Packing your labor and delivery bag can be an overwhelming task, especially if this is your first baby. And trust us, this is one chore you don’t want to leave undone until the last minute. When you’re in the throes of labor, it is simply too late.
Start packing early, says Jennifer Mercurio from Orlando, Fla. “Pack, unpack, repack, unpack. Do this over and over again until you feel completely comfortable with what’s in your hospital bag. I packed just once, and I ended up forgetting so many things I wish I would have brought and I brought so many things I didn’t need.”
Erica Giles, of Easton, Md., agrees and says there is nothing wrong with over packing. “I think it’s better to over pack than under-pack. I regret not having certain items, and sometimes still think ‘if I had only had that while I was in the hospital.’ But, I have never once thought ‘too bad I brought that to the hospital.’”
So don’t delay, get packing now. Need more advice on what to bring? We asked some mom bloggers to chime in.
Get Hair Away
When she was pregnant with her son, Erica didn’t have the luxury of planning ahead and packing for the hospital. Due to preeclampsia and various medical issues, she was on bed rest from the second trimester on. When she did have some the strength, she threw some items into a bag, but she definitely didn’t get to pack what she wanted.
“I would have loved to have had a ponytail holder and a headband,” Erica explains. “Those would have made nursing a lot easier.”
The Comforts of Home
Another item Erica recommends you pack in your labor and delivery bag – your own pillow from home.
“I wish I had brought my own pillow for sleeping and a nursing pillow. Both were incredibly uncomfortable in the hospital,” says Erica.
Cute and Comfortable
Don’t forget to bring comfortable clothes for the postpartum period. Mom of three, Melissa Risenhoover of Oklahoma City, Okla., opts for stretchy fabrics.
“For me, the postpartum [period] is the most essential time to have things you need. You want to be comfortable while you are recuperating; so comfy, stretchy pants are a must. I also had to have my tank tops with built-in bras. They were essential for breastfeeding easily and comfortably,” Melissa says.
Erica agrees and also wishes she had brought “cute” clothes to the hospital.