Seriously – stock up.
Whether a mom spends her recovery at a birthing center or a hospital, one thing is for sure – the room is stocked with supportive items. From extra undies and pads to formula and bottles – the center or hospital usually has it all. While not every mother needs absolutely everything in the room, it can be helpful having access to all the items and products there. It is always helpful being in an environment where medical specialists are available to support you in every way possible.
Even during those embarrassing recovery moments.
Before officially leaving the hospital or center, make sure to stock up. Seriously – stock up. Walking out without taking a full sweep of your recovery room could mean losing out on a lot of beneficial items you and your little one could use. Sometimes grabbing something you’re not sure you’ll use could still be helpful in the long run. You never know what your newborn may need. Your parenting approach may be adjusted due to the baby’s unique needs and that one product or item in the room you didn’t think you’d use may be just what is needed.
On the other side of things, it’s important to realistically bring only what you will need during your recovery. Many moms overpack and regret bringing all the extra duffel bags and backpacks – especially when they have to carry out a car seat with a baby in it on top of all their own gear. Making sure to be realistic when preparing is key – even though being realistic can be hard when the excitement is taking over.
Important Items To Take From The Hospital
20 “I Brought Home The Ice Pack Pads.”
When it comes to the post-delivery healing process, having a way to sooth the soreness is critical. While some people prefer medication, others prefer a more physical approach. Utilizing ice packs, heating pads, and other recommended products can sometimes be a safer way to approach the pain.
If those products are in the recovery room, it can also be beneficial to sneak a few into your bag.
“I brought home the ice pack pads,” says mom of two, Cari Roraback. “I had been sort of squirreling them away right after delivery so the nurse would restock more. They’re wonderful when your stitches are healing since that’s always the most painful time of healing for me.”
19 “The Mesh Undergarments – Take Yours And Your Neighbor’s If She Leaves Them Behind.”
When it comes to your comfort and recovery, making sure you have everything you can to help ease the pain is beneficial. Sometimes, that may mean being a tad sneaky. If you share a recovery room and your neighbor has not yet arrived, it may be helpful to check out what is stocked on that side of the room. When the nurse comes back to find empty drawers, she will simply re-stock for the next roommate. If your roommate just left, dig through all those shelves and bring anything helpful to your side of the space.
“The mesh underwear. Take yours and your neighbor’s if she leaves them behind. And take the numbing spray if they still have that,” explains mama, Rebecca Ames.
18 “We Took The Wipes And Diapers.”
Wipes and diapers become crucial items in a newborn’s house. Those items become even more crucial during the initial days a mom spends with her little one. She is not only getting into a groove with her newborn, she is also figuring out what brands she likes and how to use everything correctly.
Even the most knowledgeable mom can still get puzzled with parenting.
Breanna Yung, mom of one, made sure to grab those critical items from the delivery room before leaving the hospital. She knew that once they ran out of the gifted diapers and wipes, it would be their turn to hand over their paychecks towards these items. Therefore – the more the better.
17 “The First Onesie, Hat, and Swaddle.”
“I made sure to bring home at least the baby items my son used – especially the first onesie, hat, and swaddle, along with our hospital bracelets for the shadow box,” says mom of one, Rachel Golden. “For me, I snatched up the mesh undies and spray bottles. I also brought home the pump parts and the shield that the lactation consultant gave me.”
Sometimes when a new mama is getting ready to head home, they can forget little things like the hat and swaddle that their little one used during the stay.
16 “A Ton Of The Plastic Snap-Top Storage Containers.”
Sometimes you may have an idea of what items you want to snatch before leaving the hospital. However, you may push aside some items you could use later on that don’t seem necessary at that time. In the moment, your mind may be focused on diapers and wipes and pads. Even though thinking outside the baby box can be tough during those initial days and weeks of motherhood, when it comes to grabbing hospital goodies, it can sometimes be beneficial.
“I got a ton of the plastic snap-top storage containers,” says mom of one, Kira Literalee. “They are really handy for freezer storage and once my supply really established, I was glad to have so many. Like, a hundred wasn’t enough at one point.”
15 “Postpartum Mama-Care Goodies.”
“I brought home lots of the pads, sprays, underwear, and other postpartum mama care goodies,” says mom, Breanna Yung. Making sure you stock up on those “mama care goodies” can allow a postpartum mama to feel more relaxed. You wouldn’t think grabbing those extra supplies could turn someone’s mood around.
When you’re a mama just starting that motherhood adventure – you would be surprised.
