So, you’ve found out What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag. Congratulations! I know that there are so many moms out there letting you know what they packed in their hospital bag, or what they wish they had packed, but I’m here to let you know what you should avoid packing! I’ve already shared with you exactly what to pack to make your hospital stay as smooth and comfortable as possible, but in order for my mission to be complete, I have to share my knowledge about what items only get in the way. Trust me!
As a labor and delivery nurse, when I see what some people are packing and lugging into the hospital, sometimes I cannot believe my eyes. You would think that they were on their way to their summer vacation and just happened to stop by the hospital first.
I’ll bet those women go home after delivery thinking, “Man, I wish I had known what I actually needed before I packed my hospital bag”. Lucky you, you’re here now.
If you haven’t made your way over to last week’s post yet, here is the Free Printable Hospital Bag Checklist to make sure you have everything you need when the time comes to deliver!
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You Are Not Alone
First things first, you should know where this is all coming from. Mostly, I made this list after seeing what people bring into the hospital and reading what people suggest you bring. The biggest mistake that people make when packing their hospital bags is assuming they have to think of everything.
The hospital provides you with most of the things that come to mind when you think of what you need in labor and postpartum. What you actually have to think about is if you are willing to use what is provided to you. In the Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist that I told you about earlier, I discussed the things that I am certain you’re going to want to bring and the things that you might want to bring for yourself.
In this post, on the other hand, are the things that I am certain you do not need to bring. Trust my advice or you’ll have to watch your husband lug around 3 suitcases, a birthing ball, 2 pillows, and a comforter. Imagine that happening while you’re expecting him to push your wheelchair or hold your hand on your way up to the unit. Not pretty.
Let’s jump right in to the good (or not so good) stuff, girls. Here are all the things that you can feel confident about leaving at home on D-day.
What You Do NOT Need
For Your Hospital Stay
- More than two bags TOTAL– Bring only the amount of stuff that your husband can carry by himself with something else in his hands. I guarantee there will be something else. Either he’s going to be pushing your wheelchair or holding something that you’ve acquired during your stay. I suggest one backpack for him + baby, and one large duffle bag for you.
- Medications of any kind-including prenatals! You are in a hospital for goodness sake. Any medication that you need will be at your disposal. I have never encountered a patient that did not have prenatal vitamins already ordered for them to get in the hospital. It would be an utter waste to pack medications. You will get what you need, don’t worry. P.S. You aren’t allowed to take outside medications while under the care and supervision of the doctors and nurses. Just so you know.
- A Water Bottle– Is it a huge surprise that hospitals provide water? And ice? How about cups? And Jugs? If you plan to never drink the water from the hospital, you are going to bring need A LOT of bottles. Labor is exhausting, you’ll be thirsty. Breastfeeding is exhausting, you’ll be thirsty. You won’t be able to bring enough water, so don’t bother.
- Entertainment– Unless you are going in to get induced, you aren’t going to have a ton of time for entertainment. You’ll have a TV in your room and your phones. That’s probably all you’ll have time for. Magazines, books, and movies is just wishful thinking that you’re not going to be completely consumed in labor, birth, and then a newborn baby. And Dad? His job is to coach, support, and motivate you. If he’s on his laptop while you’re in pain or pushing, all the nurses will be talking about it at the nurse’s station. You poor thing.
- Your own towels – seriously? No. Just, no. Yeah, the towels at the hospital aren’t the largest, softest, most dreamy towels you’ve ever allowed to touch your silky skin, but they’ll do. How many showers do you expect to take? Probably just one. Dry off with the hospital towel. You will survive.
- Hand Sanitizer– The hospital has hand sanitizer everywhere. If you want all of your visitors to wash their hands before visiting you and baby, there is a dispenser outside (and inside) every room.
- Those mesh undies that everyone is talking about- No, girl. Yes, they are super convenient and fairly comfortable. But why on God’s green earth would you buy mesh? Really? Do not waste your money on bringing these to the hospital. Buy them for home if you need more. But in my opinion, the hospital will provide you with plenty of them.
- Pads– The hospital will provide you with the thickest, longest pads you have ever seen in your life. You’d think your whole uterus was going to fall out by the size of their pads. They also have medium and small sizes for you too. There is no way in hell you need to bring pads to the hospital. What a waste!
