In addition to the clothes and toiletries you’d bring on any overnight stay, here’s a breakdown of the essentials according to L&D nurse Lindsey Mederos.
1. Things That Help You Get the Job Done. As miserable as you feel being hungry, thirsty and tired, you’ll feel even worse if your lips feel like the Sahara. Be sure to pack your favorite unscented lip balm. Also, a top knot will be your best friend. Pack a few hair ties.
2. Things That Keep You Less Hangry. Gum and hard candy will be a life saver (get it) when you’re waiting for baby but can’t have any more food. You’ll actually enjoy the food from the cafeteria, but ordering is closed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., so pack some snacks for your cheering section.
3. Things That Help You Feel Human. Pack a big towel for the post-birth shower. Those provided by the hospital are not built for what you’re gonna need. Slippers and a bathrobe will help you look more presentable for your family’s iPhone photoshoot; and a hair dryer can help give you the appearance of being put together, if you care.
4. Things That Help You Stay Connected. You’re the most popular girl in town right now. Bring your charger to keep grandmas, aunts and cousins up-to-date.
5. Things That Help Keep Baby Safe. Babies love to scratch their face. Why? We don’t know, but it’s a thing. Bring baby mittens or extra baby socks to glove those claws. If you’re planning to breastfeed, bring any gear (boppy pillows, pumps, etc.) so the nurses can show you how to use it. The staff can not legally touch your car seat to make sure it’s installed correctly, so swing by any fire department before you deliver to get extra reassurance.
6. Things That Give You Peace of Mind. Surprise, you’re going to have to take baby to the doctor in the first day or two after giving birth. The nurses will arrange for that first appointment before you leave the hospital, but you can find a pediatrician you’re comfortable with before you even deliver to point them in the right direction.