stripped from the waist down, fiddling with the sheet of paper that was draped over my legs. As I sat there, 38 weeks pregnant, my swollen feet losing circulation from hanging over the table, thoughts raced through my mind.
A blur of commotion from the nurses was going on beside me as I stared blankly at a wall in disbelief of the news I was just given, I was dilated to 3.5 cm and my baby was coming.
Panic had taken over, I wasn’t ready for this, I still had to pack my bag! My baby cannot be coming, I still had two weeks left to prepare. My voice cracked, as my tone escalated. “You’re joking right?” I asked my doctor and sort of laughed with a sense relief. “He’s kidding” I told my husband, with false assurance, who was quickly going white as a ghost.
The doctor grabbed my hands, looked me in the eyes, and gave me a soft smile, to comfort my racing, panicking mind. “I am not joking, your baby is coming tonight and you’re going to do great. Go on up to the delivery room and I’ll meet you there.”
No one can really fully prepare you for this moment. As you can see, I was clearly not prepared. The nurses took me into the delivery room and handed me a gown. Before closing the bathroom door to change, I sent my husband home to grab what ideally should have been an already packed hospital bag.
Luckily, I did plan ahead and had a bag packed and ready for my baby-which you can find the list here, but I had not yet finished packing my own bag. I gave him a list of hospital bag necessities and sent him off.
To save you from this feeling of panic, I have comprised a list of the necessary, must-have items for the big day. Learn from me and pack your bag at the recommended 35-week mark and you will be more than ready to meet your little one with confidence and peace of mind.
#1 – Rubber Spiral Hair Ties
Ladies, these are an absolute must. When the time comes to push that baby out, you are not going to have time to bother with a veil of hair over your face. These were the best thing I brought with me. Having my hair pulled back off my sweaty forehead, not only made me more comfortable but I felt more put together and able to get that baby out with more control.
Whether you are having a natural birth or a C-Section, hair ties are a necessity. Now, I know most of you aren’t thinking about vanity when it comes to labor and delivery, but coming from experience, there will be pictures taken. Call me vain, but I wanted to at least look decent when the cameras made their appearance, so in order to avoid creases in my hair from an elastic band, I used a rubber spiral hair tie.
These are one of the best inventions, and I want to give a major shout out to whoever created these lovely hair holders. Once my baby was born, and my mom whipped out her camera, I simply took my hair tie and voilå, my hair looked as if I had just straight ironed it, crimp free.
Having hair ties in your hospital bag may seem simple and could go without saying, but the rubber-spiral-crease-free ties, are a must-have item for me, and they will be the first thing I pack for all of my future deliveries.
#2 – Dry Shampoo
For anyone who hasn’t discovered the beauty of dry shampoo, I am about to change your life. This stuff is gold. Dry shampoo is an everyday necessity for me, but especially in the delivery room. I’ll be real honest here, after having an eight pound baby, an episiotomy, and several stitches, standing in a shower to wash my hair was the last thing I wanted to do.
During my hospital stay, it saved my life. I was in quite a bit of pain during my recovery so avoiding the hassle of washing my hair took a big load off my shoulders. It’s not only convenient but it keeps your hair looking as fresh as the first day wash, and leaves your hair feeling soft, silky and healthy. It comes in a variety of different scents and they all smell amazing!
If you can’t tell, I am a huge advocate of dry shampoo and this will always be at the top of my packing list, not only for the hospital but for any traveling occasion.
#3 – Make Up Removal Wipes
As far as a vanity goes in a hospital room, it’s safe to say there aren’t many options. After hours of labor, any make up you previously had on your eyes, is probably half-way down your cheeks by the end. A quick clean up is a necessity for a tired momma, when the cameras come out.
Make up removal wipes are the easiest way to safely and easily remove any make up that has smeared from the sweaty endeavor of child birth. They erase the hassle of bending over a sink and scrubbing your face for ten minutes, when all you really want to do is sleep. And let’s be honest, if you’ve had an epidural, you aren’t walking over to any sink anytime soon.
These wipes are easy, compact, and can be used from the comfort of your hospital bed. I also use these wipes as part of my daily make up removal routine. They work so well and keep the scrubbing time to a minimum. Be sure to place these at the top of your packing list.
#4 – Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray
Two words: numbing spray. You can thank me later mommas. If you’ve just had a natural delivery, this little spray-can is about to become your new best friend. After having an episiotomy, the after care is less than enjoyable, but with Dermoplast, recovery was definitely more bearable.
Depending on your hospital, they may or may not provide you with a can of this spray. I say, pack a can just in case, because you will be happy you had it. Plus, having an extra can won’t hurt, I used a lot of this stuff after I had my daughter. In fact, for the first three days of recovery, this little can was my lifeline.
It provides instant relief and helps with the healing process, it’s a definite must for any natural delivery.
#5 – Depends Adult Diapers
Okay mommas, I know what you must be thinking, have I lost all sense of dignity? The short answer is maybe. Resorting to adult diapers is anything but glamorous, and I’m not here to sway your opinion on that, however, I will never pack my hospital bag without including these beauties ever again.
In fact, these were one of the best items I could have ever bought in preparation for labor and delivery. Something, I wished people had mentioned to me before I gave birth, was the type of aftercare products the hospital provides for you. To give you an idea, the panties (if you can even call them that) they give you, are far from anything out of a Victoria’s Secret catalog, and the pads are more of a landing strip for an airplane.
Adult diapers, on the other hand are more discrete, easy to manage and eliminate the hassle. Instead of messing around with layering a giant pad, and underwear the size of a tent, Depends Underwear condensed the process, and actually allowed me to wear pants with some sense of dignity (as much dignity as you can have wearing a diaper).
I swear by these and will always be sure to keep plenty in my bag, the next time I’m in the delivery room.
*I had a natural delivery, and these were great for me during my after care process, however, I cannot say how beneficial these are for post C-section recovery.
Peace of Mind with Preparation
If I’m being honest, I was scared out of my mind when the doctor told me I was going to have my
baby that night, but my sense of uncertainty was eased knowing I was prepared, and had everything I needed for my hospital stay. I am an anxious person with an incessant need to be in control, so planning for what I can, when things are out of my control, brings me comfort.
All of these items will forever be part of my hospital bag necessities for any future deliveries I have. I love hearing from other momma’s on what they packed, or things that helped make their hospital stay more enjoyable, so please leave any suggestions in the comments below, I look forward to hearing your ideas!
I have also created a complete printable packing checklist for mom, dad, and baby which you can find here.