Packing for the hospital can be nerve-wracking. During my first pregnancy I was Googling all over the place, trying to find the ultimate birth plan and pack list. I dragged Serge to Walmart and purchased everything from a special nightgown and slippers to certain pillows. I was even told to pack photos of our other children so I could focus on them during labor. So I brought a photo of our dog, Max. All of it sat, untouched, in my suitcase.
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This time I'm not going to bother. But there are five things, five must-haves, that I will definitely pack and you should too! The following list isn't a comprehensive one, just the items I absolutely could not do without while laboring, delivering and beyond:
1. Tucks Medicated Pads - Listen, just trust me on this one. I had a second degree tear, which, I believe is the most common. I was terrified of pooping that first time after delivering. I made Serge hold my hand through the doorway. Truly, I did. The hospital will give you a spray bottle to use in lieu of toilet paper, but I am telling you, I must've gone through fifty Tucks pads a day. They're soothing, they numb your parts a bit, especially those jagged stitches, and just generally make life a bit more bearable.
2. "Fat Pants" - Big, stretchy pants. Here's why: you'll be bleeding a lot after you give birth. So you'll want to be wearing giant pads, if not full-on diapers. It's no fun wearing diapers or pads with a nightgown or hospital gown. At least I don't enjoy it. I prefer a nice, stretchy pant in between my diaper and the world. Also, you may want to bring along a huge pair of granny panties, but the hospital will likely outfit you with all the mesh panties you want. These big, stretchy mesh-like undies go over your diaper/pad and are AWESOME. Don't tell LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, but I stole a whole mess of 'em on my way out. Some women love the mesh underwear; others don't. You can't go wrong with your own roomy cotton underpants. And make sure you have a large supply of pads at home.
3. Camera - Duh. Make sure you bring your fully charged camera and batteries. Because of course you'll want to document every single second of life on Labor & Delivery.
For more tips on what to pack for the hospital, visit Babble's Being Pregnant.
What could you absolutely not do without while laboring, delivering and recovering?