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LABOR & DELIVERY - Packing for the hospital

Ok, Since this is my first baby and my due date is only a few weeks away I have been trying to get everything ready. I was wondering what to pack for the hospital? I did start the babys stuff, which I have a snowsuit, hat and gloves, a few outfits, wipes, binky, blankets, travel pack with lotions and what not, car seat and car seat cover (since its snowing in PA). Now I don't know what I am missing I am sure there are things. And for me I know to take comfy cloths and my personal items, but what am I missing??? Does anyone have a check list?
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replied December 6th, 2008
Experienced User
towel, hospital towels suck, heat pack, anything that willhelp you relax during labour like lavender oils, change of clothes for bath, nappies for baby, camera and batteries/film, things to keep you occupied after birth when baby is sleeping, if bottle feeding bottles and formula and steriliser, snacks like trail mix or dried fruit for energy, phone card, maternity pads, warm socks-your feet will get really cold or at least mine did, water bottle with sipper, its real hard to drink out a cup, asthma inhalers if you have asthma, a list of people you want called straight away coz youll probably forget after the birth, thats all i can think of at the moment
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Users who thank kerryn for this post: gemskimarie 

replied December 6th, 2008
Experienced User
Thank you so much!! That helps alot, I knew there was items I just can't think of especially the camera! lol I really appreciate the reply!
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replied December 7th, 2008
Experienced User
sweet as, i know what its like going in as a first time mum, it was only 5 months ago i was there!
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replied December 7th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
I'm just speaking from my own experience, but that sounds like major over-packing to me. It'd be a good idea to pack a few diapers and wipes, but most hospitals provide those so you might not even need yours. You could probably call and ask if they provide them and save yourself some room in the bag. Also keep in mind that your baby will have his/her umbilical cord still attached, so the outfits you pack should be kind of loose fitting in the front and not rub against it too much.

Speaking of outfits, you don't really need more than one. The hospital will provide clothes for the baby to wear while he/she is there. You really only need a going-home outfit (and even that's not really required, but most parents bring one). You won't need multiple outfits for your baby. Assuming you have an uncomplicated vaginal birth, you won't be in the hospital longer than a day anyway after the baby's born.

Baby toiletries are also provided by the hospital. With my first daughter they sent me home with loads of stuff. Lots of baby shampoo, lotion, a pack and a half of diapers, wipes, one of those booger-sucker bulb thingies, a thermometer... so much other stuff on top of that.

So just speaking from experience, here's what I suggest you bring for your baby's bag:

A going-home outfit
A newborn cap
A thick receiving blanket since you live in PA
Diapers and wipes (I'd call first to see if these are provided)
Camera
Extra batteries
Maybe another memory card just in case

And for you...

Comfortable jammies
A robe
Thick socks
Panties that you don't mind getting ruined
Loose clothing for going home (you're still going to look pregnant)
Toiletries and hairbrush
Phone card/cellphone and a list of numbers to call

The hospital should provide pads for you (but again, you can call and check). The hospital I gave birth at provided these really long pads and a pair of mesh net panties. It was great because I was amazed at how much I bled after giving birth, and I would have leaked over the sides of normal pads (I wouldn't have ever guessed that mattress-sized pads would ever be preferable) and ruined my underwear. In fact, I bled so much that I didn't even wear my own pajamas in the hospital out of fear that I'd accidently ruin them. I just wore the hospital gowns they provided and those awesome mesh panties.

Your hospital should provide tours, and it'd be a great idea to go on one and get an idea of where you'll be delivering and what's available to you. Ask lots of questions and find out exactly what they provide. Overpacking isn't normally a big deal, but a lot of hospitals send new parents home with all sorts of things, so your car is going to be completely packed and you might end up annoyed at yourself. I know I was!
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Users who thank AyaMiyaki for this post: gemskimarie  nightangel73 

replied December 7th, 2008
Experienced User
Well I know he will definitly need the snow suit and hat and gloves and car seat cover because I live near lake Erie and we get lake effect snow all the time. We just got a foot between yesterday and today. As for the outfits I have 3 because I am not sure how big he will be and I want to make sure he will fit, instead of swim in it. I feel like if I don't get this packed now I will just be stressed if my boyfriend trys to pack cuz he can't even go on a trip without me packing his stuff. lol
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replied December 7th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Well definitely pack what you think you'll need! Anything that helps you from feeling anxious is worth it. We have enough on our plates already that every little bit that helps to ease our minds helps! Wink

It'll be interesting though to revisit this thread after you have him so you can tell us how much stuff you actually used that you brought. My personal experience was probably 70% of the stuff I packed I didn't use. I think most first-time moms way overpack and end up looking back and laughing. Definitely nothing wrong with it! Just make sure you have extra room in your car for the goodies the hospital will send you home with and room for gifts, flowers and balloons that friends and family might bring to the hospital.

