My Top 5 Hospital Bag Essentials For Labor & Delivery

Monday, October 29, 2012

Back in the middle of July, when my due-date was starting to approach at a rapid pace, I started reading books, researching online, and asking 
friends & family what they thought I needed to bring to the hospital. Every book seems to say the same thing over and over again.
Every person seemed to have their own take on it. When it's your first child, packing for the hospital seems to be the most important job on earth.
If I could do a "do-over," I would tell myself to calm the heck down.

Like every pregnant woman expecting her first child, I totally over-packed. I should have just listened to every mother out there and 
showed up with a small bag of necessities instead of a suitcase big enough for a 2-week vacation somewhere tropical.

To save you from overpacking like a mad woman like I did, I provide you with my "top 5" items. Take from it what you will-- this is my personal opinion. These helped make my labor comfortable and as enjoyable as possible:

1.) Our own pillows: The hospital will provide pillows but there was something comforting about having our own pillows from home. I used our pillows during my entire labor and after Eden was born. Our birth class instructor suggested this, and I'm so glad we listened to her. Buy two cheap pillow cases for the pillows in case they get dirty or, heaven-forbid, bloody.

2.) C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve: Not only is this my favorite beauty product, but it was the MOST important item in my hospital bag. 
Pushing a baby out is a huge workout and there's nothing worse that having chapped lips. This can be used not only on your lips but on cuticles, elbows, anywhere... heck, I've even used it to moisturize my eyelashes!

3.) Cliff Bars: Any kind of protein-packed bar will do. I like Cliff Bars, especially the Cool Mint one. I find that these rarely taste chalky like some other ones do. I love Luna bars, too, and Kind bars. I had a 19-hour labor and after Eden was born it had been over 24 hours since I had eaten any kind of food. That was the WORST part of labor for me. Starve a preggo woman? Insanity. As soon as Eden flew out, I ordered room service from the hospital cafeteria but it still took 45 minutes in the middle of the night. During the day, the wait was 1.5-2 hours. Yikes! Have plenty of snacks on hand.

We also made a gift basket for our hospital staff-- a huge bowl filled with candy and a large bowl of Red Vines from Costco. On the night of delivery, the entire bucket was gone and Joshua went and replenished it the next day. We might have spent an armful on candy, but our hospital staff would not stop talking about it. People from other floors came up and found the bowl of candy, too. We had amazing service and an incredible hospital stay, and I know this had something to do with it! #bribe

4.) Sharpie: A girlfriend of mine told me to bring one and it was great advice. Bring a Sharpie to write your last name on the tag of all your baby clothes, mark personal items and also to have on hand for all of the paperwork that you have to fill out. I also loved it for journaling and writing down feeding times during the night. There is nothing worse than having to search everywhere and ask everyone in sight for a pen to use.

5.) iPhone: Not only did my phone provide entertainment (you all got updates on my labor via Twitter, your welcome!) for me during labor, but we also used my phone (and laptop) for music. The two artists that I remember playing in the background during Eden's delivery were Jack Johnson and Enya. Play music that will soothe tension and provide distraction during all of that breathing.

Happy laboring! xo

Leave a Comment

Nicole {Home for Hire} said...

This is great! I'm pinning it for future seems so far away, but I'll be packing my bags before I know it!

Brooke Houston said...

Ooo! I never thought about playing music during the delivery. That's a great idea. I'm a huge music lover, and I think it would help me ease the pain, or worry.

Lauren {at} Life.Love.Lauren said...

When I was going through nursing school I was a tech in a NICU. I was always finding pens for moms! Newest follower and fellow Tucsonian! Love your blog!


Ashleigh Nichole said...

I think those are all great ideas however I am that mamma that is just gonna overpack lol sadly

Kelly said...

i mean, a gift basket for the hospital staff.
adore. you are the coolest for thinking of that.

Abbie Lewis said...

I love reading these tips from new mommas. I'm slowly making a master list of those important things i'll need!

You should do a list of essentials for the baby's first few weeks/ what to register for. :)

Alissa Circle said...

I totally wish I had brought my own pillows when I had my kids!! Ugh, nothing worse than hospital pillows. I love that you guys brought candy, such a brilliant idea!! xoxo heart you friend.

Beth @ the city said...

Pinning this for someday! I always love hearing what people suggest :)

L said...

This is SO SO practical, amazing advice girl! Having worked as a midwife for a while, I would totally agree so many women I took care of had many of these items on hand =)
You are so sweet to share this!
Much Love,

Kimberly Bonham said...

Love your list and suggestions. I would have never thought of a few of these!

Lottie Simm said...

i am packing mine now so this could not have been better timed :)

Krystal said...

DEFINITELY your own pillow, i requested mark bring that pretty quickly, haha :) i brought some magazines for entertainment...what was i thinking, i did nothing besides sleep, rest and look at the baby, haha :)

Heather Leigh Riley said...

Bless you woman!! This is a post I have been waiting for. I guess you can say I'm at that stage where I don't feel like I'm prepared enough (Even though I have a suitcase literally meant for a week vacation!) I'm due any day now and labor has been on my mind a lot lately!!

Erin said...

This is so practical and helpful! I'm nowhere near needing this list right now, but hopefully someday when I'm in this position I will be looking up this list! :) I'm actually gonna pin it now for future use, and for the mamas who follow me! :)

Katie {katie lately} said...

you don't even understand how thankful I am for lists like this one miss Heather!! Literally just last night I was thinking "hmm.. 33 weeks now.. I should definitely start packing my bag". Not to mention, we live an hour from the hospital so I can't just send my husband home to grab something quickly. I appreciate all your first time mama advice!!