packing

I live my life based on to-do lists – it’s the only way I know how to survive. So you can imagine the giant to-do list I have going right now, at 33 weeks pregnant, unsure exactly what day my sweet baby girl is going to decide to make her grand entrance into this world. With most major milestones in life, you know exactly what date it will take place – but with babies, they come on their own timing – and sometimes quite unexpectedly.

And so I’m tackling my to-lists now, just to be on the safe side. One BIG to-do item looming over me is packing for the hospital. Since I’m a first-timer, I decided to go straight to the experts – I asked our Labor & Delivery department what they think every new mom should pack for the hospital. Thanks to nurses Angie and Courtney for coming up with this great list. (please note – some of these hospital-related items only apply to moms delivering at North Hills Hospital):

• Toiletries, lotions (the hospital will provide you with lip balm)
• Hair tie
• Hair dryer
• Your own fluffy pillow and a soft throw for comfort (the hospital provides both, but there’s something about having your bedding from home that brings extra comfort). Use a colored pillow case so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital’s pillows.
• Fun socks for labor and pushing (Angie says you’ll always remember these as your “lucky labor socks.”)
• If you are sensitive to smells, bring a scented plug-in.
• Camera/charger
• Chargers for your phone, laptop and/or iPad
• Movies
• Soft music, speakers for your iPhone (or, a special laboring playlist)
• Small hand massager for your husband to use on your upper and lower back during labor for pain relief
• Microwavable warm pack for your shoulders and neck
• Nursing pajamas, robe and slippers (remember, you’ll have a lot of visitors, so bring something cute)
• You should not need a nursing bra or pads while you are in the hospital, but make sure you have these ready for day 3 after delivery.
• Breastfeeding pillow/Boppy
• Scrapbook page or baby book for handprints and footprints after the baby’s first bath
• The hospital will provide dad with a snack bag – bring extras if you have a particular favorite. We also have vending machines and a cafeteria – and a Starbucks on weekday mornings.
• A loose, comfortable going-home outfit for you and the baby

Other checklist items:
• If you want newborn photos, book a professional photographer ahead of time, as most prefer to photograph your baby within the first 7-10 days.

• Be sure to pre-register with the hospital well in advance. They recommend at least two months before your due date. At North Hills Hospital, we offer online pre-registration on our website. I just did it and it took less than 5 minutes.

To you seasoned moms out there – what other items would you recommend packing for the hospital? And what did you pack that you wish you had left at home?

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Bethe Wright is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital, a wife, and a first-time mom-to-be in just a few weeks.

Need an OB? Check out our list of physicians who deliver at North Hills Hospital.

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