During the birth of our daughter, my husband and I spent two nights and two and half days in the hospital. I read all sorts of packing lists for what to take in your hospital bag. I created a list of everything I could think of, and we packed it all. I am the type of person who would rather be more prepared than needed. If it helped me feel less stressed, then fill the car to the brim! And that’s what we did.
Now, looking back, I can share with you which things I brought that weren’t needed in my hospital bag, as well as which things I’m most thankful we had with us.
What I Didn’t Use from my Hospital Bag
- Birthing ball — The hospital staff recommended bringing a birthing ball if we wanted to use one. This took up the most room in our car, but we ended up never needing it. In fact, it stayed in the car during our entire stay at the hospital. I walked the halls rather than bounced on the ball to make my labor progress. Plus, once I got the epidural, I had to stay in bed.
- Games — Since I was being induced, some recommended bringing things to keep you busy. We brought a couple small games to play while we waited for labor to progress. But, just like the birthing ball, these stayed in the car the whole time. We kept busy by chatting with family and checking our phones. Plus, nurses and doctors and midwives were coming in all the time to check on me.
- Book — Again, this was recommended during that waiting period when being induced. I never opened the book! I don’t think I would have been able to concentrate on the words anyway!
- Pillow — A lot of people recommended bringing our own pillow to use at the hospital. But I never needed it. I thought the ones the hospital provided were just fine. I did ask for extra though.
- Essential oils — I brought these to use during labor. I figured they would help me relax, but I never used them. When the contractions were strong enough to need the oils, I was too busy being in pain to even think about getting the oils out.
- Nursing cover — Ha! I brought a nursing cover for when I would breastfeed. By the time you have that baby, you won’t care who sees what. Modesty goes out the window when people have been staring at your vagina for hours! Whipping my boob out was suddenly no big deal. When we had visitors, I either asked them to leave the room when I needed to feed, or I used blankets from the hospital.
- Sleep mask — I figured it would be hard to sleep in the hospital, so I brought along a mask to keep the light out of my eyes. Turns out having a newborn next to you will keep you awake quite a bit. No need for a mask. You’ll be so tired it won’t matter how many lights are on!
- Pads — A lot of people said to bring your own pads and your own underwear. They said the ones the hospital provide are uncomfortable and what not. Of course, it depends on the hospital and how your delivery goes, but for me I didn’t need my own pads or my own underwear. I wore what the hospital provided, and I liked them a lot. The pads I received and used had built in ice packs — with a fourth degree tear, that was much appreciated! And the mesh underwear didn’t bother me at all.
Those were the things I didn’t need to bring with me. But there are some items that I’m really thankful I brought along.
Things I’m Glad I Brought in my Hospital Bag
- Chapstick — My lips got dry a lot during our hospital stay, so Travis kept chapstick in his pocket at all times so I’d always have some handy.
- Phone charger — We were on our phones a lot! We loved updating people as I was being induced, and of course spreading the news once Raylee arrived. I also played music during labor and delivery using my phone, so having a charger available was a must!
- My own robe — Travis got me a beautiful robe for Christmas specifically to wear at the hospital. It was great for when I walked the halls to progress labor. I was able to put it on over my hospital gown to really cover up. I also wore it after delivery when I had to walk the halls to help in my recovery. It made me feel a little bit more pretty when I was feeling so not-pretty.
- Maxi dress — I had read from another blogger that a maxi dress is a great idea for your going home outfit. You have no idea what size you will be, and maxi dresses can fit no matter how big or small your belly is. Plus, they are comfortable. The one I brought was easy for breastfeeding too. With my fourth-degree tear, I couldn’t imagine wearing pants. I’m so thankful I brought a dress.
- Nursing pillow — Breastfeeding was a whole new experience! I was really glad we had brought my Boppy nursing pillow to use. It helped me with positioning, especially since I couldn’t move much due to my recovery.
Someone told me not to overpack. They said I would need a lot less than what I thought. While that is true, it made me feel a whole lot more calm and prepared to have more than what I needed available. Everything was just a short walk to the car if we needed it. If you are like me, I give you permission to pack everything until you feel comfortable.
What things did you take with you in your hospital bag that you ended up not needing? What is something you are glad you brought in your hospital bag?