Do you need to bring very much with you to the hospital? Nah – the only essential is yourself! But there are some items that will make your stay easier. Here are a few things I wish I had brought when I had my third baby…and a few things I’m glad I didn’t forget!
You would think that by the time I had baby #3, I would know exactly what to pack in my hospital bag.
I didn’t bring a lot this time, and honestly, I didn’t even use a lot of what I DID bring.
However, there were a few items that, in hindsight, I wish I would have brought along. They are items I didn’t even think about with my first two, but once I got home from the hospital with Andrew I thought, “why didn’t I bring that?!”
There are all sorts of lists out there sharing what you should bring…but today, I’m focusing on a few things I WISH I’d brought…and then a few things I’m grateful I decided to throw in my bag.
Be sure to comment on something you loved having or wish you’d brought.
Thank you to Babbleboxx and their partners for collaborating with us on this post.
The pin for this says five…but I added a sixth after it was published. I promise I can count!
My own nipple cream
When I first started nursing Andrew, he seemed to take on really well, and I didn’t feel any pain.
Then day two came along, and it became apparent that pain was going to happen. We ended up discovering he had a tongue and lip tie later, which is why the pain kept getting worse. But I wish I had brought my own nipple cream to the hospital to help with some of the pain there.
The hospital usually provides a product with lanolin, which I don’t like to use. I wish I would have brought one that I know works well for me. Mustella’s Nursing Comfort Balm is a great brand that would have been so nice to have on hand!
It’s lanolin-free and not only does it ease discomfort, but it helps to moisturize and protect nipples. It has vitamin E and is fragrance and dye-free.
Even if your child has a perfect latch, there is often some initial soreness in the beginning. Having a good quality nipple cream can make a world of difference.
Get 20% off anything on the Mustela website with the code CLARKS20 through February 28th, 2020.
When I was in the hospital, I would just go with whatever supplies they had for postpartum bleeding, along with the lovely mesh undies, and it seemed to work well.
The hospital I delivered at this time, though, had THE worst postpartum pads ever. They didn’t stick to anything, and I kept leaking everywhere (TMI, I know). It was so frustrating!
I had heard other ladies rave about Depends for postpartum bleeding, so I picked some up for when I got home.
Life. Changing. The Discrete ones are super comfortable, and there was no concern for leaks. I kept thinking how much I wish I had just brought some to the hospital – it would have made for a much better experience. And I preferred them over anything else I had used at home with my other kids.
My Own Pillow
Forrest suggested this before we left, and I’m so glad he did.
Pillows at the hospital are THE worst. I spent a few hours in labor and delivery around 33 weeks, and I could not get comfortable.
I have a Purple pillow, and it’s my favorite pillow I’ve ever had. It made things so much more comfortable, and I was able to rest a little bit easier. Now if I only I could have brought my own bed…the one I was on was in the surgical ward, so it moved every 10 minutes to prevent clots or something. I hated it!
Swaddling is something I really struggle with – and those blankets they use at the hospital are near impossible for me to use!
Andrew has LOVED being swaddled really tightly from day one, and that was no different in the hospital. He would keep stirring awake and being super restless whenever I would swaddle him with one of the hospital blankets, and I felt silly asking the nurses to do it every time I needed it done.
I got some really nice knit swaddles this time around, and I started using them as soon as we got home. They were so, so much easier to use, and Andrew loves them. I will definitely bring my own next time!
When you give birth, you are often given a peri bottle to help clean yourself after using the restroom, as it can be a bit abrasive to use regular toilet paper for a while.
The bottle they give in the hospital is never my favorite, but it’s a necessary evil. I discovered the Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle after I came home from the hospital, and it SO much better. It is more of a gentle spray from multiple holes, rather than one rather intense squirt.
Frida Mom has all sorts of great “upgraded” postpartum supplies, like disposable underwear, ice packs, etc. Definitely buying some of these next time around!
