I loved packing my hospital bag. Is that ridiculous? We were moving around my due date so I couldn’t set up the nursery… but I NEEDED to nest. So I packed and repacked and repacked our hospital bag. Ended up being a great thing because we had exactly what we needed. The only thing we could have used was smaller clothes… Little Man was just over 7 pounds… a perfect baby size… but none of his 0-3 month clothes fit. Ultimately, you really don’t need many clothes for you or baby because you’ll want to do as much skin to skin contact as possible, to promote breastfeeding and bonding.
Everyone’s hospital experience is so different but here’s what I packed and a few add ons I wish I had.
Pre birth bag:
Whatever you want to labour in – I was happy to be in a hospital gown… what I was wearing (or sometimes not wearing at all!) was the last thing on my mind.
A bathing suit, if desired – the tub felt amazing for me when I was in labour… I had no problem going in naked but you might feel more comfortable in a bathing suit.
Bathing suit for your partner – you might what your partner in the shower or tub with you… and the hospital staff certainly don’t want them naked.
Food – see extras below.
iPod/phone with music and speakers – I was soooo grateful to have music while in labour. I made a few playlists beforehand. One I made with music that calms me down (Joni Mitchell, Jack Johnson, etc) and one with music that pumps me up (Spice Girls and other silly pop – it was so much fun!). At one point Spice Girls was pumping and we were known as the “party room” – that of course was after this magical thing called an epidural. Ha.
A water bottle – this comes in handy after the birth too… you want to drink as much water as you can!
Hair ties – I also brought one of those sock bun thingys (wearing it in the pic) because I knew I wouldn’t want to spend any time styling my hair… but knew I’d also like one pic where my hair wasn’t a giant mess.
Camera – Pack an extra battery and SD card too!
I used most of these clothes for the trip home and when people were visiting. Otherwise, baby and I were naked, doing skin to skin.
Two newborn sleepers – in case baby is smaller
Two 0-3 month sleepers – in case baby is bigger
A newborn onesie
A 0-3 month onesie
A newborn hat
Scratch mittens – I didn’t like using these. I’d get the nurses to help cut babes’ nails if they’re too long.
Post birth bag:
Comfy undies – Get high waisted ones just in case you end up having a c section. There’s nothing worse than a waistband sitting on your incision. The hospital will have the big, weird undies for you.. and those are great. But bring a pair of your own, just in case.
Loose PJ bottoms – Once again, get ones that are high waisted and would sit above the incision line.
Nightie – Make sure it’s nursing friendly.
Robe – For when you need to not be naked, haha.
Nursing bra – Get one that’s stretchy with no padding or wire… something that’ll stretch out if your boobs get way bigger than you expected!!
Going home clothes – Layers work the best. I found one of the weird things about the days following delivery, my temperature was all over the place. Make sure your bottoms sit high (just in case of c section) and are pretty baggy (just in case of a painful vaginal delivery).
Clothes for hubby – Include a button down shirt so he can easily do skin to skin if he wants (without having to take his shirt off).
Pillows – I HATE sleeping with a shitty pillow. We brought one for hubby and one for me. I was so grateful! Put pillowcases that you don’t care about on because you have no idea what’s going to end up on them.
Slippers or Flip Flops – Something easy to slide on.
Toiletries – Nothing feels better than a shower and brushing your teeth after hours of labour. NOTHING!! Remember your partner’s toiletries too!
Nursing pillow – You’ll be exhausted after the birth, it’s so much easier to have the pillow to help hold baby’s weight. Especially as you and babes are just learning how to do it!
Champagne – We popped this the evening Little Man was born when our family was all in the room. I only had a sip or two but it was fun passing the bottle around the room and stopping for a moment to take in the craziness that just happened. (Just don’t let the nurses see!!)
Food – I packed tons of food for the hospital and it was a godsend. A week or two before my due date I filled up a collapsable freezer bag with non perishables. I put in things like tuna snacks, candy, granola bars and trail mix. Then I made a bunch of burritos, muffins and other baked goods and put all of that in a plastic bag in the freezer. Hubby was under strict orders that when we were on the way to the hospital, the freezer bag was to be pulled out and added to the cooler to bring. Since I was induced, I wasn’t allowed to eat but it was so nice for hubby not to have to leave the room or wait in line at the cafeteria for food… trust me… you won’t want your partner to leave. I also offered up the baked goods and candy to all the hospital staff… it’s a good way to become the favourite patient!! The food was also great for after babes was born… I was starving and the hospital food wasn’t enough.
Anything I’m missing? Anything you wish you brought to the hospital but didn’t?
Stranger to a friend of mine: Awww how old is your baby?
Me: internally starts to panic because I can’t remember how old my baby is and I know the question is coming to me next. I start doing math in my head, at risk of internal combustion.
