Reflecting on the birth of my son, I realized I could have been better prepared and saved myself a lot of discomfort. Some things I didn’t even think of, other’s were due to circumstances I hadn’t planned for but probably should have (a slightly extended stay and tearing).
So, here is an opportunity for you to learn from my mistakes.
What I wish I had
- More clothes
I ended up staying in hospital for about 6 days (unplanned) and there were zero accessible laundry facilities. I had torn during delivery and was having incontinence issues and on top of that there was baby puking, leaking boobs and all the postpartum bleeding. Pads weren’t always enough to contain all this and I pretty much had no clean clothes by day 3 even though I had over-packed as far as clothes went. Also, laundromats are hella expensive. It was actually cheaper to send my husband off to k-mart and buy 3 days worth of shirts, underwear and pants than to either use a laundromat or drive back to the town where we were living to collect more. A good nursing top is essential, doesn’t have to be branded as a nursing top but should give you easy access to your boob. I was using a design similar to this
- Microwave heat packs
I was dying for these in labor. I had an induction and because of the IV line I wasn’t allowed to labor in the tub they had in the birthing suite. The room was cold and I would have killed to be able to have something warm on my back to help with pain from the contractions
- Incontinence wear
A pad just wasn’t enough to contain all the bleeding and incontinence from tearing.
- Hair ties
Hair getting in my face during labor was really annoying.
- Comfortable slippers
In early stages I was walking around a lot trying to progress things faster, the hard floors started to hurt my feet.
What I wish I didn’t bring
- Baby toys
although my son was really alert (which apparently wasn’t so usual) he had zero interest in rattles or the rabbit toy I brought for him.
- Bottles, breast pump etc
I was planning to breastfeed but had purchased some bottles because I planned to pump milk to allow my husband to feed baby. In any case I didn’t need to bring these things to hospital because they provided them. My baby also never ended up accepting a bottle so they were a bit of a waste of money.
- Ring sling
I really only used it while waiting for discharge but it wasn’t necessary at all. I also didn’t end up using it too much afterward because while I didn’t have back pain prior to pregnancy, I did get a lot after. The ring sling puts all the baby’s weight on one shoulder and your back muscles need to compensate for that. Not great if you’ve got back problems. Either way it wasn’t necessary for my admission.
- Nursing bras
Your boobs will grow several sizes both during pregnancy and when your milk comes in. I assure you if you buy a nursing bra to fit you in pregnancy you’ll either need expanders or an upsize. If you’re already busty, you may struggle to find any kind of bra to fit your anime-girl breasts. This is just something I sort of wish I waited to buy, who cares if you’re wearing a bra in the hospital anyway?
- Things to read
I felt like crap and had no time, when I had time, I used it for sleeping. A smartphone will keep you entertained enough if you do happen to find yourself occasionally bored, especially if you have the kindle app and some ebooks, don’t weigh yourself down with physical books. Audiobooks or music might be better for entertainment as they’ll require less focus, which you won’t have.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.