Second time pregnancies are soooooo much different.... at least in my perspective. I am not at all at the same preparation level as I was for Blakely. At this point in time (currently 33 weeks), I have not touched the nursery room, no crib/changing table ordered, no hospital bag packed.... LITERALLY NOTHING.
Josh and I were out for dinner last night and I had a mini panic moment when I realized I could deliver early and be completely unprepared.
But then I also realized that Blakely did not use her nursery for they first FOUR MONTHS! I guess that is why I haven't attempted to "get anything ready" because I am more realistic now and understand that EVERYTHING does not need to be "picture perfect" for a baby who won't need it, at least for a little while.
Today I finally decided to sit down and go through my previous blog post (HOW I PACKED MY HOSPITAL(S) BAG & POSTPARTUM RECOVERY) and breakdown what I packed, what I ACTUALLY used and what I WISH I had brought.
In my previous blog, I linked some highly recommended postpartum recovery items specific to vaginal delivery and in this post I have adjusted it to be specific to a C Section delivery. Overall, I kept a lot of my packing lists the same, removing a few unnecessary items/ reduced quantity, but at the end of each category you will find the new additions.
***I'll include links at the end of each section for items I could get links for, and if the exact one cannot be linked I will put another good suggestion.***
My Hospital Bag
Comfortable Robe & Pajamas: I LIVED in my robe, pajamas and nursing tanks/bras. I have several robes at home but I brought a separate one in case any kind of unexpected bodily fluids happen to get on it and not use my UGG robe. As for pj's I have an old cotton VS sleepwear set I will be bringing because of the buttons on the shirt option - - convenient for breast feeding.
Slippers/Non-skid Socks: I debated which to bring last time but settled on slippers and I am so happy I did. I liked that I could slip something on and not have my feet covered while in bed.
Lo & Sons "The Catalina Deluxe Bag": I've had many duffle bags in my time traveling as a college athlete and after college with mini weekend getaways and I have never found a more spacious and convenient bag the this one I bought for hospital packing. Great inside and outside pocket space and the bottom storage comes in clutch for storing shoes.
Pillow/Blanket: Probably one of the most important items I brought for myself in terms of comfort. The ridiculously thin, board-like pillows the hospital provides just do not cut it.
Going Home Outfit: Obviously dependent on when you deliver and what the weather is like, but I HIGHLY suggest anything loose fitting that doesn't constrict your abdomen or lower body. Last admission, I packed a pair of my favorite black Nike joggers, socks, oversized t-shirt and my "Mom Life" sweatshirt. I thought about packing leggings but at the end of the day loose fitting is the route I wanna go.
Phone Charger: Extra long chargers are very useful. Eliminate the unnecessary annoyance of over-stretching for an outlet.
Entertainment: Since I had a C-section, I wasn't laboring for hours on end. However, it was nice to have something to do while breastfeeding to pass the time. Suggestions are a book, iPad, Laptop and maybe some earphones.
Toiletries: Everyone's list of needed toiletries will vary but here is what is in my bag - dry shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, contacts or glasses, makeup wipes, lip balm, deodorant, hair brush, mascara, fav natural lipstick, tinted moisturizer and essential skincare products (yes I am a bit excessive here but hey it's my bag not yours)
Hair Tie/Clip: A great idea to help keep your hair back from your face.
Snacks: As soon as you can eat I suggest having some snacks on hand so you don't have to wait around for food service and have something more palatable than whatever is on the hospital menu - - after all you did just birth a human being from your body so you deserve nothing but the best ;)
Nursing Bras: Obviously having more to do with postpartum items but figured I would mention these here.
Nipple Cream: Again, pp related but if you plan on breast feeding this is a must since our breasts are NOT use to having this much interaction and can become very dry. I also needed to apply neosoprin in between feeds because of how damaged mine got.
Depends: I was suggested to have my own when heading to the hospital because you might find more comfort from store bought depends rather than the generic ones at the hospital. I personally used the mesh panties and pads I was supplied but whatever works for you is the best option. Once at the hospital they will have supplies for you and you should clear out the stock at the end of each night before morning shift so you have lots of extra supplies to take home with you.
Extra Bag: This was one item I saw many moms mention that I would not have thought about. Leaving the hospital they will give you lots of supplies ... take all of it!! This extra bag you bring can help you carry these items home.
Heating/Cooling Pad: An item that was just recently brought to my attention as something to pack in a bag and let me just say I think it is genius. Whether you need a heating pad for back pain or a cooling pad for around your neck, having a "do it all" item seems like it would be very invaluable.
Bedside Light: I will be packing this to assist in night time feeds and limit the time I need to turn on the bright hospital lights.
Nursing Tanks: Literally NO POINT in bringing anything else. I did mention nursing bras but tanks are also a MUST
Bedside Fan: You never know what your hormones will make your body do and there is no personalized air conditioning system for you so a mini fan at your disposal can be a game changer
Eye Mask: Your room is never very dark so personally I need to bring my eye mask this time because the constant light from under the door or bathroom light is enough to keep me from getting the little sleep I am able to get.
