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Hospital Bag Essentials for the Natural Mama

Hospital Bag Essentials for the Natural Mama

What did you put in your hospital bag? Did you use everything you brought? Or any of it?

The first time I gave birth I followed with exact detail the list that my doctor gave me. I packed it all in a lovely backpack and was prepared to use all of it in the exact moments that I figured they would be needed.

Of course, as with anything parenting, none of this happened. The bring baby home outfit was too big for our son (so was the hat we had picked out!). I sent Jamin out to Sears to buy a preemie set that would fit. The tea, extra treats and bottled gatorade didn't get used. Instead I sipped from one of those large plastic insulated bottles filled with those delicious ice chips (genius right?) - with a straw! I also ate the free food the hospital gave, even though I didn't want it and it tasted like crap. I didn't use the extra trim, overnight pads I brought. Instead I used the thick, bulky, big as a diaper pad the hospital provided. Why not? They were free! Save the good ones for later when the bleeding had subsided a little. I definitely didn't listen to the labour CD I had made. There was no time for that. I was busy roaming the halls and whining endlessly to Jamin about how much my back hurt and that it wasn't fair I had to go through this and he didn't (to which I still remind him almost daily). 

The second time I went into the hospital, for my fourth birth (we had two homebirths in between), my hospital bag was really my purse filled with a onesie for the baby (summer baby), a couple diapers and an extra set of clothing (nursing tank, lululemon pants and a grungy pair of undies). 

In the end, the list was relatively useless. So I am hear to give you the simple, all you really need list of what to bring with you to the hospital (I will do a homebirth list a later time because we have done that too!). 

1) Extra set of clothes - I love my Bravado Nursing Tank. I laboured in one in the pool and then quickly switched out of the wet tank into a dry one. I also had a pair of cozy lululemon pants (the baggy ones, not the skinny ones). I used to love a particular style and used the same pair for the first three births, but by the fourth the pants were on their last leg and I had to purchase a new pair. And of course a pair of grungy underwear or hospital panties or both -  whichever you prefer. I like both. I put the hospital panties on first and the grungy panties on second. The grungy panties help keep the heavy duty pads in place so they don't feel like they are floating around in there. 

2) A preemie or newborn outfit. I have average size babies 7-8 lbs babies. I always found that the 0-3 month clothing was tad too small for a newborn. This Wee Woollies Merino Wool Newborn Gown is perfect for brand new babies and is fabulous for diaper changes. Merino wool is also super breathable making it perfect for all seasons. 

3) Diapers - Bummis Newborn Pack is perfect for newborns. Fits babies 4-9 lbs and will save you tons of money. One size diapers or small size diapers are hit or miss if they will actually fit. If you are the type who wants to be prepared, this pack is for you!

4) Receiving Blanket to wrap baby in. The hospital will provide you with the classic blankets, but you will want your own to wrap baby in before leaving and during your stay. We love muslin receiving blankets - 2 or 3 will do!

5) A water bottle. You never know what the hospital water situation is going to be. Will they have the amazing ice chip bottles with straws for you? Or will it only be the water fountain? Play it safe and bring along a Klean Kanteen water bottle!

The inspiration for this blog post was a fabulous article I read about what mothers across the world bring with them to give birth. Check it out HERE

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