Friend: He’s [insert number of weeks old here]
Stranger: Awww! [turns to me] And how old is your little guy?
Me: Uhhhh… 3 1/2 months, oops, I mean 3 months, shit! 4 months. How many weeks does that work out to?
Later that day:
Me to hubby: How many weeks old is Little Man?
Hubby: I don’t know, why don’t you count?
Me: Yes! Okay!
Me a few minutes later using my fingers and calendar: Is the first week 1 or does it start at 0? Never mind! It doesn’t matter.
Stranger: Aww, how many weeks old is your baby?
As everyone continues to #prayforflo, the woman with postpartum depression that is missing, I’d just like to give you a little food for thought.
I’d like to start this by saying I have incredibly supportive people in my life, to whom I’m so grateful for.
That being said, I’m continually shocked at the negative comments I’ve received since having a baby. Here’s a sample of some conversations I’ve had recently:
Someone: How is he sleeping?
Me: Really great, right now he sleeps 12 hours straight at night and naps pretty well during the day.
Someone: Well don’t get used to that.
Someone: Is he a good baby?
Me: Really great, he’s such a happy baby.
Someone: Well I guess your next baby won’t be then. He’s a trick baby.
Seriously? This is just a sampling of conversations I have with people every damn day. I’m not an idiot. I understand my baby will change. BUT I’m living with the baby I have now, not fearing the one I may have next week or next month. I believe William feeds off how happy and positive I am. So I will continue to be happy and positive.
I don’t think people do this maliciously… but my gawd, think before you speak! And remember just how fragile new moms can be whether they have postpartum depression or not … and give them a break. Literally. Instead of criticizing them, come to their home and give them a break. Because they’re tired!!
Florence, the missing woman with postpartum depression has been on my mind a lot.
Depression is a funny thing. And by funny, I mean heartbreaking. It brings you down. Makes you feel useless and worthless. When you’re in it, you can’t imagine a world out of it.
Combine this with being a new mother. You’re not sleeping, you feel like you have no control, your hormones are going bonkers, you (and seemingly everyone around you) is questioning your ability as a mother. On top of all this, we live in a society where we don’t want help. We want to do it on our own and we live alone.
That’s a recipe for disaster. And the problem is, you never know who it’s going to hit.
Because if you have depression or postpartum depression, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. Despite friends saying “just be yourself” or “get up and make yourself feel better” – that’s not a thing.
So check on those you love. And if there’s something wrong, don’t try and “fix” them, just listen.
If you’re in it, it won’t be forever. It feels like it, but you won’t. Seek help and talk.
And for the other new moms, whether you had a vaginal delivery or a c section, if you’re breastfeeding or not, if you’re cosleeping or not, if you’re going back to work or not… regardless of however you may be different from the other moms, YOU ARE THE BEST MOTHER FOR YOUR BABY. And your baby deserves to have you around. Because you are great.
I truly don’t understand all the hoopla over the “natural” birth. I was in labour for several hours before I got an epidural… and it sucked. Once I got one, I could actually “enjoy” my labour. Also, screw you for all your “natural” labour bullshit talk. My baby “naturally” grew inside of me for 9 months and because I had to have an emergency c section suddenly my delivery isn’t natural? Personally, I just want a healthy baby. That’s what’s natural.
If you want to go “all natural” have at ‘er! That’s wonderful! If you want an epidural, great! Who cares! Let women make their own decisions about their own bodies. I’ve seen so many moms feel guilty before, during, after their baby’s birth about pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding, parenting, etc…. let’s end the guilt and just raise our kiddos to be productive members of society! Stop wasting time on judgement.
On Friday I went to Latch On, an event talking about breastfeeding and normalizing breastfeeding.
At 11am along with women from all over, I latched my baby onto my boob. I wanted to take a beautiful brelfie (breastfeeding selfie) to post. But then I couldn’t get my camera pulled up on my phone. While trying to do that, Little Man pulled off my boob. I was nursing him on Leaky Lucy (left boob) so milk started squirting all over his face and all over me. It’s okay, I’m a strong, confident breastfeeding mother… I’ll switch him to the other side and get a photo there. Except my phone still won’t pull up my camera and Normal Norm (right boob) keeps thwacking my boy in the face so he’s getting frustrated.
Anyway, this is the only photo I got from the event, after I was done nursing.
So, if you see a woman breastfeeding without a cover, please think to yourself, “hey isn’t that wonderful! She’s feeding her baby!” Not “wow, she’s sure making a point.” Because whether I’m nursing him on Lucy or Norm it’s just so much more complicated to cover up (I couldn’t even take one flippin picture!).
Breastfeeding is not easy. You worry about latch, supply, plugged ducts, mastitis, engorgement… the list goes on and on. So if a woman is successfully breastfeeding out and about… give her a big smile and tell her she’s doing a great job.