By now we all know I’m a mother of two beautiful boys. I’ve also been blessed recently to have friends who have new babies! It’s safe to say my mind is filled with all things bambino! I say it often, but I find such joy and purpose in reaching out to mothers all across the globe in hopes of strengthening the motherhood community, so we can help each other, help each other.

One of the questions that gets thrown around in this community revolves around birth and delivery and how to pack for the hospital. Ah, the infamous hospital bag and all of its accoutrements! If you’re a soon-to-be mom, this could easily be a source of anxiety for you. I can remember going in for my cesarean and not knowing exactly what to expect. Thankfully, I had friends who gave me great bits of advice. I’d like to share some of that, plus what I learned on my own, with you!

Look and Feel Your Best

I’m going to start with something no one will tell you. It isn’t actually an item; it’s a person. Appoint someone you love and trust to be your “all things photo” person. What does that mean, you ask? Select a friend who will give you honest feedback about your appearance before you pose for a billion flashing cameras. I’m aware I might run the risk of sounding vain, but hear me out. The birth of your baby is going to last for a few hours. It will be a short, albeit glorious, moment in time, but photos are forever! You’re going to want to look at those photos years from now without cringing. My best friend was awesome at helping me determine how to look my best after major surgery. Let’s be honest, some of the medications they give you during childbirth are heavy duty and can leave you appearing very different from your norm. I was thankful to have a friend help me throw a bit of moisturizer and lipstick or lipbalm on to look a little more like myself for those first few photos.

I don’t agree with the idea that you have to be miserable once you become a mom. You’re going to be completely devoted to your little one around the clock. The least you can do for yourself is feel good! Pack deodorant, dry shampoo and even a non-toxic fragrance of some sort, if you please. Doctors and nurses don’t allow you to shower for a bit after delivery for a myriad of reasons. It’s easy to start to feel quite gross. These little essentials go a long way in restoring a bit of freshness in a pinch.

Electronics and Entertainment

With all the planning for the baby, you may easily forget to bring a phone charger. I found this especially helpful, as I was moving between rooms during each stage of labor, delivery and recovery. Keeping my phone charged ensured I’d be able to stay in contact with everyone to let them know where to find me in the hospital. I was also dying to send everyone millions of photos of my new perfect baby, and that required a full battery!

I also recommend downloading movies, music or podcasts onto your iPad or tablet of choice in advance. Hospital TV is anything but entertaining. Sure, you’ll be obsessed with your new little one, but in the downtime you’re going to want to have something to do. Come prepared.

Comfort and Cuteness

This might be the most important of all: bring your own nighties or gowns. I brought three of my own to wear in the hospital, and it was the best decision I could have made. I don’t think women know that you don’t have to wear the hospital gown they give you. Sure, those can be comfy, but I found that I was much happier knowing that I could get up and get my baby and not worry about flashing my grandfather. You’ll also want to bring soft bras. I made sure that I had ones that were easy to breastfeed in, but that I would also feel good wearing when family members and other visitors stopped by.

I also learned how to plan for the baby. Many moms think of all the cute outfits they want to put the baby in for his/her official exit from the hospital. What you don’t always realize is that you won’t know what size your baby will be. I brought cute outfits in different sizes (0-3 months, 3-6 months) because I knew I was having large babies that may or may not fit into the smallest size onesies and outfits.

Of course, these aren’t the only tips I could share, but I hope they will give you a great starting point. I’d advise thinking outside the box and not letting anyone put a limit on what you need to be comfortable. You’re creating life! You’ve earned the right to have a few conveniences to make your stay in the hospital as serene as possible. Happy packing!

Hey moms! What else would you recommend that moms-to-be bring with them before giving birth? Share your tips, ladies!

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