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Packing for the Hospital

After having a baby via c-section, I would do the following things differently:

1-Pack for a c-section.
I wish I would have packed more lounge clothes and pants for post baby when I was at the hospital. I stayed longer than anticipated because of my surgery and wished I had a few more change of clothes. For an entire day, I was in bed and I didn't want to wear the same clothes again when I was able to get out of bed and walk.

I did bring a bath robe to the hosptial. I can see how it would not be necessary if your delivery was a vaginal one, but for a c-section, I hung out in a hospital gown for an entire day and it was nice to wear a bath robe over my gown when visitors arrived.

2-Bring your own sanitary napkins/pads.
The hospital will have some for you, but my hospital put two pads in at one time. Not all that comfortable, since one pad always seems to fold over and ride up your butt crack. Once I put in my own pads, I was much more comfortable. Yes, you bleed after a c-section.

3-Mesh Underwear
I loved the mesh underwear the hosptial gave me. They are somewhat like boy shorts, and I actually took a few pairs home and am still wearing them today. They are very helpful right now since none of my undies are high enough to cover my c-section scar (the waistline hits just on the incision).

4-Notebook and Folder
Bring a notebook and folder. Write down information such as the name of doctors, or things staff asks you to do. We met with a few specialists and asked for their business cards, and put them in our folder. This way we could easily recall which doctor we saw and have their phone number on hand to schedule appointments.

5-Borrow from the hospital.
When your baby comes to you in their "crib" from the hospital, they will arrive with a stockpile of diapers and wipes. I suggest taking a few diapers here and there and stock piling them. When you go to leave the hosptial, empty out your supply because the hospital cannot re-use them. They will just become trash.

6-Boxes and Bags
Pack a few boxes or bags in your car to carry things home - flowers, the diapers I referenced above, paperwork, etc.

7-Gifts for Nurses
Be sure to bring gifts for the nurses. I had two nurses during labor and deliery (due to a shift change) and then a day and night nurse for my recovery time in the mother/baby unit. There were also technicians who helped me to the bathroom, changed my linens, and got me more towels and a fresh gown. I was lucky to have almost the same nurses each day and got to know and love them all! I gave them scratch pads as gifts and next time would bring them a snack basket/box and probably homemade treats.

I was unable to take a tour of the hospital due to the H1N1 Swine Flu but if I had taken a tour, I would have realized the showers are not in your room, but down the hall. I would have brought shower flip flops. Thankfuly the hospital showers were very clean and they had a spray bottle of disinfectant in the stalls, so I was able to re-treat the floor before I took a shower. I also brought some slippers, which I recommend, since I was in and out of bed a lot.