There’s lots of advice and lists out there of what to bring with you to the hospital and a lot of it depends on how your labour goes and what kind of person you are. I followed some of the advice and some of it was useful some of it was not.
Slippers vs flip flops. I purchased a pair of bigger open toe slippers I was planning on wearing in the hospital since my feet were huge. I packed them in my go bag but even in the cold November all I could wear en route to the hospital was my flip flops. The flip flops ended up being way more useful because I could wear them in the shower the next morning and whatever “stuff” got on them washed right off. I would also recommend socks because hospitals are cold and your feet might get chilly (but not nice socks because they will most likely get ruined; I learned that one the hard way, but at least my feet were warm for most of it).
Bring a towel and shower supplies. My midwife said I would be going home a few hours after giving birth because home is the most comfortable place to recover. Thankfully I still packed overnight things just in case because I ended up having some complications after labour that required me to stay the night and most of the next day at the hospital. I was able to get cleaned up in the shower the next morning and spend the day in my comfy nightgown which was better than, well, a hospital gown. I also brought larger clothes for the ride home because my good friend (the one who had done all this herself 1.5 weeks before me) recommended it. Your belly doesn’t just go back down to normal size. It’s squishy and I was still swollen and fairly large so big comfy leggings and a big sweatshirt were perfect. I think I actually lived in them for three weeks.
Snacks and Gatorade. Labour is exhausting. When you’re in it and in the zone you don’t think about it too much. I do think sipping on Gatorade helped give me the energy I needed to keep going and covered for the fact that I hadn’t eaten in almost 12 hours and was now running a marathon of sorts. Afterwards just having a couple of bites of granola bar was again all I needed or had until the next morning when I felt up to eating again.
Special Music Playlist. I’m huge into having certain music linked to big moments in my life so that when I hear them I go back to that place and remember every detail. For example, when we were on the Aran Islands in Ireland and were sitting right next to the ocean watching it crash on the rocks around us I played If I Ever Leave This World Alice by Flogging Molly on my phone next to me. To this day listening to that song takes me back to that place. Music also helps me focus and get into the zone. So I thought I’d make a playlist of songs I would maybe like to listen to at home during early labour and maybe at the hospital. Let’s just say early labour at home there was probably not a single music genre or song on earth that I felt like listening to. I didn’t get any more musically inclined at the hospital. I did have a separate playlist with cute little baby songs that I played when she had finally arrived and we were just cuddling, so that was nice. But yeah, there was no amount of pump up music that could have helped that day.
Onesie Pyjamas for the Baby. Another tip I got from my mom friend (she’s good with the tips) was to bring simple button/zip up onesie pyjamas for bringing the baby home. Before she said this I had picked out an adorable little shirt with pants and a matching hat which I did bring to the hospital along with the recommended pyjamas. Turns out, when it was time to leave the hospital we found ourselves trying to dress our baby for the first time, by ourselves. We were tired and overwhelmed and sure enough the pyjamas were the outfit of choice. We learned that we had no idea how to dress a baby much less pull a shirt over her giant head.
There you have it folks. Those were my top things I actually used or didn’t use for my hospital bags among the other obvious things like granny panties, pads and hair ties.