There are a million blogs about what to pack in your bags to go to the hospital for your upcoming birth. This isn't one of them. I want to touch on what NOT to bring with you. (We serve moms who mainly birth at Calgary hospitals, so this list may vary slightly for your area). If you need help picking an appropriate bag and ideas on what to pack be sure to ask your Doulas.
Hospitals are public places. While you'll ideally give birth in a private setting, an unexpected trip to the OR will leave your belongings alone, awaiting your return. Something else to remember is that there is no guarantee that you'll have a private room for your postpartum stay, in the majority of our hospitals. So if grandma's wedding ring is very sentimental it's best left at home.
2. Pre-Pregnancy Clothes
We've all seen THOSE movies. The one where mom waltzes in to the hospital births twins while wearing mascara and waltzes out in size nothing skinny jeans. Three kids in and I can personally tell you that Hollywood has no idea what new mommyhood looks like. Take comfortable clothes to come home in. It doesn't need to be a moomoo, but generous yoga pants and granny panties are perfect. Don't own granny panties? Now would be the time to visit that bin at Victoria Secret.
3. Breastfeeding Pillow
Most postpartum units have a supply of breastfeeding pillows on hand. Your partners in crime don't need to pack mule your beautiful clean, plushy pillow in. Leave it at home where it'll stay clean. (Did you know that if you want to pick up an illness you spend time in a hospital? Ewww).
4. Diapers & Wipes
Contrary to popular belief these baby necessities ARE provided by every hospital. Newborn sized poop catchers and washcloths are an unlimited commodity. Why use a washcloth over a fancy baby wipe? Well first off they remove tar like meconium far better then a flimsy, one ply baby wipe. Second reason is they aren't chemical filled and likely to irritate your little peanut's delicate tushy.
Breastfeeding is established and a good breastmilk supply is built by BREASTFEEDING. Ideally you and baby are going to spend much time skin to skin in those early days (and weeks). Your milk is stimulated to "come in" by baby's continuous desire to nurse on demand. The majority of moms will not need to pump in the early days, if given the proper support. If you must pump during your hospital stay, each hospital is equipped with numerous Medela Symphony pumps. These hospital grade pumps are the Cadillac of pumps, when compared to ANYTHING you can buy off the shelf. We'd also advise continuing to rent this pump if you are headed home and must continue pumping.
By: Doula Sonja
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