As a soon-to-be-in-labor mom, I scoured the what to expect books, various websites, and IPhone apps, all of which provided lists of items I had to take with me to the delivery room. With the help of Excel, I merged all of the the lists into one ginormous one and packed everything. I showed up to the hospital with more luggage than I pack for a week’s vacation. Like everything to do with having a new baby, spending too much time researching something can be as much to your detriment as to your aid; I barely used anything and had a difficult time finding the things I really did need.
Laughing Mom’s Pack This, Not That, Delivery Room List.
10) Not: A Robe
Do you know how difficult it is to fit a robe into a suitcase? Where do you think you are walking that your PJs won’t work for you?
Pack a comfortable pair of pants and top PJs and you’ll already have downsized your bag to at least a medium size case.
9) Not: Reading Material
This makes it sound like you’ll just be hanging out in a hospital bed waiting for the baby to come, sort of like a day at the beach. Um, no. I don’t know one single woman who has thought to herself, “I think I’ll read the next chapter of 50 Shades before the next contraction comes”. Even if you are waiting to be induced, or have an epidural so that you have some pain-free time before birth, do yourself a favor and SLEEP. It is the last shut eye you are getting for a very, very long time.
Pack a pillow, eye mask, ear plugs – anything that will help you get some rest if you are in a position to do so.
8) Not: Change for parking / vending machines
It might just have been the hospital I went to, but parking was something like $15 a day. That’s a lot of quarters. Unless you know the parking machine doesn’t take a credit card, lighten your load and leave the bag of change behind.
Pack a working credit card. Leave the potentially maxed one, or the one with the strip so worn down you have to cover it with a plastic bag before it will swipe, at home. Most hospitals have cafeterias where you can pay with credit card though throwing in a few $5 bills won’t hurt.
7) Not: A Bathing Suite
For starters, not all hospital rooms have shower options. More importantly, recall the last time you took off a wet bathing suit – how uncomfortable it was to peel if over your wet skin. Now add in all the fun fluids which come with birth. You want to peel that off in between contractions? Three words for you: No. Thank. You.
Pack a long tank top. Everything below the belly button is fair game to all medical personnel the entire time you are in the hospital anyway. Let the shower do its thing and avoid the bathing suit hassle.
6) Not: Massage Oil
The concept that your partner massaging you can in any way ease the pain of contractions is asinine enough as it is, without him pulling out vanilla spiced massage oil to go along with it.
Pack: Um, I have nothing. Just leave it at home.
5) Not: Water spray (to spritz over laboring mom to help keep her cool).
I laughed so hard when I saw this that I Googled it to see if is showed up on more than one list…yep…it does. For the most part, labor takes hours. Do you know how wet you would be if your partner spritzed you the entire time?
Pack: maybe a handheld fan? In Edmonton this isn’t really as issue, but if you live in a humid area that risks having the AC out, a hand held fan may be nice.
Pack: your cell phone. I think all have clocks as well. If you don’t have a cell, a $5 watch with a second hand can do the same thing.3) Not: Champagne (to celebrate).
I thought this was a cool idea. I packed some. And then I gave birth.
Pack: water and snacks for after the baby comes. You’ll want to hydrate and replenish your energy.
2) Not: A how-to-care for baby book.
You have lots of time to be stressed out about every decision you make (see: Confessions of a Nervous New Mom). Use the time at the hospital to ask the health care workers on the maternity ward all your new-baby concerns.
Pack: a pen and paper for taking notes.
1) Not: Music.
This is on almost every list I see, but I have yet to meet anyone who played music aloud while their baby was being born. Packing a CD player or Ipod speakers seems like a lot of work. With the advent of portable music such as MP3 players, this may be easier, and packing a pair of earphones to connect to one to drown out hospital noises might help you rest before the baby comes.