Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hospital checklist

I've been meaning to compile a list of what to pack
in your hospital bag for when you head in to the L&D room
for quite some time now.

While you may be tempted to bring crosswords, DVD's, etc.
(I was!), let me be frank in telling you - 
you will not have the time (or mind-frame) for such ridiculous nonsense.
They do not call it "Labor" for no reason.
Even that special playlist you compiled will likely be an annoying distraction.
You's about to do work, mama.
I'm just sayin'.

So before I forget, 
(seriously, how have 20 weeks already gone by?!?!)
here is what I think you really  need in your suitcase...

During labor:

Realistically, this is "go-time"...all you really need is your spouse by your side
and his/her hand to hold. 
But a couple of other things I found to be wonderful were...

Lip balm
All that breathing and pushing leaves you feeling d-r-y.

Water bottle (like this one) go with the ice chips you will insist that your husband go fetch you.

Hair ties + Headband

And ask your RN to have
tissues, cool rags, heat packs, & a puke bucket at the ready!

It is never to soon to inquire about an epidural. 
I had planned on going au natural, 
but know that for first-time laborers,
it will likely take awhile (me = 19+ hours)
to actually push that beautiful baby out.
And if you have any back labor,
you'd be certified crazy not to go for this modern medicine marvel.
And up until you make a decision, don't be ashamed
to assume whatever position makes you comfortable...
no matter how ridiculous you look. 
I wonder if there are any photos of me on all-fours out there?!?

After labor:

Burt's Bees face wipes
So damn refreshing! And easier than hobbling to the bathroom.  These will also come in handy the first two weeks you are at home and can't fathom a more-involved hygiene routine.  (More on that special period of time in another post.)

Nipple cream
Like this one or this one.  Apply it after EVERY breastfeeding.

And be sure to ask your nurse for the special ice diapers.  Bring some home.

Take them as often as you can to stay on top of any discomfort.

Colace Stool Softeners
Trust me.  Just take them.
If you have a big tear or an episiotomy requiring stitches, take two.

Hairbrush or Comb

Your own Toiletries (including toothbrush/toothpaste)
I couldn't take a shower fast enough and felt 100% better afterwards!

Lotion / Perfume
It's amazing how smelling good helps makes you feel good...especially when you are bombarded with well-wishers.  You will think of me when you feel exhausted and heinous as you sit in a giant bloody pad and do your best to smile at all those least you will smell refreshed to them.

Pajama pants + Comfy socks

Hooter Hider
Or whatever breastfeeding privacy shield you registered for.
Don't let visitors deter you from breastfeeding that little one!

Post-natal Support Belt
It totally helps suck that tummy back into place.

If you're lucky enough to be at a hospital that uses lactation consultants,
request to see one multiple times before you leave.
You can never get enough tips/support,
as breastfeeding isn't easy - but it's best,
so don't give up in those first few weeks!

For baby:

Hand mittens
So the nurses don't give you an evil eye when your baby scratches himself.

Booties and Hats
Hospitals are freezing.

The perfect "going home" outfit

Car seat
Because you can't even go home without it.

Camera + camera charger

That's all you need.
I promise.
Good luck, mamas-to-be!

~image via pinterest and burt's bees~

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