1. Bring a nightgown. After you give birth, you will probably stay in the hospital gown for a while, but once the doctor is done and you’re all cleaned up, most hospitals will let you change into a gown of your own. You might prefer pajamas with shorts or pants as a bottom, but it might be easier to wear a nightgown. There will be many trips to the bathroom and you won’t be very stable, so pants might be hard to manage. Also, if you’re planning on nursing, be sure to bring pajamas that can work for nursing.
2. Socks are a must. Hospital rooms are generally kept quite cool, and your feet don’t get much circulation during or after birth. So having some warm, comfy socks will be a benefit. Plus, you’ll be walking around trying to help labor, or trying to get to the bathroom after labor, and you won’t walk to walk barefoot on the hospital floor.
3. Baby outfit. You will want to be sure to bring an outfit to bring baby home in and for pictures. Make sure the outfit includes a shirt, pants, socks and a hat.
4. Receiving blanket. These are the only other things you’ll need for baby. The hospital will provide you with plenty of blankets during your stay, but once you are ready to leave, the blankets are not allowed to go with you. It’s a good idea to bring at least five receiving blankets because you will want to roll them up and stuff them around little baby’s head in the car seat. Even with a neck support in the car seat, your baby will still be too little to have any neck support. Be sure to bring a heavy blanket to cover them if you’ll be giving birth during a cold month.
5. Bring a Boppy. This can be one of the best things for you and your baby, if used properly. A Boppy is a C-shaped pillow that has many different uses, the most common one being to aid in nursing. The pillow goes around mommy’s tummy and baby lies on the pillow with mommy’s arm supporting the baby. With this pillow, you don’t have to stuff pillows all around you and under baby to get the right support, it’s already there. This is definitely a wise investment. There are many other uses once the baby gets bigger as well.
6. Clothes to wear home. You’ll want to bring a comfortable outfit that would have fit you when you were six months pregnant. After giving birth, you will be quite swollen and still have most of your baby weight, so don’t expect to fit into ‘normal’ clothes just yet. Bring something that is roomy, comfortable and bigger than you would think you would need.
7. Nursing bra. If you are planning on nursing, you’ll need one of these in the hospital. Some experts suggest getting a bra that is one cup size bigger than what you wore before giving birth. Once your milk comes in, your breasts will get larger and it’s better to have a bra that is too big than too small.
8. Good support is essential. Women have been giving birth since time began, but it’s still one of the most stressful things a human being can go through. It’s also very emotional and taxing. Having someone that you love and trust and that loves and supports you, is always helpful. Whether it’s your husband, sister, mom, dad or best friend, you won’t regret having a good support system there when you need it most.
Laura is a pastor’s wife and mom of five who stays home to raise and home school her children. She enjoys writing, reading and playing the piano in her free time.
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