Dont Bring This Stuff:
A Boppy pillow. Not only are they enormous, but we have breastfeeding pillows on hand, plus those hospital pillows actually work great for this function. Youll mostly be breastfeeding while reclined, especially if youve had a Cesarean Section, and Boppys only work for breastfeeding while sitting upright. Save it for home.
A birthing ball. We already have birthing balls in multiple sizes, so leave this enormous object at home as well. Youll be happy when it comes time to pack up and head out.
Scented items such as essential oil diffusers or candles. Not only are open flames forbidden in a hospital setting, but what you might consider to be a soothing scent might be an allergen trigger to those around you. These smells linger once youve left your room and can even be a problem for those outside your room. Most hospitals are scent-free zones so please leave your lavender oil at home.
Anything that plugs in beyond your electronics chargers. Hospitals are extremely detailed about fire prevention, If it plugs in, leave it at home.
My hospital is currently under flu restrictions, and I liked the way this one sign was worded:
Visitors to the maternity unit are limited to those essential to a patients emotional well-being and care.
Are your neighbors, extended family and husbands co-workers essential to your well being? Consider having them wait to visit with you until youre back home.
Hospital Bag Checklist: What To Pack In Hospital Bag
Chances are, youve spent the past several months dreaming of the day you finally get to meet baby. Youve stocked up on baby gear, decorated the nursery and maybe even figured out how to correctly install that infant car seat. But dont forget one of the most important third trimester to-dos: Deciding what to pack in your hospital bagfor baby, you and your partner. So where to start? You dont want to leave out any essentials, but theres also no reason to overdo thingswhich is where The Bump baby hospital bag checklist comes in handy. Read on for when to pack that hospital bag and what to put in it.
Checking Into The Hospital For Birth
Chances are youll be in labor when you arrive at the hospital, though not if you have a scheduled induction or c-section. Luckily, hospital staff members are prepared for this, and the check-in process is usually quick. Theyll ask you for your name and insurance information, and they might also need your license plate number if the labor and delivery wing has a special parking lot.
Once youre checked in, the nurse at the front desk will put a wristband on you and another nurse will escort you to a triage room .
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Should You Go To The Er
The doorbell rang around 10 p.m., announcing the arrival of my brother’s family for a weekend visit. But they greeted us with “Where’s a hospital?” Their 18-month-old had screamed in apparent pain for most of the five-hour drive, so they bolted to the ER. There, distracted by the commotion, the baby cheered right up. A doctor diagnosed a garden-variety ear infection, and the parents chastised themselves for jumping the gun.
I kept this incident in mind when my own daughter, at about the same age, woke up wailing and breathing hard. I calmed her easily, chalked up her symptoms to a virus, and waited until morning to see a doctor. Our pediatrician checked her oxygen level and quickly administered inhaled medicine to open her tight airways. As he briefed me on wheezing, noisy breathing that indicates a struggle for air, he said sternly, “Next time, don’t wait — we don’t want her turning blue.” I was mortified that I’d failed to recognize something serious.
Children ages 4 and younger account for about 10 percent of the 115 million emergency room visits a year. The most common reasons: respiratory illness and fever, followed by injuries and vomiting/diarrhea.
Why You’ll Need Postpartum Underwear
You’re going to bleed a fair amount after delivery, and you certainly don’t want your favorite lingerie to get stained. Postpartum bleeding, called lochia, can last for up to six weeks, although it’s typically heavy only for about a week to 10 days.
Immediately after delivery, you’ll likely wear the disposable undies you’re given in the hospital . But even once you’re back in underwear, you may find that postpartum maxi pads don’t always fit regular styles, and postpartum panties are cut more generously and have wider leg openings.
You also won’t be feeling quite like yourself physically. If you had a Cesarean section, you won’t be able to wear bikini briefs for several weeks, since most women have a surgical incision right above where their pubic hairline starts. And even if you deliver vaginally, you’ll probably want larger pairs, since it will take some time for your body to return to its pre-pregnancy size and shape.
