I’m excited to introduce you to my guest blogger Kayla. She will gladly share with us her tips on how to be prepared for the hospital or birthing center.
You’ll find a lot out there about how to be prepared for the hospital, what to pack for the hospital and so on but I wanted to share a few things with you that I wish I had found in a post before I went in for my first time as well as the essential packing list.
Let’s begin with the essentials:
1. Bring comfy pants – ones that you can wear a diaper sized pad in. Seriously. Life saver.
2. Comfy tops – if you plan on nursing, bring ones with big necks or ones that open down the front. And all of your nursing bras and tank tops. Leaking COULD happen.
3. Personally, I like my own blanket and pillow. It seems excessive, but I want some comfort if I have to be in the uncomfortable hospital.
4. Your toiletries. You can shower – I suggest it. You will feel WAY more human after you shower and wash all of the birth off of yourself. ☺ Don’t worry about towels. They have them for you and if you ask for new ones, they’re usually warm, at least at my hospital they were.
5. Undies. Bring ones that you actually like. I went and bought a pack of ugly granny ones, but all undies are expensive and most of the time I didn’t bleed through or over the diaper sized pads, so I really didn’t need to buy any new ones. I didn’t know what to do with them after. My suggestion? Bring old undies that you like, but aren’t afraid to part with if they do get leaked in. Bring a few pairs. Most insurance will cover three days (I believe) so bring at least 5 pairs. Just in case.
6. Bring snacks. I didn’t ever bring any and regretted it every time. You’ll be hungry and thirsty after labor, you’ll be bored sitting in a room all day, you’ll be extra hungry from your body all of a sudden creating food for another little being. Just be smart about what you bring. Do some research on good snacks, you know what you like.
7. Bring your cup home. The hospital throws yours away otherwise. It’s yours to keep. ☺
DO NOT BRING: Diapers, your own pads, your own towels, excessive amounts of clothes.
The hospital provides all of the diapers and pads that you could want. Take advantage of that. You really don’t need a lot of clothing. Just bring a few of your favorite pieces and you should be good. Make sure that everything that you bring you are ok with replacing if you need to or getting some blood on or breast milk. I don’t mean to be gross, but in reality, giving birth is messy business.
Feel free to ask the nurses questions, take a little walk when you need to. It feels good.
On to the things you may not know, read about, or think about to be prepared for the hospital.
– Be flexible. I have read a lot of birthing stories where Mama ends up coming down hard on her because it didn’t go the way she expected it to. It won’t. There is no way to be 100% prepared for the birthing experience because our bodies and our babies are all completely different. I had three babies and every one of my experiences was completely different. Don’t go in with high expectations. If you go in with your mind set on absolutely NOT using medication but the pain COMPLETELY OVERWHELMS you, take the medication. Help your body out. You don’t have to do things a certain way to do things well. Do what you need to do.
– Talk to your doctor or midwife about visitors at one of your last check ups. Let them know who you want in your room, who you don’t want and give them an idea of WHEN you want visitors to be allowed to come in. We learned the hard way and my husband called his mom right away. They ended up bursting in the room while I was trying to nurse our first baby for the first time ever, I was covered in blood and completely naked besides the blankets…I hadn’t even gotten a chance to shower or anything. So, be sure to let them know when you are ok to have visitors. Write a note if you have to and give it to the girls at the desk. That kind of a plan you CAN make and expect to be carried through well.
– Plan to bring home three times the amount that you walked in with. Not only will you have a little person to bring home, but if this is your first, guaranteed every single visitor that you have will bring you a huge gift bag of things for your new bundle of joy. We wanted to just back the car up to the room after our first was born, I think my husband took like 6 loads out.
I think the biggest thing to keep in mind is that no matter what, you do what’s best for you. You’ll do great, no one can be 100% ready for the hospital because everything is different. Give yourself some grace and understanding if things don’t quite go the way you anticipate. You’ll do great, Mama!
Come say hello to Kayla over at The Accidental Nomad Life.