Pillows, Towels, and Blankets. We can all agree hospital pillows and linens aren’t exactly luxurious. I definitely recommend bringing your own from home—Enough for you and your partner.
(Sorry, you probably can’t bring your own kitty).
Water Bottle & Snacks. I remember being so incredibly thirsty and hungry during both of my hospital stays. I mean, it’s not that crazy considering all the work your body just did. A reusable water bottle, especially one with a straw, is highly recommended. You may also like to bring something like Gatorade or Coconut Water. Snacks like granola bars, dried or fresh fruit, fruit snacks and instant oatmeal cups can also really help curb the cravings in between your hospital meals. (For you and your partner!)
Bluetooth Speaker. I don’t know about you, but I go a little insane if I go too long without listening to music. If you’re the same way, bring along a small bluetooth speaker to keep nearby. Creating a soothing playlist beforehand to use during labor and recovery can be a big help and can cover up those annoying beeps from the hospital machines.
Essential Oil Diffuser and Your Favorite Scents. While I certainly appreciate the immaculate cleanliness of hospitals, especially in this current public health crisis, the smell of disinfectants can be harsh. An essential oil diffuser can really help with this issue—not to mention all the overall benefits of aromatherapy!
Toiletries and ALL THE CHAP STICK! Your hairbrush, hair ties (why do we always lose these?), toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, nipple cream-if you’re breastfeeding, maybe even make-up for your photos if that’s your thing….and ALL THE CHAPSTICK! Yes. I’ve yelled about chap stick twice now. This was one of those things I desperately needed while I was in the hospital and I never even really use it regularly. I was just so parched and my lips were dry and cracked along with some other body parts (that’s where the nipple cream comes in). This was one of those things I made my husband go get at the gift shop because I just couldn’t stand it. Hey, did I mention? DON’T FORGET THE CHAP STICK.
Comfy PJS. No matter how cute your hospital or comfy your hospital gown is, nothing beats your favorite pair of sweatpants or yoga pants. Your partner would really benefit from bringing their own sleepwear, as well!
Bikini or Favorite Sportsbra/Swimsuit Bottom. Hydrotherapy during labor can be really useful. Read more about that on my blog post here. So, you may want to hang out in the shower or birthing tub a whole lot! Obviously, you don’t have to wear anything at all-but some people may feel more comfortable with something on, especially if you’re choosing to be in the shower with a birthing ball. Sometimes, just a tank and favorite pair of gym shorts will work great!
Your birth plan. This one is very important-especially now that your doula may not be able to be in the room with you. Even if you know your birth plan by heart and backwards, it’s helpful to have physical copies to keep nearby so that the birth team and your partner have easy access to it.