When are you due?
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replied December 8th, 2008
Experienced User
Oh i am sure I will end up with to much stuff. lol I am only gonna take the essentials for me, cloths, cell charger and camera. I am due Christmas Eve, which seems to stress me more cuz all I can think is that I will go into labor at a family function. lol
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replied December 8th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
I can sympathize. I'm due on the 27th. I'm supposed to be induced on the 22nd if I don't go into labor on my own before that, and I'm kind of nervous about being sore and engorged on Christmas Day with family.

Is your doctor checking your cervix? Are you dilated at all yet?
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replied December 8th, 2008
Experienced User
So you are in the same boat as me with the holidays! Its such a hard time of year because its Christmas and so many people are so busy and family comes home to visit. But he did check me the last 2 appts cuz I was having preterm labor. He said the babys head is sitting in position and thats why I feel extreme pressure all the time, and that I am 2cm dialted as of last Monday. I actually have another appt today at 3 so I would love for him to say, go to the hospital this babys coming but that won't happen. lol
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replied December 8th, 2008
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The different sized clothes is a good idea. I had to send my sister to buy smaller outfits for Reyna because even the smallest newborn clothes I had swallowed her. I stayed less than 48 hours, but I wasn't about to take my baby out into the real world in a diaper. Our hospital wouldn't let us take ANYTHING home with us short of the baby and a handful of diapers! Wouldn't even let us take their blanket or little shirt!
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Users who thank care_free for this post: gemskimarie 

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replied December 8th, 2008
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That's so strange! They wouldn't let you take her home in her shirt or hat? We still have Alyvia's shirt, hat and blanket from the hospital in her keepsake box. I guess that hospital is cracking down on expenses and is recycling the newborn baby clothes. What a shame!

Gem: Yeah, that's one reason why I'm really wanting to have my baby before Christmas. Our family gets together one time a year, and I really want them to meet Victoria. It'd be such a shame for them to miss meeting her by just a few days, and have to wait a whole year to meet a one year old. Christmas day probably won't be fun with me fresh out of the hospital, but it means a lot to me for our family to meet Victoria.

It's a good sign that you're already dilated! I was checked last Thursday and wasn't dilated at all. I'm trying to stay active by staying on my feet, moving around, walking a lot and of course having sex. Hopefully that'll start things moving soon!
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replied December 8th, 2008
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in NZ, they dont provide anything, you have to take everything you could possibly need and new mums normally have to stay in overnight, hence why my list was so long, i used everything i took.
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replied December 8th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Every hospital is different. That's why it's a good idea to take a hospital tour and to ask questions. Find out what your hospital will and won't provide so you're not unprepared or severely overpacked. It's better to err on the side of caution, but I know if my husband and I had taken my car instead of his jeep home from the hospital, we wouldn't have had room for all the things we were bringing home. Our hospital gave us lots of things on top of our luggage and the baby's luggage, on top of flowers, balloons and gifts from friends.
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replied December 8th, 2008
Experienced User
I'm due next week so I was just talking to my doula about this on the weekend when she came over.

I don't know what kind of delivery your planning on having but here are a few things I could think of that I have packed that I didn't see anyone mention.

Slippers (if you plan on walking the halls)

Hard candies/lollipops (for when your in labour)

I'm bringing Gatorade/Powerade mix so as not to get dehydrated. They offer water/orange juice/apple juice at the hospital but water makes me want to throw up when i feel sick and both the juices are pretty acidic. Its good for keeping your electrolyte and sugar levels up as a source of energy when your exhausted.

A pillow!

Yoga mat

Nursing Bra (if you plan on breastfeeding)

Birthing ball (my doula is bringing one for me)

Flip flops! Incase you want to stand in the shower while your in labour or even for after you give birth.

My Ipod

Thats all i can think of that wasn't mentioned. I'm bringing a snowsuit and whatever else as well because I live in Toronto and theres a fair amount of snow here as well.

