Since this is my first time giving birth, I don’t really know what to expect or what type of birth I will be having. I’ve surrendered a lot of that to the Lord and trusting Him. While it’s great to prepare, you really have no clue how it will go, so while I wanted to come with what I think I’ll need, I also know I’m in great hands at the hospital and they have so much already there for you! Even if you just showed up empty-handed, they’ve got you covered (rest assured)! These are some small comforts I’ve decided to pack, as well as post-recovery items I may need to use. You could be discharged hours or days later — it all depends! I’m writing this post at 36 weeks, but I’ve been preparing these bags for a few weeks now taking note from family, friends, my doula and the checklist provided by the hospital.
When packing comforts, I’ve been told your own pillow and blanket can make it extra cozy and this is often overlooked. I’d like to create a comforting birth space (since hospitals aren’t quite cozy) to help keep me relaxed. Having dim lights for example as opposed to the harsh hospital lighting is one way to create a relaxing space so I’m packing these LED candles and VAVA portable light). Basically, we give off a lot of hormones while giving birth and one of them we need to progress labour is oxytocin (the love hormone) and I’ve learned our birthing environment can impact that as well. We need mama to relax, and these are just some things that help me 🙂 I’ve also been listening to the Christian Hypnobirthing app since I hit 30 weeks every time I unwind and will be all the way up to birth to help centre me and keep me in a positive mindset. I’ll be listening to it during labour as well for relaxation, so while I’ve packed a bluetooth speaker to play music or my hypnobirthing app, I also have headphones for when I just want to go inward and be in my own zone. Neal and I hired a doula who will also be present during our birth and I’m so thankful to have her on my care team and that she will be allowed to be another support person in my room — she is an absolute angel! We’ve been doing prenatal classes with her and I’m just so thankful for how she encourages and empowers not just myself but also Neal as we enter this huge life changing experience. She’ll also be helping advocate for me during the birth, explain things through (as well as my options) should medical intervention be needed (as this is my first time), positions, breathing and more. It’s truly been the best decision we’ve made with all the support we’ve received from her leading up to birth, and we will also have her to help with breastfeeding and check-ins post birth.
Now let’s get into what I have packed…!
Shop My Hospital Bag
Duffle Bag // LED Candles // VAVA Light // Portable Speaker // Blanket // Pillow // Water Bottle // Postpartum Underwear // Frida Disposable Underwear // Adult Diapers // Pads // Nursing Bra // Organic Cotton Nursing Pads // Upside Down Peri Bottle // Face Mask // Long Charging Cable // Tucks Cooling Pads // Nursing Dress // Nightshirt PJ // Shower Slippers // Cozy Socks // Black loose jersey pants // Black nursing top // Nipple Butter // Makeup bag with my dental kit, concealer, lip butter, mascara, comb, Tula face filter, face wipes, brow pencil, blush, all-purpose balm, moisturizer (mini), hair clip, scrunchies, natural deodorant (use my code: JOLLY10) and dry shampoo // Printed copy of our birth plan (my friend let me use her account to create mine from this cute website) // Medela freestyle portable breast pump // Haakaa silicone breast pump
Toiletry Bag Essentials
I don’t want to wear heavy makeup during or after birth, but these are just some things I like to apply to make me feel and look more awake! I like to fill in my brows, apply a little mascara, cover up my dark under eye circles (I have them no matter how much sleep I get, they’re just hereditary) and have a little colour on my cheeks. I’m also OBSESSED with Tula’s face filter blurring and moisturizing primer because it’s super light and just looks very natural. You can always use my code: STEPHJOLLY to get 15% off! If I feel like refreshing, I’ll have these items packed in case I want that for any photos, but I’m also totally good with taking snaps without makeup raw in the moment. It’s not really about looking perfect for me, I just want to be in the moment as much as possible.
Baby’s Diaper Bag
Newborn Diapers // Diaper Cream // Baby Wash // Outfit (we got a kyte baby set that’s soft and snuggly for her) // Swaddle Blanket // Name announcement sign // Portable Sound Machine // Pacifiers // Wipes
Nurse Thank You Baskets
Something I wanted to bring along with us to the hospital (that isn’t required) but have seen others also do, were these nurse gift baskets. The hard-working nurses will be helping bring our child into this world and we just wanted to show our appreciation and gratitude for them as well. Now because of the current climate (everywhere is different), I would recommend checking to make sure you can bring something like this into your hospital (if not you can always do gift cards).
I wanted to give practical goodies for the nurses (like snacks, drinks, pens and notepads) but also gift a few of my favourite products so they can enjoy some self-care (skincare, lip balm, candles). I went to the dollar store before the latest lockdown where I live and got these cute pink baskets (since we are having a girl), but I’ve also found a few on the internet as well if shops are closed around you or if you just want to order online for convenience. You can fill yours with whatever you like these are just a few items I wanted to include in ours. I think the gesture goes a long way and you can include these “thank you” gold stickers or write a card for them all!
Glass Tumblers // Rope Baskets // Pink Plastic Basket // Plastic Tumblers // Tula Skincare (use my code: STEPHJOLLY to get 15% off when you shop) // Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm // Smart Sweets Candies // MadeGood Birthday Cake Granola Bars // Pens // Burts Bees Balms // Deskpad // Starbucks Frapp Drinks // No Touch Door Opener Keychains // Burts Bees Advanced Relief lip balm (my absolute fave)
My husband Neal has yet to pack his but he will mostly just bring an overnight bag of comfy clothes, toiletries, his own pillow, blanket and of course snacks! We both need to pack lots of snacks and coconut water.
I hope you lovelies found this post helpful and I am wishing you a safe, healthy and blessed delivery!! I will also do a follow up post to what I actually ended up using after my experience as well. xoxo