Before I tell this story, remember this – I was EXHAUSTED. I had literally been awake for almost 48 hours at this point.
I could not figure out how to turn off one of the lights in my room, and neither could Forrest. We looked everywhere, and we couldn’t figure it out. In hindsight, we should have called the nurse right away, but I felt dumb and just dealt with it until she came in for rounds a few hours later.
Even after we figured out the lights situation, I had such a hard time blocking out all the lights from under the door, machines, etc., I had used a sleeping mask a lot when I was pregnant, and I wish I had thrown it in my hospital bag. Sleeping in a hospital is not a fun experience, but I think that would have helped me have a *little* bit more restful sleep.
What I am glad I brought
My own recovery gown
In the past, I just embraced the lovely hospital gowns. But this time, I decided to bring along something that might be a little more comfortable in recovery.
I wore the hospital gown during labor, because…yuck. I had no desire to clean all the products of birth off of that afterward (especially after I threw up afterward).
But I was SOO glad I had it during the recovery time in the hospital. I had so many issues with the gown they issued – I kept flashing everyone, and it was so hard to button up.
My mom got me a nightgown that has snaps that make it easy for IV access, nursing, etc. I got several compliments on it in the hospital, and I felt so much more comfortable. I highly recommend it.
Here are some great hospital gown options!
I went braless in labor with my first and second, but I really liked having a bra while I labored this last time.
It was also really nice to have in postpartum to have a little more support. It’s a good idea to have one that doesn’t have any metal or clasps, so a nice sleep bra is awesome.
Playtext Nursing Bras are a great option – they are designed with comfort and support in mind, and they can be used in pregnancy and nursing.
Their Cross Over Sleep Bra is super comfortable, and it’s a great option for labor and delivery. The Shaping Foam Underwire bra isn’t probably something you want to wear in labor, but it’s great for when you go home!
Something to Suck on
I choose to get an epidural during labor, and because of that…I can’t eat!
I also had Gestational Diabetes, so I couldn’t really have apple juice or popsicles during labor either as I’d had with previous babies.
My mouth got really dry, and I felt like I got nauseated because I wasn’t able to get any sustenance. I found out later I could have brought in my own candies to suck on – and I wish I had.
Next time around, I’ll definitely be throwing some in my bag. I might put a bag of these lozenges from UpSpring Baby. Maybe they would have helped with the nausea I experienced!
They are fast-acting and natural for nausea, morning sickness, gas, and bloating. They are made with ginger, spearmint, lemon, and vitamin B6. They are very mild flavor, but I think they would have been super helpful!
My own toiletries
Most (but not all) hospitals will provide basic toiletries like shampoo, body wash, and maybe even tooth paste.
However, I never find them to be very good quality…and the first shower after giving birth is HEAVENLY. Don’t be afraid to bring a few items to pamper yourself with – including your own toiletries.
I brought a toothpaste that I loved, a body wash that smelled fantastic, face wash that I knew worked well with my skin, and shampoo and conditioner that I knew would make my hair look fresh and clean after the long hours of labor.
It would have been nice if I had brought LiftActiv Peptide-C Ampoule Serum with me for a little post-birth pampering. It’s not uncommon to have rather puffy skin after giving birth – and maybe even have some broken blood vessels. You can see some effects immediately, which would be nice post-birth!
At the end of the day, none of these items are essential – and the most important thing is that you and baby are healthy. However, these items can make labor and delivery a little more pleasant.
I have been touched as I’ve learned about the “Love Without Boundaries” international charity that brings hope and healing to orphaned and vulnerable children. These babies are born into less than ideal circumstances, often without the comforts of modern-day hospitals that most of us are lucky enough to have.
They help change the lives of these children through their work, and it’s humbling to see how much they can do – especially with our help! As I think back on my labor and delivery experience, I am grateful for all the modern conveniences and help that we have – and it makes me want to do my part to help lessen the burden and difficulties these children encounter simply by being born.
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Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.