4 Surprising Items For Your Hospital Bag

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Your due date is quickly approaching and you’re starting to wonder if you have everything you need for the big day. You’ve packed the obvious essentials—toothbrush, baby clothes, shower shoes—but is there something you’re forgetting?

 

While you’re focused on utility, and you certainly don’t want to overpack, there’s something to be said for making sure you are comfortable, too. Here are my top three items for making your birth and postpartum experience away from home a little more cozy, plus a practical item you may have overlooked!

 

1.     Comfortable clothes with easy access

            A lot of people bring a spare set of clothes or two to wear home from the hospital or birthing center, but there are a few details that often slip their minds: comfortability, accessibility, and postpartum sizing.

            First, you’ll want clothes that will be comfortable and easy to move in, and that can be worn well with postpartum pads or diapers since you will be wearing one or the other for a few days to even a few weeks after birth. If you’re having a cesarean, you’ll also want to think about where your waistband will sit—you don’t want something abrasive against your incision for the trip home.

            You’ll also want your clothes to allow for easy access to what’s beneath them. If you change prior to being officially discharged, your nurses may still want to massage your uterus, and if you’ve had a cesarean they may want one last peek at your incision. If you’re nursing, you also want to be able to easily access the food source!

 

2.     A comfort item from home

            While we focus a lot on the practical items to bring to the hospital, there is a lot of value in bringing the things you love, too. Whether it’s a favorite pillow or blanket, a cozy robe or special soap, or even a nightlight, the little details can make a big difference in your overall experience. You should feel safe and comfortable, so bring the items that create that type of environment for you!

 

3.     Your favorite music

            On a similar note, comfort items aren’t the only way you can affect your birth environment: consider bringing some tracks you love to play during the labor and delivery, or even postpartum while you’re resting and bonding with your baby. Music can help you relax, and also serve as the soundtrack for all of the memories you’re creating in the process.

 

4.     Electrolyte drink

            Labor is a lot of work: it’s important to stay hydrated! However, while you’ll obviously be encouraged to drink water, water is not all that is lost when you’re working up a sweat—you also lose electrolytes, which are important for several nerve and muscle functions, among other things. Tossing a few electrolyte beverages or drink packets into your birth bag can help you ensure you’re staying hydrated and balanced, and functioning at your best when it matters most. I really like Emergen-C for its combination of electrolyte and immunity-boosting Vitamin C, but definitely talk to your doctor about the best options for you!

 

I hope this list support you in building your best birth experience! Happy birthing!