Essential 10: What to Pack for the Hospital when Having a Baby ...

What to Pack for the Hospital when Having a Baby is an important consideration for all new parents, especially moms-to-be. When a new mother-to-be is preparing for her stay in the hospital, knowing what to pack for the hospital when having a baby can be overwhelming. There are so many things you could pack, but how many of those things do you really need? What does the hospital provide for you? Will you forget the one thing you need most? Never fear! Your Essential 10: What to Pack for the Hospital When Having a Baby is listed in this article! Read and prepare for you special hospital visit!

1. Comfort

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When considering what to pack for the hospital when having a baby, packing for comfort is essential. If you have something at home that brings you extra comfort when in distress or pain, pack it in your bags. For some women, this is their own pillow or something of the baby's they like to concentrate on. Other women tend to simply need the loving support of their mother or husband beside them. Whatever your comfort item is, labor calls for it, trust me! Whatever you do, though, don't stuff your hubby in your overnight bag...he may come in handy before then!

2. Heat

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With all the medical items around, the one thing that helps a lot of women out in labor is scarce to come across in a delivery ward - a heating pad. If you are desiring a natural birth, and you experience any back labor, your heating pad will become your best friend in your hours of labor. Some women choose the good ol' electric heating pad, which works well, but does limit your ability to move around. Another heating option is rice bags or rice socks. You can make one by simply getting a tube sock, filling it with rice and knotting the end, or if you're good with a sewing machine, you can fashion a fabric tube of material whatever size you desire, fill with rice and sew the end together. The nurses can occasionally heat it in the microwave for you, but rice socks will usually hold their heat for several hours and will give you optimal movement.

3. Housecoat

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If you're thinking about what to pack for the hospital when having a baby, some simple items are hugely important, but they might slip your mind. Usually, as labor progresses, you become less and less worried about your personal modesty and more about getting the baby out - no matter who sees. However, before that moment comes, and after it's all over, you're going to want to cover your behind since those hospital gowns tend to not leave much to the imagination. If you want to walk the halls during early labor, or get up to go the the restroom in a room crowded with guests, you will surely want your housecoat handy. (Unless, of course, you choose to take the next item in the list...)

4. Gown(s)

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For a natural birth, most hospitals will permit you to give birth in your own gown if you prefer. Just be warned, giving birth isn't the cleanest thing, so it's not wise that you do so in your new gowns. Whether you give birth in your own gown or not, I do recommend taking your own gown to wear for the remainder of your hospital stay. They're much more comfortable and allow the coverage on both front and back. Plus, if you're breastfeeding, a breastfeeding nightgown will make it much easier to nurse than having to basically disrobe just to feed your baby.

5. Undies

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Underwear is just as important as outerwear when you're preparing what to pack for the hospital when having a baby. For the first few hours after giving birth, your hospital will probably provide you with a gauzy, disposable pair of undies to wear, along with a huge pad. Yeah, not very glamorous, but I don't think, at that point, you'll not mind too much. However, after that, you may prefer to wear your own underwear for the remainder of your hospital stay. If so, pack several pairs, as you will be prone to leaks here and there. At the very least, pack one pair for your trip home.

6. Extra Bras

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Even if you're not intending on breastfeeding, your breast will naturally begin the milk making process, so you'll want to have a couple bras, just in case you should leak. Something as simple as your baby crying will signal your body's natural cycle, making your milk "let down." If you're breastfeeding, it's all the more important for you to take extra bras, as the first few days of breastfeeding is a learning experience for both mother and baby. Make sure you bring nursing pads as well. It seems to me, the ones at the hospital didn't seem to work well with me, so you may want to have the option to use your own if you don't like theirs.

7. Hair & Makeup Things (and a Toothbrush!)

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Certain cosmetics can also be important things to consider when you're preparing what to pack for the hospital when having a baby. Many mothers do enjoy being able to fix themselves up a bit before much company arrives. The hospital does provide soap and shampoo for a shower, but after that, you're on your own. You will need your hairbrush, makeup and any other personal hygiene products of your choice. Make sure you remember your toothbrush and toothpaste! Baby will sure enjoy his Mommy's kisses much more if you do! But not to worry, you will have just accomplished an amazing and quite exhausting job, so nobody expects you to look like a beauty queen so soon. Save the major makeovers for later on and concentrate on getting pampered and soak up the rest! You're going to need it!

8. Going Home Duds

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Choose your going home outfit wisely. Though I applaud the gusto of a woman who would try to leave the hospital in her designer jeans, I wouldn't suggest it. Instead, choose something loose and comfy. The stretchy maternity things you wore while still pregnant is most recommended. Your tummy will not like being cramped up in jeans or anything else tight for a little while yet. Be patient - your time to once again shine as a fashionista will come soon enough.

9. Diaper Bag

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No, you're not going to need to bring your own diapers and wipes. The hospital will provide as many as you need for your hospital stay. However, I packed my diaper bag with my baby's going home outfits (2 different sizes to make sure I had one to fit - I chose preemie and newborn since mine was measuring small, but if you're definitely having a bigger baby, you will probably want to go with newborn and 0-3 months), some blankets for the carseat (which you also need to have already installed in your vehicle), a camera (for all those beautiful moments), tiny socks for tiny feet and whatever else I felt I needed at the time. Although the hospital does provide gowns for your baby to wear during your stay, some mothers choose to take their own "cute sleepers" instead, so you might want to think about that when you're figuring out what to pack for the hospital when having a baby. This is ok, if you choose to do this. Just don't forget them at the hospital! Oh, and by the way, by taking my diaper bag for these few things, I had the bag to pack stuff in to take home too!

10. Wallet

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Last, but certainly not least, you at least need to take your wallet, if not your entire purse. You're going to have to have your I.D. and insurance card (if you have one) to get admitted. The only way around this is if your hospital offers pre-registration for pregnant women. If so, you can go and pre-register for your hospital stay at your convenience. If you do have this option, it is much better. My first time, I was a pathetic sight at 11 p.m. My hair was a mess, amniotic fluid was puddling at my feet, the entire E.R. was filled with people...and there I stood having to register myself and wait to be taken upstairs. Never will that happen again, trust me! I'm pre-registered this round, girls!

Knowing what to pack for the hospital when having a baby is so important, and have a list ahead of time is so helpful. You will encounter different women who will have different things they think you aught to pack for the hospital when having a baby. Just remember that, when it comes down to it, what to pack for the hospital when having a baby is totally up to you, but getting other ideas is helpful. Some are great ideas, such as your boppy pillow for feeding baby and others, in my opinion, not so great like a razor and shaving cream. Really? After just giving birth? Forget it! I'll be stubble legged for a few days! However, many things are completely optional and not necessary for a decent stay at the hospital. Stick to the Essential 10 of what to pack for the hospital when having a baby and you'll be set for the hospital stay that will change your life forever and help you to bring a new life into the world. But what do you think? Is there an item you think more essential than the ones mentioned? If so, please feel free to comment and let us know!

Top Photo Credit: healthywomanusa.com

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