I had a repeat C-section with Ozzie, so I knew I would be in the hospital for a number of days. Because I’m
OCD a planner, I wanted my bag packed weeks before I went in. Of course you can’t plan for everything, and I went into labor over a week before my scheduled surgery. I couldn’t immediately leave the house because my water kept breaking (and breaking and breaking . . . SO not like it is on TV), but my bags were ready and waiting when we finally managed to get to the car. (By wrapping a towel around my waist, if you’re wondering . . . TMI?)
Anyway, here are the things I brought with me for my hospital stay. From comfy nursing-friendly layers to a cute going-home outfit, from essential toiletries to baby gear, here’s what was in my hospital bag.
Comfy Postpartum Loungewear
1. V-Neck Tee: Available in a ton of colors with a deep v for easy nursing. (And it’s under $20. Woot!)
2. Soft Cardigan: If you haven’t felt the fabrics from Barefoot Dreams, you need to! This cardigan is so soft and perfect for nursing…(for those hormones that make you hot one minute and freezing the next).
3. Nursing Tank: This tank can be worn during pregnancy and for nursing once your baby is born. It’s long and comfy, and makes nursing (or pumping later) super easy.
4. Soft Pjs: These are worth every single penny. They are ridiculously soft and comfy, and felt absolutely luxurious after wearing a hospital gown for so long. (Obviously nursing-friendly).
5. Bralette: I’ve been wearing bralettes that can easily be pulled to the side for nursing . . . they’re often much more comfortable than traditional nursing bras. (And I don’t know about you, but I have to wear a bra 24/7 after having a baby due to nipple pain or milk leaking…more TMI for you.)
6. Highwaisted Brief: With a C-section, I didn’t want any underwear anywhere near my scar, and these were perfect. Whether you have a C-section or vaginal birth, you’ll be wearing pads for awhile, so you’ll want some comfy undies.
7. Slipper Socks: The blankets in the hospital are pretty thin — these kept my feet toasty in bed but had grippers on the bottom, so I wouldn’t slip on the floor if I needed to walk to the bathroom.
8. Hacci Pants: These are the most comfortable pants ever. They aren’t tight in the waistband and are made from super-soft fabric. These were heaven to slip on after my surgery, and I’ve pretty much been wearing them daily since I left the hospital. (I have them on now.)
9. Slippers: Walks up and down the hall (C-section mamas especially) require comfy slippers that easily slip on and off — these are my favorites.
The Bare Necessities
Here are some bare necessities to help you feel put-together without spending a ton of time when you’re in the hospital — especially if you’re going to have lots of visitors!
2. Shower Cap: I always use a shower cap when I’m not washing my hair to keep the water out . . . it makes it much easier to restyle.
3. Hair Oil: I have dry hair, so when I rely on dry shampoo, I add some sort of oil to the ends to fight off the frizz. (And it was frizzy after sweating with labor). This anti-frizz spray also works great.
4. Hair Ties: Just get your hair out of the way. Even if you have shorter hair like me, you’ll want it back and out of your face.
5. Lip Balm: You are going to want lip balm. Chapstick, Carmex, Blistex, whatever . . . you’ll probably be doing some heavy breathing, and this stuff will feel so good on dry lips.
6. Moisturizer (Sheer Renewal Cream): At the very least you’re going to want to have some moisturizer for your skin . . . one of my favorites is Colleen Rothschild’s Sheer Renewal Cream which leaves your skin incredibly smooth and soft.
7. Mascara: Mascara is a great way to wake up your face even if you’re exhausted (hint: you will be!).
8. Face Palette: Instead of worrying about bringing powder, bronzer, blush, etc., find a face palette you like that has all of them in one. This one makes it easy.
10. Stila Stay All Day Foundation w/ Matching Concealer: Foundation is obviously not a necessity, but this 2-in-1 foundation and concealer makes it easy. The foundation and coordinating concealer are both in the same bottle for easy access.
11. Benetint Lip & Cheek Tint: You’re not going to want to be slathering on a bunch of bright lipstick, but adding a little flush of color to your lips and cheeks is easy with this long-lasting tint. There’s no shimmer or cakey finish, just a bit of natural-looking color. (Use super sparingly – a little goes a long way!)
