We all know to put a note on the garage door not to forget the camera, iPhone charger cord, spare change and credit cards as you dash out the door to go to the hospital to have your baby. But have you thought about the things that you need after birth?
We strongly encourage you to limit the number of visitors that you have that first day when your babe arrives. Giving birth is exhausting, both physically and mentally. You will likely want a rest after birth, as will your baby, so take advantage of those quiet moments and sleep. Your family will be more understanding than you think, and there will be loads of time to visit with you and baby after you get some rest.
If you are having a hospital birth, you likely will only be allowed clear fluids (tea, coffee, juice, popsicles, broth, gingerale) until after your baby is born. It is highly probable that you will be absolutely ravenous fairly immediately after birth. Most hospitals will offer you tea and toast with butter or jam. Now, if you have a doula attending your birth they will likely bring you snacks and goodies that they leave with you. However, if you don't, I highly recommend packing a small cooler or lunch bag with whatever you want to eat after birth. Apple fritter? Pack it. Wrap with a side salad? Pack it. Cheese and crackers? Pack that too. If it's not there, unfortunately you'll get toast.
I didn't realize the importance of this until after our second birth, but having a shower and using your own shampoo and conditioner, body wash and moisturizer....it's personal space, warmth, a time for you to gather your thoughts and reflect on what your amazing body just accomplished. It's kind of like when you're sick and you have a hot shower; you just feel more human afterward. Remember to pack your blow dryer and hair straightener if you need them!
Your Own Clothes
With my first birth, I lived in the hospital gown pretty much until we were ready to get discharged. Since I was trying to breastfeed, I didn't see the point in getting dressed over and over and over. However! With my second, after a nap and a shower, I got into my own clothes (leggings, tank top and a cardigan) right away. It felt so good, so human, and so normal.
A Warm Blanket
There's a certain amount of shock that goes through our body after we give birth. As your hormones drop significantly immediately after, your may start to shiver and shake. It's totally normal, and a warm blanket will bring lots of comfort. If you have one that you love from home, bring it with you for your bed after you are transferred from the birthing suite to your room. Or, ask the nurses for one of the operating room warm blankets as they tend to be warming than the standard warm blankets (a tip my doula Jena shared with me!)
And here's a bonus one for you from Stephanie and Ashley!
You know what just happened down there, right? Do you really want to use the scratchy one-ply that the hospital provides? Get the good kind, and hide it from your spouse if you have to!
Do you have things to add to the list? Leave them in the comments!