Whether you have a planned C-Section or are planning for a natural delivery, be prepared with your hospital bag packed well ahead of time. Here are some essentials to help personalize your hospital stay and make the job of having a baby away from home more comfortable:
Pack Granny Panties
If you are having a C-Section, your incision will be right at the bikini line, which is precisely where most low cut panties elastic bands will hit. You don't want to irritate a scar with rubbing at this incision point or cause you any pain. High rise panties totally miss this point and will not irritate your bandaged incision. Even with a vaginal delivery, you will have much more comfort in a high rise roomy panty that can hold big pads, which btw, is what you will be living in for at least the first few days as your uterus contracts and you heal from birth.
Bring Your Own Hospital Gown
1 in the Oven has some wonderful cotton Hospital Gowns in both short and long sleeve. These gowns are far more flattering than the ones you get at the hospital and have built in slits in the front pleats for nursing access. They come in some beautiful pastel shades and now in organic cotton as well.
If you want a more classic Delivery Gown, but not with the boring washed out pattern you get at the hospital, take a look at the Dear Johnnies collection. Their Delivery gowns are all made of 100% cotton and come in an array of beautiful patterns which differ by name. They are also sized as S/M and L/XL which helps in attaining a better fit than the one size fits all you get at the hospital. These gowns are designed to be worn during surgery, labor delivery and outpatient treatment. They also have snaps along the shoulders which make for easy nursing access without opening in the pleats which is nice when you are not nursing and don't wont to worry about "popping out" which is often a problem with the typical hospital gown.
Bring a Wrap Robe
Whether it is summer or winter, hospitals can be chilly. If you are planning on staying a few days, as most of us are required to do following birthing a child, you may want to bring a robe to knock the chill off. Robes are great to throw on over your hospital gown if want to pace the hallways or greet visitors in your room. You will feel far better and more in control in your own robe then huddling in hospital blankets. You will also look 100% better for your first photos with your newborn. Wrap robes work the best, particularly maternity wrap robes, as you can adjust the size to what fits the best and is most comfortable. Also, wrap robes are perfect for discreetly and comfortably nursing your baby. Check out Bellabumbum's selection of 100% cotton maternity robes.
Bring Some Music
Unfortunately the business of having babies is not a quick event for most of us, particularly if it is your first child. Make your stay more enjoyable and help pass the time (and the pain) with your personal selection of music. Chances are your mood may shift dramatically throughout the hours that you labor, so pack a variety of DVDs that vary from slow to faster beat. You will not be in the mood to wear a headset or ear phones, so make sure you bring a regular DVD player. Also pack music that you may enjoy postpartum as you will probably be at the hospital for a few days and will most likely quickly bore of the limited channels available on hospital room TVs. You may want to pack some soothing music that your baby will enjoy as well and even to help him (and you) sleep.
Bring Your Own Pillow and Boppy
Hospitals are not in short supply of pillows but no pillow is quite as good as your own pillow and it is the surest way for you to get quality rest. Also bring a couple of pillow cases as the hospital's will probably not fit right and you may need to change your pillow case while you are there as postpartum women are prone to night sweats during the early weeks. If you plan to nurse your baby, remember to bring a boppy as this rounded nursing aid can greatly help your baby's nursing positioning and your personal comfort when you are trying to establish a latch in those first days of nursing.
Coming prepared to the hospital with your own things makes delivery and recovery that much easier and your whole birthing experience all the more personal. Not everyone can have a home birth, but you may as well allow yourself the comforts of home during your stay in the hospital.