Good luck!
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Users who thank _tanya_ for this post: gemskimarie 

replied December 8th, 2008
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AyaMiyaki wrote:
That's so strange! They wouldn't let you take her home in her shirt or hat? We still have Alyvia's shirt, hat and blanket from the hospital in her keepsake box. I guess that hospital is cracking down on expenses and is recycling the newborn baby clothes. What a shame!

Gem: Yeah, that's one reason why I'm really wanting to have my baby before Christmas. Our family gets together one time a year, and I really want them to meet Victoria. It'd be such a shame for them to miss meeting her by just a few days, and have to wait a whole year to meet a one year old. Christmas day probably won't be fun with me fresh out of the hospital, but it means a lot to me for our family to meet Victoria.

It's a good sign that you're already dilated! I was checked last Thursday and wasn't dilated at all. I'm trying to stay active by staying on my feet, moving around, walking a lot and of course having sex. Hopefully that'll start things moving soon!



Well I went to the Drs appt today, still only 2cm. But I guess at least I didn't go back any. lol They did find protein in my urine and are watching preeclampsia, my bp was a little higher but not bad, but I told him I noticed my legs swelling , seeing floaties, and having headaches alot. I know all the signs of it and I have almost all of them. He told me to take my bp everytime I get the headaches or see the floaties. He really didn't seem concerned though because my bp wasn't in the "red" zone. I really hope to see our baby boy before Christmas, I did mention to the doc about inducing and he said only if my bp gets out of control, he told me to hang in there. lol Its just tough waiting and worrying but I am not gonna stress myself. I guess I will be jumping on board with the whole sex thing too. Some people swear by it so we will see.

Hopefully you will have yours by Christmas too! Even if you do just get out of the hospital, I think it helps when you are feeling cruddy to be around family during such a cheery season, its like its the best medicine as dumb as that sounds. lol Thats my conern to is all the family not getting to meet him untill later. Plus my brother has custody of his girls, but they will be flying out the 22nd and don't come back till the 2nd of Jan and I really want them to see him after he is born because they have been so excited my whole pregnancy I would hate for them not to be here.
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replied December 8th, 2008
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care_free wrote:
The different sized clothes is a good idea. I had to send my sister to buy smaller outfits for Reyna because even the smallest newborn clothes I had swallowed her. I stayed less than 48 hours, but I wasn't about to take my baby out into the real world in a diaper. Our hospital wouldn't let us take ANYTHING home with us short of the baby and a handful of diapers! Wouldn't even let us take their blanket or little shirt!



Wow thats really horrible they wouldn't let you take anything. I am definitly gonna check and see because the economy is in the dumps and they may get tight with stuff if they haven't already.

Yeah the 3 outfits I have are newborn but one looks tiny and the other two are just a bit different so I figure I should have something for him. But if I have a baby like my sister newborn won't even fit. lol She seems to have toddler size babys!!
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replied December 8th, 2008
Experienced User
Tanya~

Good luck to you too! And thanks for the info I didn't think about the nursing bra, I def need to get some because I plan on trying to breastfeed. You must be excited you are due next week!! How fun! Good Luck with your little one!!
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replied December 9th, 2008
Man some of you guys were sure lucky at the hospital, I didnt get anything from them, just like care_free said! So that is definitely a good idea to check with the hospital. If you think you might have a little bit of a bigger baby than normal I would suggest bringing a couple of size 1 diapers. My hospital only had the newborn or premie diapers on hand for the first day that I was in after having my son, and he was 10 lbs and the newborn ones were quite snug on him so my hubby had to run out and pick up a pack of size 1's. But like Aya suggested it would be best to ask the hospital that you're delivery at. I ended up staying in for 2 days after having him, and I had a regular vaginal delivery, but they mentioned something about first-timers having to stay longer than 1 day usually just to make sure everything was good and there was no clotting or any of that stuff Very Happy
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replied December 9th, 2008
kerryn wrote:
towel, hospital towels suck, heat pack, anything that willhelp you relax during labour like lavender oils, change of clothes for bath, nappies for baby, camera and batteries/film, things to keep you occupied after birth when baby is sleeping, if bottle feeding bottles and formula and steriliser, snacks like trail mix or dried fruit for energy, phone card, maternity pads, warm socks-your feet will get really cold or at least mine did, water bottle with sipper, its real hard to drink out a cup, asthma inhalers if you have asthma, a list of people you want called straight away coz youll probably forget after the birth, thats all i can think of at the moment

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