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Dressy Clothes For Yourself
I packed a dressy outfit to wear for pictures in the hospital, but it didnt fit me, and I really only wanted to wear super-comfortable clothing. In addition to that, I was still heavily bleeding and didnt want to ruin my dressy outfit. The next time around, I packed clothes that were both cute and functional for resting and frequent nursing sessions.
Hospital Bag Checklist For Mom
On average, moms who deliver vaginally stay in the hospital for one to two days, Randazzo-Ahern says. If you deliver via c-section, youd be looking at closer to three or four days. Keep your length of stay in mind as you select what to pack in your hospital bag. A tip for the thrifty: Ask your hospital what they provide for mothers, and take those things off your hospital bag checklist. Otherwise, find deals and offers on the items youll need here, and use the following hospital bag checklist for mom.
The Bumps How to Pack Your Hospital Bag Video:
Photo ID, insurance info, hospital forms and birth plan
Cell phone and charger we recommend bringing your regular USB charger cable and a portable power bank in case you cant find an outlet
Two or three pairs of warm, nonskid socks these super-fuzzy pairs are snugly, but if you prefer something more discreet, try these short hospital socks that you can reuse for your postpartum workout classes
A warm robe or sweater you dont mind sacrificing to the cause Amazon carries options under $25
Lip balm weve had great luck with this natural beeswax balm from Burts Bees
Headband or ponytail holder this versatile headband has thousands of rave reviews on Amazon and will wick away sweatbecause there will be sweat
Sugar-free hard candy or lozenges to keep your mouth moist during labor we like these dry-mouth drops for their minty-fresh scent
Loose, lightweight clothing and sleepwear
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What Happens After You Give Birth
You did it! After the birth, a doctor or nurse may place your baby on your chest for some rest and bonding time. Then theyll weigh and measure your baby, take some footprints and run some routine tests, such as a Vitamin K injection or eye ointment application .
Theyll also perform the APGAR score at one and five minutes after baby is born to assess how they tolerated the birth and then how theyre adapting to the world.
Heres what is looked at:
Each one is scored on a scale of 0 to 2, with 2 being the best score.
Do You Need To Create A Birth Plan
While a birth plan isnt mandatory and, of course, this document is always subject to change, some parents-to-be find that it gives them a chance to consider their choices and feel prepared. A birth plan may help ensure a better birth experience, head off unrealistic expectations, minimize disappointment, and eliminate any potential conflict or miscommunication during labor and delivery.
A birth plan is especially useful in a large practice group of doctors where its possible that you wont have met your delivering physician during your appointments. In smaller practices, however, patients often have the chance share their birth wishes with all of the providers.
The process of creating a birth plan can also be a springboard for dialogue between patient and practitioner, particularly if youre not sure how your health care provider feels about some of your birth preferences. Now, well before labor starts, is the time to find out, and a birth plan can be the ideal vehicle for this discussion.
Of course, some moms-to-be choose not to make a birth plan. If the thought of one makes you feel anxious or overwhelmed, or if you feel like having a written document will make it harder for you to be flexible in the moment or possibly be disappointed if something happens differently, talk to your practitioner about ways you can feel prepared without a written birth plan.
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Drivers License Insurance Card And Pen
Youll likely need these items for admission and for filling out forms after delivery. Although paperwork wont be top of mind when you have your precious newborn to cuddle, some items must be completed before youre allowed to leave the hospital. Its the simplest thing, but using a nice pen can make it a little more pleasant.
What To Pack In Hospital Bag For Baby
After your hospital bag has everything for you, then move on to the essentials for baby.
- A car seat. If youre driving home, this is non-negotiablethey wont let you take your baby home from the hospital without a car seat, and it should be already installed.
