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The labor list

Written by: Sheri February 23 2011 We’ve still got one more curtain panel to sew for the nursery and pictures to hang, so I’m afraid the nursery tour will have to wait one more week. In the meantime, I realized I need to get my hospital bag packed! Having Aaron two weeks early really drove...

Written by: Sheri

We’ve still got one more curtain panel to sew for the nursery and pictures to hang, so I’m afraid the nursery tour will have to wait one more week.

In the meantime, I realized I need to get my hospital bag packed! Having Aaron two weeks early really drove home the message that I need to be ready for anything. The last time around, a good friend sent me what we fondly refer to as “The Labor List.” Since then, I’ve passed it along to other pregnant friends. We’ve all made our own little adjustments, but most of my friends agree it’s a great starting point for packing that hospital bag.

Here it is:
1) Insurance cards.
2) Hair ties and/or a headband. Nothing is worse than hair in your face while you’re pushing!
3) Warm socks. For some reason, my feet get cold post-labor.
4) Pajamas. You may not wear them the first day, but they’re nice to have when visitors come. It’s great to get a pair made for nursing or just some with buttons down the front.
5) Slippers or slip-on shoes for walking around.
6) A soft, sleepwear nursing bra.
7) If you plan to use a nursing pillow like a Boppy, bring it. It is much easier to learn how to nurse with one of those than with the stacks of hospital pillows
8) Toothbrush and toothpaste.
9) Deodorant
10) Nice shower gel or soap, shampoo and lotion. You deserve a little pampering for that post-labor shower.
11) Lip balm. (You can get chapped lips from all of that breathing during labor.)
12) Snacks. I was starving after labor, and happy to have some of my favorites on hand. I also packed plenty of extras for my husband to munch on during labor.
13) Camera. Find your hospital’s policy about using room outlets to charge your batteries, and consider bringing an extra one.
14) Pen and paper. This will help you remember questions to ask the doctor when she comes, and also help you keep track of your baby’s sleeping and eating schedule.
15) Cell phone. Again, try to bring it fully charged and know your hospital’s policy about using outlets.
16) A list of people to call after the birth, with phone numbers.
17) Going-home outfits for you and baby. For myself, I like to pack yoga pants and a new top to make me feel a little spiffy. For baby, soft is best.

The list also includes some tips and supplies to pick up for those first few days after labor and to make your time at home more comfortable.

1) You can fill those newborn disposable diapers with ice and use them on any stitches if you had an episiotomy or any tearing.
2) Witch hazel pads laid across a maxi pad at also great at helping to soothe stitches during the first week.
3) Bran cereal will help get things moving along while you are healing.
4) Lansinoh nipple cream is fantastic on tender nipples when you’re learning to nurse.
5) If you plan to nurse, have one or two soft, comfortable nursing bras to start with, and buy them a size bigger than you think you need. Once you settle into a routine and your supply levels out, you can buy a few more.
6) Also if you plan to nurse, pick up some nursing pads. You can get disposable, silicon or cloth. They’re great to help keep your shirts fresh if you have a lot of extra milk at the beginning.

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