you have access to a latch consultant in the hospital.
4. BathrobeI didn't bring pajamas with me so my bathrobe really came in handy. I pretty much wore the cotton underwear they gave me, my nursing bra and my robe at night and when I didn't have visitors. My bathrobe allowed me to be comfortable, warm and it reminded me of home.
5. ToiletriesYou will want to bring your own soap, lotion, tooth brush & tooth paste, body towel and shower shoes. Of course, you can bring more things but make sure you bring these essentials. The hospital will provide some things but personal supplies like these are up to you to bring. I would suggest buying travel sized versions and packing them away instead of trying to remember to pack the ones you use on a regular basis while you're in labor. Trust me, you will forget something and end up relying on a relative to bring it when they have a chance.
6. Waist TrainerThis is optional but I found it very useful. The purpose of the waist trainer is to slim your belly. Women in other countries practice belly binding immediately after birth to help shrink the uterus & to get that 'snap back'. It also helps relieve pressure from your back and give your abdomen more support. My stomach felt very squishy and weird after the baby was out, and sitting up was tiring so wearing the waist trainer helped. I got mine from TJ Maxx for $5. I wore it after I left the hospital as well, mainly during the first 2 weeks. I think it helped but I wouldn't spend a bunch of money on one.
7. MakeupI brought the bare essentials. No heavy foundation or anything, just BB cream, mascara, and my eyebrow kit. I had a steady flow of visitors while in the hospital so having a little makeup made me feel like less of a hot mess. Make sure you have your bare essential hair supplies as well.
8. Electronic devicesI brought my camera, it's charger, of course, my phone and its charger, as well as my computer. We were constantly snapping pictures of the baby and of her visitors so it was nice to have a camera that was better than my phone but a phone will be just fine if that's all you have!
9. Going home outfitFor some reason, I didn't pack pants to go home in. On my way to the hospital, I wore my boyfriends jogging pants, because the were all that I could fit, and they were soaked in amniotic fluid by the time we got to the hospital. I ended up relying on my mom to find me a suitable pair of legging and my boyfriend bringing them on the day I got discharged. To avoid this make sure you pack a full outfit! I would suggest something you wore during your second or early third trimester. You will be smaller but 9/10 chances are you will still look pregnant when you leave. So don't pack your pre-pregnancy jeans, you'll be disappointed.
10. Baby suppliesI brought a small, and I do mean small, diaper bag for the baby with me. The hospital will provide diapers, wipes, a pacifier (if you like), blankets and a hat & shirt for your baby. When you are discharged you can take everything with you except for the shirt & blanket so make sure you bring a going home outfit & blanket for your baby. I packed 3 outfits for her: a onesie, baby leggings, and mittens for each day of our stay. I also brought my own swaddle blanket and I made sure the nurses taught me how to swaddle her using my blanket before we left.
I also brought a nice crochet blanket & hair bow for my daughter to wear in her Baby Bella photos. If you don't bring anything you can always use the white hospital sheets but having a nice blanket helps make the pictures look personalized.
Hospital suppliesI also brought full coverage, high waist Hanes underwear, and pads but I didn't end up using these until I left the hospital. I was provided with my own package of cotton underwear, pads and ice packs for use during my stay at the hospital. On discharge day, I was allowed to take my remaining supplies home.
You will need to buy heavy pads for the bleeding over the weeks following birth and I would also suggest buying underwear that will be big enough to hold the large pad & that you don't have about possibly ruining. Be sure to get these supplies but it's not necessary to bring them to the hospital with you.
I think next time I will bring the same supplies. It was nice having one bag & my purse to keep up with. There will be so many things going on physically, emotionally and mentally during the first few days with your newborn that you won't want to worry about keeping up wit everything in the hospital, toting it back and forth to your home and unpacking it all once you get home. Make things easy for yourself and simply your hospital bag!