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May 26, 2020

My Hospital Bag & Postpartum Recovery Checklist

I got a lot of requests asking what I packed in my hospital bag. I must say, I overpacked and didn't end up using most of the things that I brought. So here I am sharing the USEFUL things that I packed, plus things that helped me heal during postpartum recovery.

Hospital Checklist for Mom
  • Nursing Bra's - Your body may or may not start producing milk while at the hospital, so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. My milk did come in a little, so wearing soft nursing bras over nipples that were in bad shape from learning how to breastfeed was helpful.
    • Robe
      • Nursing friendly Pyjama's / Loungerwear - Night gowns or Pyjama's that can unbutton for breastfeeding. I got mine on Asos.
      • Socks - Your feet may get cold during labor and especially after you take the epidural
      • 1-2 outfits incase you have visitors - I packed a loungewear set & a dress to wear when I had visitors in the hospital
      • Breast Pump - You should find out if the hospital you are delivering at has a breast pump. I brought a breast pump as they did not bring me my baby to my room, I had to go to the nursery to breastfeed. For the late night feeds, I would express milk early on and send it for the nurses to feed.
      • Adult diaper Underwear - The hospital will provide you with pads and mesh disposable underwear's, which I found uncomfortable and annoying because it would keep moving (which can cause you to leak through it as you bleed A LOT). I loved the adult diapers - it was comfortable and secure.
      • Upside down Peri bottle for Postpartum - This was my most used gadget. I used the Frida Mom Peri Bottle to wash sensitive, healing lady parts instead of toilet paper, and yes the angled nozzle makes ALL the difference! The design of this bottle also provides a steady yet gentle stream of water pressure. I’d fill this with COLD water and use the entire bottle each bathroom trip as a soothing wash. If you had a C-section, its easy cleaning down there due to limited mobility
      •  Perineal Ice Max Pads for Postpartum - Crack the cold pack for instant first aid ice pack built into a pad. Chill your vagina whilst absorbing the blood. I didn't end up using this, but a lot of people said this was a life saviour. Check out : Medline Deluxe
      • Perineal Relief Spray - You’ll be quite sore after childbirth because of stretching, bruising and swelling, even if you don’t have a tear or episiotomy. Midwife developed and mum approved, this multi-award winning Spritz for Bits contains natural essential oils which can soothe discomfort after childbirth. Spritz for Bits spray contains lavender to soothe, tea tree oil for anti-bacterial properties and witch hazel to speed up healing.
      • Flip Flops - Some prefer comfy slippers, but I wanted shoes that could be easily washable and hospital shower-friendly.
      • Stretch Mark Oil/Cream - After delivery, your skin is dry & stretched. You need to continue applying your stretch mark oils/creams to help nourish and strengthen your skin as it bounces back. I used / am still using the Mama Mio oils/creams.
      • Stomach Binder - I wore the Belly Bandit Binder immediately after I delivered as it provides a light compression to shrink the uterus back and support abdominal muscles. I don't particularly like this stomach binder and am still searching for something better.  *Tip: Wear on top of a fitted top to avoid rashes on your skin from it.*
      • Toiletries / Make up - Pack the toiletries you use every day so you have what you need during your hospital stay. Be sure to include items like your toothbrush, toothpaste, dry shampoo, soap, deodorant and hairbrush
      • Dark Towel - Choose dark towels to avoid staining 
      • Snacks & Drinks - Labor can sometimes be very long and uses up an enormous amount of energy, the body requires a sufficient amount of nutrition to get through it. It is important to pack some drinks & snacks to help get you through it. I packed electrolyte drinks, like Gatorade, coconut water & lemon juice to keep hydrated throughout my labor and delivery.
      • Drinking Straws - Childbirth is thirsty work, but when you’re in labor the last thing you’re thinking of, or even capable of for that matter, is holding a cup of water. Having a few straws on hand means your partner can offer you sips of water without having to hold a cup so you can stay hydrated. Metal or silicone straws are best because you’ll be able to wash and reuse them. 
      • Mobile Charger - Easily forgotten, this was the last thing that went in my bag because I’d been using it. In future I’d definitely pack away a second, back up lead and charger to throw in my bag. Don’t forget your phone is likely your camera and video camera, as well as your lifeline to stay in touch with family and friends via phone or social media. If you’re in hospital for 3 days like I was, you'll want your charger. 
      • C-Section Silicone Scar Sheet - For those who choose to have an elective C-Section, the ScarAway silicone scar sheet helps to treat C-section scars.
       

      The hospital provides everything a newborn technically “needs” like diapers, onesies, and linens so I didn't end up using what I had packed, think it depends on the hospital you deliver it.

      Hospital Checklist for Baby 
      • 2 Going home outfit - I had packed two newborn sleepsuits (thank god), my baby girl was really tall, so the one I wanted to wear didn't fit her. Luckily I had another sleepsuit which just fit perfectly. For me this outfit was special, as it was the first time I dressed her since she was born and the first outfit she was going to wear outside the hospital.
      • Kimono Tie Vest - Right after birth, your baby will be sporting his umbilical cord stump for the first 10-20 days. It can be short or long depending on where it was clamped. If it’s on the longer side, you may want to stick to newborn kimonos and such, which won’t rub and irritate it.
        • Hat - A necessity for a newborn that is born in winter   
        • Mittens - Keep your baby warm but they will prevent little hands from scratching their delicate face. These are important if your growsuits don’t have in-built mittens.
        • Receiving Blanket
        • Swaddle - It is recommended that newborns be swaddled in breathable muslin wraps.
        • Car Seat - Infant car seat with base properly installed into your car. In most countries, you won't be allowed to go home until you have the car seat and its properly installed, in Hong Kong it was not compulsory. 

        Hospital Checklist for Dad

          • Passport / ID card's of Mom & Dad
              • Marriage certificate
                • Mom's Insurance Card - if you have maternity insurance
                  • Hospital Forms
                    • Folder - to organize all Baby's documents that you'll be receiving 
                      • Mobile
                          • Toiletries
                              • Extra Clothes
                                  • Pyjamas

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