- Tucks Pads and Dermoplast – I made sure to put these things on my postpartum recovery checklist. They are super important for recovery. But you absolutely do not have to bring them to the hospital with you! Buy some and keep them in your postpartum recovery kit at home for your 6 weeks of recovery. While you are in the hospital you are going to have access to Tucks Pads and Dermoplast. Just ask your nurse for some.
- Peri Bottle– An essential for postpartum recovery, for sure, but they will provide you with one at the hospital. No need to bring your own. Keep yours at home in your postpartum recovery kit.
- Breast Pump– The hospital has breast pumps for you to use while you are there. Don’t worry, you get your own never-used pump parts. Just the machine itself is re-used. Please don’t haul your entire breast pump and all it’s parts to the hospital. You probably will never need to pump in the hospital but if you do, just use theirs.
- Nipple Cream– Nope. You don’t need it. Your nurse will give you sample sizes if you need it while you’re there. Take advantage of what you can get for free. No need to dive into your bottle at home if you can use up a sample size first. Even if, for some reason, your hospital doesn’t provide nipple cream, your colostrum is the most soothing thing you can put on your sore nipples anyway.
- Blankets and Pillows– Yes, I did mention this in the post about what you should bring. But i have to mention it here because there is such thing of too much of a bad thing. Pick one. Blanket or pillow. Notice the singular version of these words. I understand the need for having a comfort from home while you’re in the hospital but don’t go overboard.
- Leggings – I know that they are the best thing on the planet, especially for pregnant women. I’m with you on that one. But they are not the best thing ever when you have a large pad stuffed in them. Can you say panty line? Case closed.
- Anything you don’t want to get dirty– There is so much happening to your body. So much leaking. You’ll be leaking from your boobs and your under carriage and no matter how many pads you stuff places, there is bound to be leaks. Plus, it’s a hospital. The general rule of thumb should be if you don’t want it dirty, don’t bring it to the hospital. If you’d cry if it got stained forever, leave it at home.
For Your Baby
- Your diaper bag– All of your babies things should fit into the bag your partner is packing. Why will it all fit? Because the hospital provides you with almost everything. You don’t need to bring diapers, wipes, or burp cloths. You will get to dirty all of these things for free! Yay! Keep that precious diaper stash untouched until baby comes home.
- Your nursing pillow – I know! Shocking! I LOVE my nursing pillow. But I swear to you that you do not need it. It’s bulky, it’s big, it has to be carried in because it doesn’t fit in your bag, bleh. Plus, do you really want that thing getting hospital juice all over it? I feel like I wouldn’t want to risk it getting dirty. Either way it’s unnecessary. Postpartum units have plenty of pillows to help you prop up baby to help you breastfeed. I’m pretty sure I had at least 8 pillows in my bed by the time I was discharged from the hospital. Take advantage of the hospital’s resources. Leave the nursing pillow at home.
- Multiple outfits for baby– I know that these outfits are to die for and you can’t wait to get your little peanut in them, but…please wait until you get home. Bring a white onesie and a going home outfit for the hospital. Let that be all. Most of the time in the hospital your baby will be naked for skin to skin or swaddled in a blanket. The hospital also has little shirts for you if you need to put her in something but there is no need to bring outfits or stuff your bag full of onesies.
- Formula and bottles– Even if you choose not to breastfeed, formula will be provided by the nurses. Call the hospital to find out what kind of formula they use.
Keep It At Home
You’re Going To Need A Lot At Home
All of the items that I listed for you above are awesome products. You’ll need them, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely don’t think that you can survive postpartum recovery without pads – lots of them. I just know that you don’t need to be packing them in your hospital bag.
So, now that you know everything there is to know about what to pack in your hospital bag, what not to pack in your hospital bag, and have the checklist to keep you organized, now you’re ready to make sure your home is ready for Postpartum Recovery at home as well.
There is a lot that goes into having a baby. Don’t let taking care of yourself fall to the wayside. Make sure that you are taking bits of “mommy me time” here and there, getting out every once in a while, and staying healthy physically and mentally. You’re baby needs you at your best but loves you even at your worst. Congrats, Mama, you’re almost there and I can’t wait to hear all about your motherhood journey that is only just beginning with this little one.