Here we go. Packing the bag means the real deal is coming soon. Making sure you pack everything while you are weeks ahead of your due date ensures that you can get as much of the stuff in there that you need and want while you are in the hospital. In our case, Carson came a month early but I was still packed! Dave... was not.
I followed the list of my dear friend Jenn, who sent me the most amazing pregnancy and postpartum list that the Type-A, anxious me inside was so appreciative of. I made sure to get a good Amazon haul a couple of months prior to our due date. Here is what I shoved in my vintage Vera Bradley duffle bag to make sure I could feel as prepared as possible:
Nursing Tanks and Bras
Breastfeeding was something I went in to this thinking "I'll give it a try, and I won't blame myself it it doesn't work out." Ha! More on that later. So part of my strategy was arming myself with all of the "things" that could make this process easier.
My sister Holly gifted me the nursing tanks after she did some research. I purchased a couple of other brands on maternity leave, and these are by far the best. Still wearing them 10 months later.
The nursing tanks were at the suggestion of my friend Jenn, and again, still wearing them 10 months later. I'll share other nursing bras I picked up over the months in later posts, such as workout attire. But these were a great transition! Make sure to get a couple, because you'll be washing them all. the. time.
Robe and Nursing Gown
This may seem like not a necessity, and for some, it won't be! But from years of working in a hospital, I know those gowns are not the best for allowing you to move as freely as you'd like to once your baby is here. I was gifted a beautiful similar robe from my friend Emily. I hung it next to my bed for all the middle of the night feedings.
And another one of Jenn's fabulous suggestions was the black nursing robe. For all of the hours I spent endlessly roaming the halls trying to induce my own labor, this was far more comfortable to walk in than a hospital gown with my ass sticking out.
Fold Up Duffle
I would recommend this to anyone, not just pregnant moms. I bought this for my trip to Europe in 2017, and I've used it several times since then! It is a duffle bag that folds up in to its own little bag the size of an envelope or so. It travels nicely, and then you have a nice option if you find you need extra space. And trust me, going home from the hospital with baby... you're going home with a lot more stuff than you came in with!
Every little second of sleep in the hospital was precious. It is no lie that hospital staff will come in your room every hour. This eye mask is one I've had for years (purchasing multiple times over) and would recommend to anyone, but especially for a new mom who is going to try to get some rest in the hospital. Our room was very bright, even with the shades down. When I put this eye mask on... goodnight.
Earth Mama Organics Nipple Butter
Weird but true. Nipple butter is a thing! And it is amazing. The hospital gave me some samples of lanolin, but I preferred this organic brand. I started to truly think about what types of products I was using when I had Carson. Plus, your baby is going to come in such close contact with whatever you put on your nipples - so better make it safe! (They have an amazing diaper balm too.)
Earth Mama Organics Nipple Butter
Good luck, mamas!
Full list here! A printable sample hospital packing list:
Hi! I'm Laura, a 30-something mama raising her 2 little dudes in southern California. It's been quite a journey and this is my way to try to make sense of it all. This is a safe space for all moms to get some laughs, recommendations and feel like they are not alone.