Hospital Bag Essentials and Postpartum Care Package
It's really no surprise that I love well packaged things. Everything has to be organized, neat and tidy in our home and that extended to my pregnancy. Although we are doing a home birth, I like to be prepared so I've put together an emergency hospital bag as well as a postpartum care package that covers everything you'll need and only the essentials.
We are doubling my diaper bag as a hospital bag. It's by Anello, a Japanese company that designs some great synthetic leather bags. I have the small backpack in camel beige. It fully unzips at the top so you can easily see all the contents of your bag and has a few outside pockets for essentials. You can view and purchase any item I post here by visiting my curated list of essentials on Amazon.
2. Nursing Bras
I have two of these gorgeous Ayla nursing bras by The Dairy Fairy. Nursing bras can make you feel very un-sexy, but these are the perfect combination of function and beauty. Also, I'm able to offer you 15% off any purchase!
3. Pajamas & Robe
I have a pair of super soft joggers from Gap, a couple oversized tees and a cami dress I had already that will be perfect for nursing. My robe is just a super fluffy teddy bear robe with a hood that I found at Winners. Here is a similar one I found from Topshop.
4. Nursing Cover
I have two nursing covers that also double as car seat covers to block the wind from babe. One is by Native Wilds and the other is from Covered Goods.
5. Nursing Pads
I packed these fleece, reusable nursing pads from Refluff which is a Canadian company! I also have a bunch of other reusable nursing pads that I've included in my list here.
6. Slippers & Socks
My slippers are Cloud Nine Sheepskin slippers. They are so comfortable & warm and great for the winter. Here are a similar clog version by Cloud Nine.
7. Nursing Pillow
I have the Boppy pillow which I absolutely love. I also purchased this gorgeous linen cover by Madly Wish and it matches the nursery nicely.
8. Toiletries & Makeup
So one thing I've read about is that sometimes women can do something as simple as take care of their skin, wash their face and apply a little bit of lipgloss to feel more comfortable with all the new family photos that are inevitably going to happen as soon as your little one arrives. I'm a minimalist when it comes to makeup, so I use Glossier. I have packed their Milky Jelly cleanser, priming moisturizer, coconut balm, stretch concealer and boy brown.
I try to only use chemical free, all natural products so here is what I have packed for the hospital:
Nature's Blend - Mum & Babe Colloidal Oatmeal & Goats Milk Extract Body Wash
ByNature Skin Care - Coconut Oil Shampoo & Conditioner
Cedar & Stone Botanicals - Rise & Shine Spritz
Stork and Dove - BOONS Lactation Cookies
9. Other Essentials
- Insulated bottle! (to keep my water cold or my tea hot)
- ID and private insurance information
- Phone, charger, camera
- Portable speaker for music
- Toothpaste & toothbrush
- Outfit for going home
- Shower slippers
- Peri bottle (the hospital or your midwife will usually supply this and it's ESSENTIAL because after giving birth the last thing you want to do is wipe down there)
I want to touch on this briefly. Hospitals are weird and they often don't let woman eat while in labour. This can be up to 24 hrs + without nourishment while you are working hard to bring a new life into the world. They'll hook you up to an IV which (for the most part) is not necessary and actually makes you retain lots of fluid, and in turn your baby retains fluid making their birth weight skewed. I'm a HUGE advocate for women's needs and there's no scientific evidence to prove why you shouldn't eat during labour. Have your hubby pack snacks: something quick and easy to eat like protein bars, fruit bars, crackers, fruit and also drink lots of fluids during early labour so that you have the strength later on in labour.
UPPAbaby Mesa carseat in Jake is the best. We also have the matching UPPAbaby Vista Stroller in Jake that came with a bassinet and second toddler chair so that it can convert to a 2 child stroller in the future.
I absolutely love the quality of Willaby Shop's 8-layer cotton gauze heirloom blanket with golden rod lace trim. It's made of 100% certified organize cotton, arrives unbleached and creates a lovely waved texture the more you wash it. It's a great blanket to pass down for generations.
3. Swaddle Blankets
Hands down Solly Baby wraps are where it's at. They are soft and stretchy cotton which is great for keeping babe snuggled, warm and comforted. I also have this wearable baby wrap that was gifted to me and I am excited to us it to keep babe close why I have both my hands free to do things around the house.
4. Onesies & Going Home Outfit
I love the quality of these L'ovedbaby footed onesies. They also have built in gloves to keep babe from scratching while also keeping their tiny fingers warm.
5. Pacifier & Wooden Clip
Our pacifier is from Natursutten and wooden clip by YarnandHookMade.
6. Bonnet / Hat
Having a baby in the winter means you have to be prepared for the extreme cold. We have this super soft and extremely warm hand knit bonnet by Temperance Tyler. The colour will be great for either a boy or girl!
Honest Company Newborn diapers. They are phthalate, paraben & chlorine-processing free (among a large list of other chemicals they've opted out of using) and have cute designs on them (panda, rockets, barnyard theme, flowers, tribal)
8. Bottom Spray
This is a just in case item. Not really necessary but if we have an extended stay, I would want this Honest Company Bottom Spray with me for babe. Both the diapers and bottom spray can be purchased here.
9. Baby Book
I can't really say enough about Promptly Journals and their Childhood History books. They've got it all covered, from pregnancy through to 18 years of age and all the small little things you'd want to remember. It takes less than an hour to fill each year of the baby's life and they are beautifully wrapped in a linen cover. I'm so glad I discovered them!
POSTPARTUM CARE PACKAGE
Taking care of your lady bits after giving birth is super important. After what feels like hours of researching online, I've put together the best postpartum care package I could think of and it's all ready by my bedside.
- Extra towels
- Small wash clothes
- Tucks cooling pads
- Witch Hazel to combine with water in peri bottle
- Peri bottle (usually supplied by midwife or hospital)
- Mama Earth Bottom Spray
- Mama Earth Nipple Cream
- Mama Earth Postpartum Bath Herbs
- Grapeseed oil (more for massages during labour, but after is nice too!)
- Stool Softener. The first poop post birth can be a scary thought. If you drink lots of fluids, up your fibre and fruit intake you should be fine, but having a stool softener handy is great just in case
Don't forget your partner! We are fortunate to live just 1 minute from the hospital so Matt could easily head home to grab things if we forgot anything. Here are a few things I have listed to remember to bring for him:
- Comfy pants
- Extra tshirt
- Phone & phone charger
- A snack & his favourite chocolate bar
- Insulated water bottle for hot or cold drinks
- Extra cash for snacks in the cafeteria
He's going through a big change too and may feel like he's helpless watching me in labour, so I want to make him feel comfortable, loved and appreciated as well.
I hope this helps anyone also planning for their due date!