(Click here for my fossil bag, “The Defender Duffle.”)
38 weeks pregnant today! It’s definitely a day to celebrate. I’m almost done fulfilling my human incubator duties to this child (we love him though), nursery is completed, baby clothes are ordered, house is completely organized and deep cleaned, car seat is in, doula is hired, diaper bag is packed, and now my hospital bag is too!
I did a lot of research on what to bring to the hospital. I talked to some of the nurses when I toured the facility, my doctor, and read several different blog posts. You’re either in one of two categories: 1. overpack or 2. let the hospital provide most things and only pack what you absolutely need. I’m definitely in category number one, because honestly – hospitals are not comfortable. A two day stay sounds EXCRUCIATING… so I’ve gotta be prepared.
I’m gonna label and link everything I’ve packed in case you’re in need of some hospital bag inspiration! I did so much research and now, hopefully, you don’t have to!
- “Hip Shrinker.” – I haven’t noticed my hips get any wider but after pushing a baby through there, I ain’t taking any chances. This is a band that is clinically proven to use the hormone “relaxin” that we already have when we’re pregnant (and for 8 weeks after birth) to help your hips shrink to their pre-pregnancy width. It has AMAZING reviews SOOO I’m trying it. Wish me luck.
- A sweater. – Hospitals are cold. I can’t imagine the sheets to be SUPER cozy so I’m bringing a very loose fitting sweater to help. If you can find a sweater that is nursing friendly, more power to ya. This one’s been my favorite for years and I figure a bit of home is always a good thing in a new place.
- Nursing friendly sleepwear. – I’m definitely not going to want to sleep in a robe or gown all night so I’m bringing a button down PJ set. Should be easy to whip out the boob when I need it. We plan on having baby H stay with us at all times and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m SO excited for those nighttime feedings. I’m sure it won’t last very long, but new mom over here.
- Dry Shampoo. – I plan on showering but washing my hair is a WHOLE PRODUCTION, so unless something from the birth (sorry) gets on it, I’m not washing it until we get home. I’d have to pack my hair dryer, hair straightener, hair curler. It takes me like 2 hours to do my hair and then I still don’t like it until the next day when I’ve slept on it. Anyone share my struggle? Dry shampoo it is.
- Hand Lotion. – Hospitals are dry and labor dehydrates you miserably. Bring your favorite hand + face cream. I’ll link two of my must haves. They’re both by L’Occitane.
- Diffuser (and other items that bring you comfort and security). – A friend recently asked me if I had any kind of birthing strategy, like the Bradley method or hypnobirthing. Truth is: I don’t. In my opinion, I found it really hard to plan any kind of coping strategy because I’ve never given birth before… much less naturally. I don’t know what to expect in terms of pain scale and how I’ll take to it. I just AGGRESIVELY pray and hope that I won’t give in and beg for an epidural. Side note: there is nothing wrong with an epidural. Nothing. But giving birth naturally was always something on my bucket list. Some people sky dive or go see the Great Wall of China… I want to deliver my children naturally. If I did it, it would make me feel greater, stronger, brave, bad ass… maybe that’s shallow or plain stupid but hey! it’s me! Regardless, it is really important that I bring with me things that will empower me and bring me joy. My diffuser and essential oils are one of them. Our baby’s first ultrasound photo that I plan on taping to the wall and staring at as a focal point when the going gets rough. My favorite album. The baby blanket I’ve been saving my whole life for my firstborn. Netflix + The Office… Not sure if this feels right for you, but I think it’ll help ground me and remind me that the process isn’t as scary as it feels. I’m safe. I’m secure. It’ll be over and I’ll hold that baby in my arms soon. Like I’ve always dreamed of.
- The Best Nursing Bra EVER. – I searched HIGH and LOW for a nursing bra that was cute and functional. Why are all nursing bras so boring? Do these companies think we don’t want to be sexy? That’s so rude. I’m not saying I need “nursing-friendly” lingerie or anything but I’m still a woman, hellooo, and I want what every other woman has… the option of buying a bra with some lace and good support, but that seems to go out the window when it comes to nursing bra’s. They’re plain. They “get the job done.” It’s disappointing. Love Yoo Too is an amazing nursing bra company. Their bra’s are high quality and super cute. Affordable. And they have lace! YAS. So glad I found them. I packed two: black and nude. Can’t wait to use them!
- Eye Shadow. – Does anyone else not go anywhere without it? Neutral Palate FTW. This one’s my favorite and it’s ungodly cheap. Click on the link. It’s scary.