Nipple Shield: One of the single most important items I discovered after leaving the hospital. They lasted forever, I never had to buy another set the entire time I breastfed Blakely. The shield took away 90% of the pain I was experiencing and made BF more enjoyable.
Baby's Hospital Bag
Car Seat/Cover: Okay obviously this isn't in the bag but having the car seat installed ahead of time is highly recommended so that you are not worrying about it when bringing your baby home. Fire departments will check the installation to make sure you did it correctly and provide feedback if necessary. Delivering in the Fall in Michigan is unpredictable so I am just preparing for the worst and having car seat cover ready to go.
Home Outfit: I have about 3 different onesies packed just in case. You never know how big or small your baby will be so I have a couple different sizes. Be practical and pack either outerwear or a blanket to cover baby from hospital door to car.
Bottle: Luckily I did not need to use a bottle the first time around but I will pack another one just in case breast feeding doesn't go according to plan.
Swaddles: Bringing a couple swaddles that we will be using on a regular basis made it easier to practice with before leaving the hospital and expertise of the Labor and Delivery staff.
Announcement Momentos: Letterboards, stickers, signs you name it. This is the moment we moms have dreamt about for nine months now. Make sure you pack your announcement items and if you plan on taking pictures on something other than your phone, pack a camera.
Baby Blanket: Not only to wrap your little darling in, but for us cold weather mamas we needs to prepare to keep our little ones warm as we take them home.
Pacifier: Once again, did not use the first time around but will bring 1-2 on this hospital stay.
Newborn Mittens, Hat, Booties: Babies can have long fingernails when they're born and these little mittens can come in handy to prevent them from scratching their adorable faces. The hat and booties are for warmth.
Sound Machine: Last time I used a white noise app on my phone and had to leave it in the bassinet. I will be packing the sound machine to get her familiar with it.
Professional Camera: Now with COVID being a very harsh reality, not all hospitals allow for a photographer to visit and capture your first moments as a family. Taking a camera that can shoot high resolution photos is a good idea to bring.
Boppy: Breast feeding already has it's difficulties and strain on your back is one that will persist. Having a Boppy pillow at the hospital with you will make those first feedings a little less stressful.
Daddy's Hospital Bag
Loungewear: An outfit or two consisting of sweats, a t-shirt, socks and underwear - - pretty simple
Toiletries: Whatever guys need - deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, contacts/glasses idk what else Josh is pretty low maintenance.
Snacks: Because he can keep his hands off mine! Don't forget a few Red Bulls.
Entertainment: Same as what I mentioned I packed for myself (book, iPad, Laptop, headphones)
Charger: For above items (once again always helpful to have an extra long charger for convenience)
Pillow/Blanket: Josh didn't mind much about a blanket from home but he was very glad that he packed his pillow.
Postpartum Recovery - C Section
Depends: (See "My Hospital Bag" for details)
Nursing Pads: Great for breast feeding moms and if you aren't planning on BF than you won't need them for long.
Nipple Cream: (See "My Hospital Bag" for details)
Nursing Bras: I am bringing 2 of these from the ones I purchased that came in a pack of 5.
Belly Bandit: From the research I have done it seems that you should not put on a super restricting corset-like band immediately pp therefore allowing your organs and body to adjust to having more room again. I did use it the following week and I felt very supported.
Happ Diaper Bag: Not only is it so darn cute but it is extremely helpful to keep things organized while having lots of room to do so. I haven't decided if I will bring a diaper bag to the hospital this time or just keep it to my one bag. It will be a game time decision.
Compression Socks: I had a pretty easy going recovery EXCEPT for the leg swelling.... that was the most uncomfortable part for me. I will most definitely bring knee high compression socks to put on immediately postpartum.
MyLaborLove Bag: This is a great option for those that find the hospital packing to be overwhelming. MyLaborLove is a small shop owned by an amazing woman who helps customize bags PRE-PACKED and READY TO GO without any work from mom-to-be. I will link her shop here for you to check out. Mention you heard about her from @everydaymamadrama and you'll receive a discount :)
I will link my IG post with more details about @mylaborlove bag here
Itzy Ritzy Bag & Packing Cubes: Another option of a travel bag that is stylish, well designed and spacious. Not only will the bag be perfect for hospital items, but also used beyond postpartum life as a weekender bag. Itzy Ritzy also has matching packing cubes that are very handy to keep things organized and easy to access.
Encapsultaed Placenta Services: I have thought about this process for over a year now. Although there is no proven data linked to encapsulation services, there is some data and word of mouth by many women that have said it helped decrease postpartum depression and navigate hormone changes. Because of my experience with PPD last time, I am willing and excited to try this process out.
Breast Pump: Mine was given to me at the hospital but if you intend to breastfeed and want a different pump other than what your hospital has offered, I'd recommend bringing it with you.
I hope you found some ideas to help you in preparation for your little one on the way! If you have any questions or suggestions for me please leave a comment. This is such an exciting time and hopefully the items and information I have shared will help ease a little anxiety!