12. Travel Brush Set: This kit keeps all your essentials in one place: foundation, concealer, powder, shadow and crease brush. Easy to grab and go and currently on sale for 40% off!
Extra Essentials for Baby
1. Infant Car Seat: Obviously you’re going to need an infant car seat – they won’t let you leave the hospital without one. This one is lightweight and easy to clean and has a contoured handle for more comfortable carrying.
2. Baby Blanket: A soft, snuggly blanket to wrap babies up in and keep them warm during the car ride home. This one is great as a playmat once you get home as well. (And comes in a bunch of colors.)
3.My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: I had a Boppy for my first baby and while I liked it, I’m SO glad I tried this nursing pillow the second time around. It’s more structured and does a better job of supporting the baby while nursing and it provides back support for mama. It makes nursing so much more comfortable.
4. Sleeper Gown: It’s all about easy access for diaper changes! The snap closure makes it easy to put on without having to go over baby’s head.
5. Onesies: These have a zipper (easier than snaps or buttons) and mitten sleeves to keep babies from scratching themselves. I couldn’t believe how long (and sharp!) Ozzy’s fingernails were when he was born!
6. Hats: Hats (obviously) help newborns stay warm but the ones in the hospital are sometimes scratchy or the wrong size. This one is super soft, comes in a ton of colors and has a great price point.
7. Muslin Blankets: These are my new best friends. I use them for everything from swaddling to burp cloths, car seat covers to tummy time . . . I go through these like crazy and was happy I brought some with me to the hospital.
8. Pacifier(s): There’s a TON of opinions on pacifiers and when/whether or not you should use them, but I swear my nipples couldn’t have handled it if I didn’t have one in the hospital. This particular one was developed by pediatric feeding specialists to help avoid nipple confusion.
9. Cute outfit for pics: If you Google “going home outfit,” there’s a TON of adorable options for girls, boys or both (like this one that comes with a headband or hat if you’re going to be surprised). A special outfit is also fun for newborn pics . . . just don’t bring them home in a sleeper gown. We made that mistake with G and had to hike it up around her waist to get the car seat buckled.
Going Home Outfit
This could easily be called “the outfit you’ll want to wear all the time for those first few weeks postpartum,” but Going-Home Outfit sounds better. Comfy, easy to nurse in and flattering on your post-baby body.
1. Long V-neck Tee: This tee is nice and long and drapes well (it isn’t super tight on your belly), and is great for nursing. It comes in regular or petite sizes and a bunch of different colors.
2. Underbust postpartum/nursing support tank: Sometimes you just want a bit of support in the belly/back area, and this tank has light compression for just that. It helps smooth everything without adding yet another layer to have to get through to nurse.
3. BLANQI Postpartum/Nursing Leggings: Nursing leggings?! I didn’t know that was a thing until this baby, but these are actually awesome. The high rise provides enough coverage if you want to nurse by pulling a shirt up instead of down, won’t irritate C-section scars and has compression to hold everything in. They’re supportive without being too restrictive and I’ve been living in these.
4. Oversized Denim Jacket: I wore a roomy denim jacket all summer long during my pregnancy and it’s the perfect top layer for postpartum too. I love the oversized fit.
5. TUMI Backpack: This has become my favorite bag for everything from a daily diaper bag to an overnight (and even weekend trips) bag. It holds everything you’ll need with lots of compartments for easy access. Plus it’s definitely more comfortable than having to carry one in your arms or over your shoulder.
6. Birkenstocks: These were worth their weight in gold during my pregnancy. These were the only shoes that were comfortable once my feet got swollen (I swear by month two) and I wore them with EVERYTHING. The rose gold made them feel a bit dressier than regular Birks.
7. Nursing Bra: This lace nursing bra is much prettier than your average nursing bra, and I don’t mind if the straps show. It does run a bit small, though, so size up for breastfeeding.
8. Boybrief: These are my favorite undies right now. Super soft and comfy, these are stretchy and don’t ride up! Oh, and they’re on sale for 10 for $35. Get them — you won’t be disappointed!
I realize there’s a lot of things on this list, but I swear I used them all. Was there anything I didn’t mention that you would add? Let other moms-to-be know!