Advice to pregnant ladies: First of all, relax. Your labor isn't going to be ruined because you forgot a robe. It also isn't a huge deal if you over pack--I know I did.
I was lucky enough to have a hospital bag packed up and ready to go when I went into labor. If something happens and you go into labor without a bag, the only thing you'll truly miss is your digital camera. I used a small duffel for myself and the diaper bag for Mo-mo.
That being said, here's my list of the good, the bad, and the unnecessary.
- digital camera and charger
- going home outfit for me. I packed something comfortable enough that I could sleep in, if I wanted to nap. The nursing tank and sweatpants were not the most glamorous, but nice and comfortable.
- gum for dry mouth
- cellphone and charger
- list of phone numbers of family to call, including work numbers
- laptop and charger
- basic toiletries- shampoo, body wash, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant
- Snacks for husband
- Going home outfit and receiving blanket for baby
- baby nail clippers. Baby nails are sharp and for some reason, they won't clip them for you at the hospital.
The "I used it because it was there"
- my ipod. I didn't make a special playlist or anything. I played Counting Crows in the time after my epidural/before pushing.
- my robe. I only used it when I walked into the hospital hallways, trying to get reception on my cell.
- Make-up. I used under-eye concealer the day after giving birth. The rest was just a joke.
- My pillow. But then, I'm not overly attached to my pillow like some people are.
- Stopwatch for the contractions. I used www.contractionmaster.com when I was at home. Then at the hospital I was hooked up to a machine that counted them for me.
- Nightgown, slippers. I really thought I was going to use my own nightgown the evening after giving birth. I promise that you will be so disgusting that it's just better to wear the damn hospital robe.
- Written birthplan. No one looks at it--just make sure that your husband or coach knows what you want so that they can be your advocate.
- Massage stuff. But I had an odd labor with my water breaking--if my contractions had slowly built up, I would have wanted them.
- My baby book. I actually forgot this, but they put Mo-mo's footprints on cards so I can just glue them in. Much easier than hauling around the actual book.
- The boppy. I didn't even bring mine and didn't miss it.
Hospitals are all different, be sure to ask on your hospital tour what yours provides.
- perineum bottle
- nipple shield
- mesh underwear (believe me you DON'T want to wear your own)
- disposable towelettes for "blotting" after using the bathroom
- Either a small hand pump or new tubing for an electric pump