- Mascara. – Everyone thinks I wear fake eyelashes, but I truuulyyy don’t. I’ve tried so many different Sephora, high-end brands and I always come back to this. It probably doesn’t last me as long as a higher quality mascara would but I don’t care because it makes or breaks me (just kidding). But seriously – now you know my deepest darkest secret. What kind of mascara I use.
- Slippers. – Taking my faithful UGGS with me. Hospitals are cold and I HATE wearing socks. I don’t even think I own socks, to be honest. If I need to wear socks (during boot season) I just borrow Adam’s, haha.
- Stretchy Pajama Pants. – Having two PJ sets packed is maybe unnecessary but I am nothing if not an overpacker. Plus, what if one pair gets dirty? I say better safe than sorry and pack two pairs of everything. I plan on pairing these pants with one of Adam’s white t-shirts sooo I guess he better pack two of everything, too.
- Extra Nursing Bra. – Aside from your classic nursing bra, I suggest looking into a sleeping nursing bra. Stretchier and comfier. I already hate sleeping in a bra but if it’s a “sleeping” bra, that’s fine by me!
- Toiletries. – Toothbrush, face wash, etc… I’m not your mom. You get it 😉
- Face Cream. – This is hands down the most moisturizing face cream ever. I got it in Europe when the weather was cold and dry. It totally changed my skin in a matter of days and this stuff repaired it almost overnight. It has a high percentage of shea butter and other ingredients that are clearly genius. If you’ve got dry skin or need something for the winter, look no further.
- Blush. – I use this Fenty Highlighter as blush and it’s a total game changer. Shiny with some pigment that you can also use as a light contour. Not necessary for the hospital but like I said, WHEN am I ever necessary when packing?
- Aftercare Items. Chapstick, nipple butter (that’s right), nursing pads (this is my life now), and a peri bottle. *smiles big*. How attractive am I right now?
- Zip-up Sports Bra.- I still don’t exactly know what I’m going to be wearing DURING labor, but I know that I’ll for sure be in, at least, a sports bra. This one is a zip up which will allow me to take it right off after giving birth so that I can do immediate skin-to-skin with baby H and breastfeed. A lot of women just give birth naked. I want to say I know myself and am confident that is not going to be me (I’m a prude) but whether I wear something or not, I’m not going to want to wrestle it off while trying to bond with my baby. It’s gotta be easy peasy. I highly recommend owning this sports bra! Make sure to size up. I got two sizes larger than my normal cup size because… milk.
- A CUTE going home outfit.- A lot of you said not to bother with cute or jumpsuits, rompers, anything with a bottom half… and you’re probably right but I love jumpsuits and I want to feel a little put together on the outside, despite whatever is going down on the inside, so I got this really cute forever 21 beige jumpsuit. I sized up. I barely fit into it now (like BARELY) so I’m assuming I’ll semi-fit into it after birth. If not, I’ve got a back up plan dress that makes me look and feel like a potato sack. $10 dollars I’ll end up wearing that instead, but a girls gotta try, damn it.
- Oat Mama Lactation Bars. – I’ve been munching on these delicious bars for a few weeks now and I know I’ll for sure need them in the hospital. Being a lactation bar, it helps boost your milk supply… something I’m definitely going to be interested in. I swear it works (don’t ask me specifics just take my word for it). There are SO many different flavors and I’ve got a discount code for you! Take 10% off your order with code:EATPRAYGROW2018. They’re sooo good! You’ll want a whole stash.
- Electronics. – We’re packing our laptop and phone chargers. I’ll need Netflix to distract me and my phone to keep up with family, friends, and of course you guys! I’m also taking some headphones cause you never know. AND a hair band. Can’t ever leave the house without it.
- Made by Mary Necklace – I received a “Zola” necklace with the baby’s name and Adam’s name. My two greatest loves. I can’t wait to slip it on during labor to remind me of my new family.
So there ya have it! That’s my side of the hospital bag. We of course have everything Adam needs. Sandals (in case he needs to jump in the shower with me during labor), a couple changes of clothes, sleep wear, toiletries, snacks for him, and cash for the vending machines for that midnight snack.
Our diaper bag has 3 different baby outfits (all equally as cute, of course). Two swaddles. 8 diapers, wipes. Burp cloths, my baby blanket for him to finally be wrapped in (a serious dream come true), a rattle for him to play with (we’re crazy but new around here), a pacifier, a gathre changing mat, and car seat.
This post was sponsored by LoveYooToo, Oat Mama Lactation Bars, Fossil, Gathre Mats, Maxi-Cosi Car Seat (The Nomad Collection), and Made By Mary….. As always, all opinions expressed are only ever my very own.