You are now in your third trimester and realizing everything is going to happen very quickly. You need to pack your hospital bag in advance, in case a special someone decides come and say "hello" a little early. You will most likely overpack, but that's ok, everyone does it. In case you have no idea what you should be bringing here are some useful things to remember.
Your Birth Plan and Hospital Notes - To be honest, a "birth plan" is often not used. You cannot control so much, however, if it gives the pregnant mother-to-be a greater sense of calm, pack it.
Cord Blood Banking Kit and Information if you are banking cord blood and/ cord tissue. Your partner will need to have the number to call as soon as you give birth. While giving birth, the doctor is in possession of your cord blood kit.
Bras - Bring a maternity bra and several nursing bras. You may go through a couple depending on the length if your stay, and you may also like the way one feels over another, so it is good to have two options.
Pajamas/Loungewear - This is another thing that is affected by the length of your stay and whether you get a c-section or deliver vaginally. If you have a c-section you can use as many as three pairs of pajamas while in the hospital. If you deliver vaginally you can possibly get away with one pair. You really won't know until you are there. Some women who get c-sections prefer to wear nightgowns, as opposed pajama pants and a nursing top. I was not one of those women. The maternity style pajama pants felt completely fine for me. You should also pack a robe and flip flops or slippers.
A Pillow - while I did not bring a pillow, most of the mothers I spoke with did, and consider it an essential item to bring. Some mothers also like to bring their My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow so they don't have to improvise using five different random hospital pillows.
A hospital outfit - I packed three dresses. I wore one. If you need more, you can always send someone home to get it for you, so don't stress overpacking.
A going home outfit for you and the baby - The baby will be swaddled and wearing whatever the hospital puts on him/her so you really only need one outfit, which will be used to bring your baby home. You may want to bring two different sizes, but they are rarely necessary. I had a baby on the taller side, and I still used a newborn sized outfit. If you are delivering early, you may need a preemie size.
Lip Balm - It is very dry.
An Eye Mask for Sleeping - This sounds dramatic, but the room isn't super dark, so you may want to wear an eye mask when sleeping in order to get better rest. A lot of hospital welcome kits give you a mediocre one.
Snacks for your Partner - The hospital has tons of food for you (my hospital food was surprisingly DELICIOUS), but more often than not, by the time you are done having your baby, or when you are about to start having your baby, it is 4:00 AM. No matter when your baby is delivered, there will be a time around 4:00 AM when your annoying partner is going to be hungry. Have granola bars in your bag for them to eat, so you don't have to watch them YOLO eat vending machine potato chips front of you like a savage beast. You may think you are cool and won't care, but you will not be cool, and instead will be inexplicably angry. I promise.
A Toiletry Bag as you would pack for any overnight stay. You may also want to add face wipes since you may not be able to get out of bed to wash your face as quickly as you would like.
Hair Supplies - A hairbrush and several hair ties. (Hairdryers are permitted based on your hospital. My hospital didn't allow them. They said it was because there wasn't a safe place to plug them in. Sure enough, the bathroom did not have an outlet. Luckily it was the summer and I really didn't need one. Check with your hospital about this.
Chargers for your cell phone/iPad/ whatever you bring with you. The longer the cord the better. Sometimes the outlet is not close to your bed. A portable charger is always a good idea as well.
A Car Seat - You will not be permitted to leave the hospital without one.
Mesh Panties- Yes, the hospital has some white pairs, you can get your hands on, but a local mom developed Brief Transitions. Black, washable, and reusable mesh panties for post-delivery! You can buy them at Little Hoboken too! (702 Clinton Street)
Things I didn't pack:
Bottles, diapers, breast pumping equipment, breast pads, maxi pads, special underwear, formula - the hospital has EVERYTHING. And it's free!!! I left the hospital with so much free stuff it was insane. They give you formula (just in case!), diapers, ointments for the baby, ointments for you, body wash for your baby's first bath, disposable underwear, breast pads, all sorts of breast pumping accessories and salves to make your life easier. Just take it all. At some point you will be glad you have 95% of it.
Did I forget something? Let me know by emailing me at Lindsay@LittleHobokenBlog.com