When it comes to packing your birth bag, plan early! Babies never seem to arrive on schedule, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. While there is no end to the list of possible items you may choose to bring, these are the top 5 survival needs no new mommy can live without.
1. Comfortable clothes
Depending on the circumstances of your child’s birth, and your insurance plan, you may likely remain in the postpartum ward for up to 4 days. During this time, you may not want to rely on someone else to choose your attire.
The day after giving birth, I asked my husband to bring me some comfortable clothes to wear around the hospital, grateful to no longer wander the Arctic halls like a nudist in a smock. He returned with a pair of oversized sweatpants and a knee-length Corona Extra t-shirt we had drunkenly purchased from a homeless man years ago. I still have no idea where he even found that shirt, bypassing dozens of cute and appropriate pajama options to leave me greeting friends and relatives dressed like a hungover fraternity boy spring breaking in Cabo.
After days of being chained to IVs and monitors, I literally begged the nurses to let me take a shower, just so I could shave my legs. Nothing makes you feel human again faster than a hot shower, so be sure and pack all the items you need to feel clean and refreshed.
3. Heavy flow pads and comfortable underwear
If I was in charge of postpartum care in hospitals, I would supply each room with a pack of Depends. The fact is, the mesh underwear and dish cloth sized maxi pads you’re given to work with only make a bad situation worse. Tampons are not allowed for at least a month after giving birth, so plan ahead and pack a box of your favorite brand of feminine pads and plenty of changes of underwear.
4. Phone charger
Nothing is worse than being out of communication with friends and family, especially during a stay in the hospital, so keeping your phone charged is a must.
5. Extra blankets/pillows
Hospitals are freezing, and the wafer of a pillow they give you is hardly enough to get comfortable on a rock-hard gurney/bed. My husband and I were absolutely miserable until I sent him home to bring back as many pillows and blankets as he could carry. Also, keep in mind that hospital beds are not meant to sleep two comfortably, so have your partner plan ahead to be spending the night in a recliner or cot.