All moms know a stressful mom isn’t a fully functional mom. Making sure you feel comfortable, clean, and content is important during those initial weeks with your newborn. It’s also very important for mom herself. Making sure she is recovering appropriately with the proper items available makes that recovery a smoother one.
14 “Accidentally Open All the Diaper Packages.”
Many hospitals and centers have the following rule: Take whatever you opened home. Before you are discharged, you must decide, from what you opened, what goes in your bag or what goes in the trash. It’s unfortunate throwing away useful items you won’t use, but other moms could benefit from. Therefore, either be careful with what you open, purposely open everything and take it with you, or leave items behind for the next mom to keep.
“Everything opened must go home,” states mom of two, Stephanie Newman. “So accidentally open all the diaper packages.” When you understand the necessity of diapers, and you discover this necessity fast, you will want to bring all those diapers home with you from the hospital or birthing center.
13 “Two Complete Sets Of Pump Parts And Bottles.”
“As soon as I realized the lactation consultants would provide me with whatever supplies I needed, I stocked up,” says Kira Literalee. “The hospital had a Medela pump and I had a similar one at home so I had two complete sets of the pump parts and bottles, plus extra packets of the little flaps and spare parts.”
When you’re a nursing and/or pumping mama, you make sure to grab all those goodies you can get. Even though breastfeeding does save a little bit when looking at it from a financial viewpoint, it can become pricy if you need to buy new pump parts, shields, and storage containers. Therefore, grab them all while you can in the hospital room.
12 “Hospital Bracelets For The Shadow Box.”
Many moms will search their room for the usual go-to products. However, they may forget those little, important memories – like the hospital bracelets or the name tags on the crib. For moms who like to scrapbook and create keepsake boxes or shadow boxes, grabbing everything the newborn was involved with or wearing is crucial.
Rachel Golden, mom of one, made sure to grab the “hospital bracelets for the shadow box” before being discharged. She wanted to make sure every memory was kept somewhere safe and secure when back home. Those little items can sometimes be overlooked and it’s important to grab them before walking out the door.
11 “We Took Pretty Much Everything That Was Left In The Room.”
“We took pretty much everything that was left in the room: the mesh undies, all the pads, diapers, wipes, formula, the swaddling blankets, hats, pacifiers,” says mom of one, Shelbe Kamholtz. Sometimes, that one item you leave behind may be the one thing you unexpectedly needed. Therefore, grabbing it and stuffing it into that overflowing bag is necessary.
Since all babies are different, moms don’t always know exactly what will be needed during those initial days. That is why it can be beneficial to grab as much as you can from that delivery room while it is still available to you.
Important Items To Bring With You From Home
10 “The Only Thing I Really Used Were Comfy Pants.”
Many moms overpack when they are preparing for their hospital or birth center stay. They will bring way too much and barely touch most of what they pack. Since their main focus is on their new bundle of joy and their recovery, they rarely change into the clothes they bring or take the time they may have set aside to freshen up. Even though some moms do make time for make-up and hair styling, others make comfort their main priority.
“I brought so much stuff to the hospital that I didn’t need,” explains Breanna Yung. “The only thing I really used were comfy pants, Chapstick because it was so dry, a rove, and warm socks.”
9 “A Pillow From Home.”
“I would recommend bringing your own pillow. Hospital ones are so flat,” Kira Literalee suggests. “Spare pillow cases too (or get a ton from the hospital linens) for when you sweat buckets as your hormones are adjusting.”
As those hormones adjust, your comfort changes and adjusts as well since your body is getting used to not having a human being living inside of it anymore. Therefore, having your own pillow can be incredibly helpful when venturing through this adjustment. It often isn’t at the top of a new mama’s “Must Bring” list because they are focusing on everything else. However, making sure that pillow is on there could be what’s needed to finally get some much-needed rest.
8 Don’t Forget That Phone Charger
With everyone being locked into their technology and social media accounts these days, forgetting about your charger is rare. However, when you are in the middle of a chaotic contraction or those hormones are buzzing, you never know what may slip a mama’s mind. Making sure that phone charger is on the top of your list is important. Phones become the main source of communication to loved ones and also are usually what takes those initial baby pictures. Of course, many people still do use cameras. However, phones have become the central desk of many people’s lives (as sad as that may seem).
Though it’s sad, it’s truthful and if a new mama were to forget that charger – her significant other better already be on the road to go get it.
7 “I Only Wore One Pair Of Pyjamas.”
