Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hospital Packing Part 4-The Stuff You Shouldn't Bother With

In posts 1 through 3 I shared the items that I packed for Mom, Baby, and my own Comfort.  This list is the stuff you shouldn't even bother with putting in your suitcase. They're items I frequently see on suggestion lists and I completely disagree about packing them. Here's why...

  • Stuff for Dad. Mostly because, he doesn't really need much. Also, he's got the ability to leave the hospital for an hour or 2 and go home to take care of anything he might need. (Remember that down-time? When you are going to be sleeping.)  At most, I'd have him bring a change of clothes, a toothbrush, and some deodorant.  And he can leave them in the car until he needs them the next morning. On the off-chance the hospital allows him to use a shower (most don't because Dad's aren't patients) he can use the toiletries you've already brought for yourself. An exception to all this would be if you're at a hospital with a birthing tub or shower in your delivery room. In that case, throw a swimsuit for him in your suitcase if there's any chance he'll be joining you as part of your labor support.

  • Postpartum Menstrual Pads. I know. It's not pleasant to think about, but there's going to be some serious bleeding going on.  You'll be soaking through them so fast that if you bring your own you'll go broke from their purchase before the end of your first day. Use the ones the hospital provides.  They work better, plus you're already paying for them. Save the ones you like for when you get home.  You'll have the opportunity to use them for at least 4 to 6 weeks. Another reason not to bring them is for their size.  You're going to want the huge ones and a box will easily take up a quarter of the space in your suitcase.

  • Another waste of suitcase real estate is a box of disposable Breast Pads.* Your real milk doesn't come in for 2-3 days.  For most women that means it's happening after you get home, so you won't be leaking enough breast milk to warrant dragging them around. The box is going to sit untouched in your suitcase until then.  I have a zipper pocket on my travel boppy pillow that allows me to stash some nursing items. I placed 3 pair in this pocket for "just in case" rather than bringing a whole box like I did last time. If you do happen to need breast pads before you leave, the hospital will be able to provide some or you can stash the box in the car and have somebody run out to grab it.
*It's uncommon, but some women start leaking breast milk before they deliver.  If this is you, obviously this item gets moved to the Mom's Essentials list and you'll definitely want to pack a box if you have a preferred brand.

That's all of it! The stuff you need and the stuff you don't! Bring as little as possible with you to the hospital and you can't go wrong.  Things don't get lost or forgotten and someone you love doesn't have to keep dragging it around whenever you switch rooms.  May your labor and delivery run as smoothly as your packing!

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