- A going-home outfit. Pack two different outfits in different sizes because you dont know how big or small your baby will be! Aim for one outfit in newborn size and one 0-3 months. Dont forget hats and/or socks, if weather appropriate.
- Your pediatricians contact information. The doctors and nurses will ask you for this information several times, so its good to have it handy. Include the email or fax number for the pediatricians office so they can easily forward your babys medical records.
- Bottles, if youre using. If you plan to bottle-feed from the get go, pack at least two for the hospital. If you plan to formula feed, pack some of your preferred brand, as well, though the hospital will most likely have samples for you.
- Do not bring diapers or wipes! The hospital has all the diapers and wipes youll need. In fact, one Babylist parent suggested bringing an extra bag for all the freebies youll bring home from hospital.
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Dealing With Possible Emergencies
It was 3 a.m. on a Saturday, and my 9-month-old daughter, Mira, had been vomiting for hours. My husband called his sister, a veteran mom. “It’s a stomach bug,” she said. “You just have to ride it out.” But wasn’t there more we could do? We called the pediatrician to find out. The answering service paged the doctor on call, someone I didn’t know. “How old is she?” he asked. “What’s your insurance company?” His remedy: Go to the emergency room.
When the ER’s doctors gave us my sister-in-law’s advice, I felt ashamed. Weren’t there more questions that the on-call pediatrician could have asked to prevent the hours-long wait at the ER? Telephone triage has its limitations, and doctors readily admit that if they can’t make a confident diagnosis over the phone, sending patients to the ER may be the safest solution. “Most pediatricians err on the side of caution,” says Sara DuMond, a pediatrician in Morrisville, North Carolina.
Nipple Covers For Sore Nipples
My boobs were starting to get really sore and painful like they did with Roy, and I didnt want to go through the week or two of intense pain like I did with Roy, so I mentioned it to my nurse.
For what its worth, I brought the nipple covers to the hospital with me for my 3rd baby! My breastfeeding experience was a night and day difference between my first and second. I contribute a lot of that to not having sore nipples!
If you plan on breastfeeding, I highly recommend asking for these at the hospital if you start feeling pain or soreness, or just getting them right now and bringing them with! I now recommend them to all my friends!
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Why Should You Call Your Doctor First
Contacting your pediatrician should be your initial step, says Thomas Krzmarzick, MD, medical director of The Children’s Medical Center’s emergency department, in Dayton, Ohio. “Many ER visits could be avoided if parents called the family doctor and he said, ‘Give him Tylenol and I’ll see him at 8 a.m.,'” he says.
Studies back up his experience. Fever, colds, sinusitis, ear infections, and stomach bugs are some of the conditions most often seen in infants who are brought to the ER, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . And researchers at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, found that nearly half of the patients under age 18 who visit the ER have illnesses that could have been treated in a doctor’s office. Kids ages 1 to 4 were the most commonly treated group.
What I Used From My Babys Hospital Bag
First, here is a dramatic picture of everything I did and did not use from my babys hospital bag the first time.
So its pretty obvious I only used a few things:
- Pair of Pajamas. The outfit we brought for Little J to go home in was actually too big, so we ended up using one of his pajamas as his going home outfit. No big deal. He still was adorable. And we kept him in the baby sleep sack things the hospital gave us while we were there because they made it easy to change his diaper and they had built in mittens. And they covered his feet. So they pretty much eliminated having to use mittens, socks, and pajamas.
- Blanket. We actually only used this for newborn photos at the hospital. They had blankets there, which is why we didnt use the receiving blanket I brought. But it was nice to have one special blanket for the pictures.
- Hat.The hospital gave us hats, but I used one hat we brought for Little Js going home outfit. It was March so he needed some protection!
- Burp Rags.I pretty much would not ever try and nurse Little J without a burp rag, so these definitely got used while we were at the hospital.
- Boppy. Not pictured above because I packed it with my stuff in my hospital bag, but I definitely used this thing. So helpful!
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