Some people go and pick out the outfit they want to wear during delivery – or at least during their delivery stay. Some will go buy a new shirt or new yoga pants or bring a different outfit for every day (or, in some cases, every few hours). Well, the truth is, what you wear will not be your number one priority – your baby and your comfort will be.
“I only wore one pair of pyjamas and used my shower flip flops (don’t forget those) and toiletry items,” says Shelbe Kamholtz. Don’t push aside the pyjamas. Just because they aren’t fancy or name-brand doesn’t mean they won’t be exactly what you’ll need. You don’t need to pack several outfits when you will probably only wear one.
And that one outfit you wear will probably be the comfiest, oldest outfit you pack.
6 “A Nursing Tank Top And Basketball Shorts.”
“I make sure I have my own clothes since I really dislike hospital gowns,” says Cari Roraback. “During delivery, I wore a soft crisscross bra for easy nursing access and basketball shorts sans underwear. Once the pain gets bad enough, I slip the shorts right off. After delivery, I wear a nursing tank top and basketball shorts with Depends underwear.”
No one ever said delivery, childbirth, and recovery was glamorous. In truth, glamour should be the last thing on your mind during your hospital or birth center stay. You will be focusing on your healing and your little one – not how you look to others.
5 “Don’t Forget The Camera.”
Even though phones are the main source of picture-taking these days, many people still enjoy the clear, crisp pictures cameras take. Cameras can capture intimate, detailed moments that even the most top-notch phones cannot. If you are someone who appreciates photography, you will make sure your camera is packed away safely for your delivery adventure.
“We forgot the camera because my water broke out of nowhere and we hadn’t packed the bags fully,” explains Shelve Kamholtz. “We just grabbed stuff and got in the car. So don’t forget your camera.” Being prepared for anything during that third trimester is important – so make sure that camera is in a place you will remember to grab it from.
4 “A Super Comfy, Stretchy Dress.”
“The thing I appreciated most for my delivery and hospital stay was a super comfy, stretchy dress,” says Kira Literalee. “It had a nursing tank style top and a knee-length skirt that made it easy to stay covered, but not have to deal with underwear or pants when the doctors needed to check me.”
And all moms know, those uncomfortable, yet necessary check-ins happen quite often after delivery.
Finding a comfortable, accessible outfit for the hospital stay is key. Comfort should be the number one focus when it comes to packing the hospital clothing. No, not make-up. No, not hairspray. Comfort. Plain and simple.
3 An Extra Bag For Those Extra Hospital Goodies
Since moms should ransack the delivery room before discharge, they may need an additional bag. Trying to stuff all those extra storage bags or formula containers into the duffel bag and baby bag you brought usually won’t cut it – especially if you are really taking advantage of the situation. You may want to bring an additional duffel bag or backpack to slip those hospital goodies into. This way, your belongings won’t get crammed into your bag and you won’t worry about forgetting something or breaking a pump or bottle when packing up.
It may seem like a bit much when you’re leaving the house for the hospital stay, but when you’re packing up for discharge – you’ll be glad you brought the extra bag.
2 “Mint, Gum And A Toothbrush (And Listerine For Daddy)”
Sometimes labor can take hours. Many moms understand this frustration. Yes, it’s incredibly frustrating for the mother, but it can be even more frustrating when her partner straight-up smells like he hasn’t visited a dentist in a decade.
“Don’t forget mint gum and a toothbrush and Listerine for Daddy,” explains Rebecca Ames. “My husband went to lunch while I waited for baby #2. He had French onion soup – it was so strong on his breath. I can remember saying ‘don’t breathe on me, man. Don’t ‘whoot.’ Get that stink away from me.’ I’m usually a nice lady.”
When it comes to your partner’s stench during delivery, breaking that nice streak is allowed.
One Thing To Avoid Doing
1 Don’t Focus On Making It A “Social Media Moment”
“For some reason, I thought giving birth was going to be this picture-perfect moment,” admits Shelbe Kamholtz. “I brought so much stuff – make-up, hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners, four outfits.”
It may be true that social media has taken over the world, but don’t let it take over delivery.
Walking into a delivery room and thinking about what you will post on Social Media once the baby has arrived has become an almost immediate thought for many. This is simply the world we live in and many people are connected in almost every way to their social media accounts. Even though social media can be a terrific way to stay in touch with loved ones and update others about your life, making it the main focus on your delivery day takes away what really matters: the bond between you and your little one.
References: Statements from “real-life” moms who gave consent to use direct quotes (via Momhood Mayhem and the.write.mama