Packing For Two: What To Pack For Your Hospital Stay

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100_1559The average post-partum hospital stay is 2 days.  What do you need to pack for those days? Read on to see my list.

Going Home Outfit

Although some women are actually able to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes days after giving birth, you probably won’t want to bank on that happening.   While you may not be able to fit into “regular” clothes, the outfit that you wore to the hospital will most certainly not fit either.  Some experts suggest wearing clothing that fit comfortably during your 6th month of pregancy.  If you can not bear to see your maternity clothes at all after giving birth, purchase a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt( or other shirt if it’s warm) a size bigger than you usually wear.  If you don’t like sweatpants, anything with an elastic waistband should be a good bet.

If you’ve retained a lot of fluid, it will take a week or so for your body to flush the water out of your system.  Until then, your feet and hands may swell.  It’s best to bring a pair of adjustable slippers to wear on the ride home.  You may not be able to fit into your shoes!

Items For Baby

Your baby will need a going home outfit and an outfit for pictures.  Usually, you have the option to have your child’s picture taken in the hospital.  This is a great opportunity!

Depending upon the time of year, you may need an outfit with long or short sleeves.  You may need pants too.  If it’s winter or fall, you’ll need a bunting for your baby to wear home. 

Even if it’s warm outside, you’ll still want to get a hat and some socks for your baby’s trip home.  Newborns have a difficult time regulating their body temperature and can lose some heat from their head and feet.  You’ll also want to have lightweight receiving blankets in which to swaddle your baby.

Items For Labor and Delivery

For me, one of the most important things to bring was a soft pair of booties or slippers.  Your feet can get cold during labor!

Because you might not be able to eat or drink during labor, you might want to bring along hard candy or mints to help with nausea.  Even if you never use them, your partner may appreciate them!

Some women like to bring along a CD with inspiring or relaxing music.  Other women like to bring pictures of their family along to help give them an emotional boost during labor.  I’ve known women who have written down positive affirmations or bible verses to help them focus during the more difficult times during the labor process. 

If you haven’t yet decided upon a name, you may wish to bring a name book to read during labor.  It will be a great diversion during labor and let’s face it: if you’ve waited this long to pick a name, you’re time is really running out! Some places won’t let a child leave the hospital if he or she does not have a name; others don’t really mind. 

In addition to this list, your health care provider should give you a list of items to bring.  For example, if you are delivering at a birthing center, you may need to bring along sheets and/or towels. 

DON’T forget to pack a camera or a video recorder! 

 

It’s important to pack early!  I’d suggest packing around the 8th month just to be on the safe side.  That way, you have time to add any last minute items you may have forgotten.  Remember too, even if you’ve forgotten something, you can always ask your partner or another relative to buy or bring you a replacement.  Don’t stress too much about the packing!

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