Last week, I visited my doctor’s office for my 32-week appointment. It was my last monthly appointment before I start going every two weeks (eek!). During the visit, we happened to start talking about birth plans. We chatted about delayed cord clamping (to do or not to do?), episiotomy vs. natural tearing, and the fact that I would like my husband to be the one who tells me if the baby is a boy or a girl. Throughout the conversation, I had to stop my doctor at least twice so I could shake my head and say, “I’m sorry. I just can’t believe I’m talking about all of these things again.”
But talking about all of the birth plan stuff, and making a to-do list for my Week 32 post, forced me to start thinking about packing my hospital bag. Thinking about it—not actually doing it, mind you. But I am definitely thinking more about it than I had been, even to the point of setting aside a couple of things. Since I’ve been through it once before, I have some ideas of what to include. And I also know some things I packed last time that will be staying home this time around. So, here’s my short list of items I plan to include in my hospital bag. Take them, or leave them!
- Dry shampoo and makeup cleansing cloths
These items come in handy in a variety of situations. If you’re the in middle of labor, and your doctor tells you to “try to get some rest,” you may want to clean yourself up a bit instead of smearing mascara all over the pillowcase. But, with all of the monitors they’ll have attached to you, making you feel quite robotic, it can be a bit difficult to hop out of bed to wash your hair or face. That is exactly where these items come in handy!
They’re truly two of the best items ever invented, especially for lazy (or tired and pregnant) people. Toss a little dry shampoo in your hair, give it a fluff, and enjoy the fresh scent of (almost) clean hair. And using a cleansing cloth to wash off makeup (or sweat, depending on how active your labor has been) reenergizes you, or can help you feel clean enough to settle down and take a nap. They are also perfect for cleaning yourself up a bit after delivering your little bundle of joy, before the visitors start coming. Of course, nothing can beat the feeling of normalcy you get after your first post-baby shower, but a little dry shampoo and a quick facial cleanse surely help. And of course, brushing your teeth.
- BB crème, mascara and lip gloss
I’m a makeup girl, so I will be tossing my entire makeup case into my suitcase. In fact, once my bag was packed during my pregnancy with Olivia, I made sure to add a note on top that said “Makeup bag” so I would remember to grab that all-important item before the drive to hospital. But even if you’re not a makeup girl, one of the miraculous BB crèmes on the market will make you look like you actually got some rest (even though you didn’t—and trust me, you probably won’t). Mascara (obviously water-proof, hello postpartum emotions!) and lip gloss will make you feel at least some semblance of humanity.
- Yoga pants and nursing tanks
Your body is going to feel weird. Super weird. You’re going to be sore and leaking and yet, you’ll still be responsible for entertaining the well wishers who want to meet your new little guy or gal. So a nice pair of (preferably black) yoga pants and a cute nursing tank will allow you to stay comfortable and host visitors without worrying about flashing them your booty in your hospital gown. And the nursing tanks are super helpful—at the hospital and beyond!
- Comfy pajamas and slippers
Walking to the snack room or to the nursery to check on the baby is much easier if you have a cute pair of (nursing friendly) pajamas and slippers. (I bought a cute and cozy pair from Motherhood—on clearance!) Plus, I know I’ll sleep better if I’m wearing my own pajamas. Those hospital gowns are not only unattractive, but they aren’t the most comfy of pjs, either.
- Phone charger
- Snacks (for mama and daddy)
Now that I’m back on my MSPI diet (see Week 28), the snacks available to me at the hospital will most likely not be anything I can eat. I am a snacker under normal circumstances, which means after a long night of labor or cluster feeding, I will definitely be needing some kind of sustenance. I will throw a few Larabars and some almonds in my bag to make sure there’s something for me to munch. And those poor dads. Everyone makes sure to take good care of mama, but what about daddy? I will make sure I have a few yummy thing packed for my husband as well (especially if I end up having a long labor).
Of course, I’ll throw a magazine and some lip balm in my bag, too, but these are the essentials I know I’ll need to include. I’ll rely on my visitors to provide the Starbucks.