Like most first time mothers, I over packed for my last labor and delivery. Even with an emergency cesarean and a four day hospital stay; I had far too much in my bag.
This time around, as I aim for a VBAC, I decided to share with you all what I’ve packed in a minimalist fashion for myself and the new baby!
- Clothes to wear while at the hospital! For myself, I simply have a pair of shorts, a pair of very loose leggings, a button up and oversized shirt, and a tank top! I spent most my time in the hospital robe last go around anyway-I’m figuring this won’t be any different.
- Socks and Slippers! My feet are perpetually cold. After horror stories of how hard it was to walk after the first baby, I figured I would spend most my time laying down. However, I am a do-er and sitting still that long was killing me. I was walking the unit about 6 hours after my c-section and my feet were freezing! So I’m making sure to have plenty of socks and a pair of warm slippers this time.
- A going home outfit. I’m personally a big skirt wearer, so I put in a long sleeve, huge shirt and a plain black maxi skirt. We didn’t go right home last time, instead opting to head straight to my parents so my father and mother could see Bug. (For those unaware, this post may update you a little on the situation in that time frame.) In case we choose to do that again, I want to make sure I’m dressed comfortably enough with my personal style. A skirt does that.
- Hair brush and hair pieces!! I highly recommend having your hair in a tight braid or up for birth and the first few days after. My hair tends to knot up fast, so I had my sister french braid it earlier on in labor and it stayed in that braid until I was heading into the OR. She rebraided it when they came to visit the next morning and it helped me so much to have it out of my face.
- Naturally Calm. I swear by this stuff, y’all. I drink it every day. It’s a natural mix of magnesium and calcium, which are two fabulous nutrients that can help with anxiety. For new moms, anxiety is a huge thing. Naturally Calm can also help regulate your bowels-which can cause a problem directly following birth or surgery. Never take any supplement without your doctors approval! I have spoken to my midwives about this and take it on their recommendation, but I am not a doctor and you should talk to your own before starting it!
- Hard Candies. This one was a no brainer for me to pack this time around. Our hospital is amazing with snack foods and providing them, however whenever my mouth would become dry, I craved something other than water and these helped.
- Deodorant and Toothbrush/Paste. These two would be pretty obvious! I am not personally packing other toiletries in my “ready to go” bag because if all goes as planned, I should be home before the first shower! Below I will be sharing what’s in my “in case of another Cesarean” bag though.
- Phone charger. Even if you plan on staying off social media directly after birth, there are a few people that must be called in the next day or so. Labor can also be long and hard. A phone charger is a necessity.
- Sports Bras and Over Sized Underwear. I spared you the sight of my huge granny panties I bought just for this, but know they are under there. I preferred the sports bra for the drive home last time, and again, I was not going straight home, so I felt as though I needed something on!
- My Bible and Affirmations. This is something I personally wanted to bring but is by no means a necessity. I’ve been working on affirmations since my last birth to remember during labor and in case of a cesarean. They’re stored in my Bible, which I am also bringing.
- The “fancy” camera. This one isn’t pictured because I was using it to take the photo! I’m bringing our DSLR so my husband or if anyone else is present, can take some photos of our first few hours with Bear.
- Onesies. I’m bringing four onesies, mainly for the different sizes. One is a newborn, two are 0-3 months, and in case of a huge baby, the final is 3-6 months. Bug was in mostly 0-3 months right away, which is why I went with two of those.
- Sleepers. There are again three for the different sizes! Keep in your prayers that Bear fits into the smaller ones, because mama sure is. This sleeper will be Bear’s going home outfit.
- A Heavy(Heavier) Blanket. Bear is due the third week of March, and up here in western Mass, that means freezing cold temperatures. We don’t put our kids in winter jackets in carseats, so we almost always have a big blanket to drape over them. I thought this one was particularly fitting for our little Bear!
- A Hat! We pack this for the same reason we pack the blanket; warmth. Also, look how cute that hat is, handmade by my great-grandmother!
- A Receiving Blanket. I don’t often cover while nursing, and I nurse as long as the kids want. But for my own personal comfort, I found I preferred to cover a little in the hospital room with strangers walking by every few minutes. This may be different this time, because I have been nursing for 23 months, but just in case, I packed one again. (I had one packed last time because I over packed…I actually had about ten packed!)
In case of a second cesarean, I have ready to go:
- My Laptop/Charger/Kindle/Charger. I’ve seen so many people say you have plenty to do, and maybe it was just me last time around, but I was bored out of my mind with a four day hospital stay. I have all those things listed above in case of another longer stay.
- Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Flip Flops. If I am only in the hospital for 24 hours after birth, I’ll wait until I get home to my very nice, personal shower. But with the longer stay, I ended up needing to shower before we were released. Flip Flops are something I recommend whenever you use a shower that’s been used by quite a few other people. Especially ones who just gave birth. A lot of stuff comes out after birth, y’all.
- My Make-Up Bag. Call me vain, call me insecure, but when you’re in the hospital for a few days, people come and see you. I didn’t mind it at all last time, but it was nice to slap on some mascara or lipstick when people took photos of us.
- My own pillow. Again, one night is nothing. Four nights on those squishy, not so awesome pillows? Those nights are terrible. I sleep with three pillows at home all the time. I want my comfy pillows.
I’ve heard much longer lists, but these are the things I am planning on packing for my second birth! My husband is in charge of his own bag, though his will probably consist of simply his charger-he’ll be coming home in between things and doesn’t need much! Our birthing center is amazing as far as providing drinks and snacks for both of us, so there’s no worries there!
What did you bring to your births? Did we forget anything?