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Most new moms have no way of knowing exactly what to pack and what to leave home before their first hospital delivery. While every woman has different needs and preferences, here are our top 15 recommendations.
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Pack some of your favorite easy access (read: one-handed) snacks (granola bars, pretzels, etc.) just to have on hand in the middle of the night. Your partner will appreciate this too.
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3: A hospital-gown alternative
While some women are perfectly content in the hospital-provided delivery gowns, many hospitals and birthing centers now allow women to deliver in the comfort of their own gowns. While we think its silly to spend too much money on something to deliver a baby in, we found some comfortable, pretty delivery gowns for under $30.
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4: A robe, comfortable pajamas and slippers
So maybe you can live without your own delivery gown, but a robe, PJs and slippers are a must. Keep in mind that your PJs will most likely be ruined, so leave the silk and cashmere at home. And youll definitely want a comfortable pair of slippers or slipper socks to pitter-patter around the hospital floors. If you want a little something-something to make you feel fresh and pretty, check out these pretty robes to throw on when you have visitors.
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5: Not-so-pretty underwear
Because they will be ruined. Though most hospitals have disposable undies to wear under your giant post-delivery sanitary pads, you should pack a few pairs to have on-hand in case its more comfortable.
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6: Nursing tank tops
Youll want two or three good, comfortable nursing tank tops, which either snap down or lift up for easy breastfeeding access.
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7: Nursing bras
Youll also want to bring some nursing bras. Since its hard to know what size youll be after your milk comes in (and because wearing a traditional bra might be too uncomfortable in the beginning), we recommend bringing comfy sleep nursing bras, which are soft-structured, wireless bras that come in a S, M, L, rather than cup sizes. (Almost like a sports bra, but much more comfortable.) You dont want to waste money on a bunch of bras that wont fit in a couple of weeks.
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9: Tech-y must-haves
Youll most likely want a camera to record the momentous day — and of course to take your babys first picture — and maybe even a video camera. Also remember your cell phone charger (check that your hospital allows cell phones) and laptop in case you want to tweet, blog or just watch movies. You might also want a laboring play list on your iPod or MP3 for soothing music or your favorite tunes — whatever you think will work best for you. And you can always download some magazines on your Kindle.
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10: Favorite personal items
The hospital or birthing center should provide all of the pillows, blankets and toiletries you need, but we all have those favorite comfort items. Some popular things to bring from home include your own pillow, blanket, body wash, chapstick (many women complain of dry lips), toothpaste and deodorant. And dont forget the ponytail holders!
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11: Postpartum Organizers
Youll want to record your babys sleeping and eating while in the hospital (and for the first few weeks after that), so you might want to pick up a postpartum baby tracker whether its a simple journal, comprehensive organizer or an iPhone app. Some new moms like to bring along the baby book as well.
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12: Comfy clothes
You wont be back at your pre-pregnancy size after birth (it takes a good six weeks for your uterus to shrink back down), so pack some loose, comfy clothes for the hospital. We would live in these pants if we could.
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13: Essentials for your baby
For your baby, youll want to pack a coming home outfit and a couple of your favorite swaddling blankets. (These are our favorites.) Tip: Bring one baby outfit in size newborn and another in size 0-1 because most moms dont know exactly how big their baby will be. If your baby is born over 8 pounds, all of those newborn clothes will be too small.
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14: A breastfeeding pillow
If youre planning on breastfeeding, a breastfeeding pillow is actually a lot more comfortable than a standard pillow. Plus, we loved how the Boppy provided comfortable back support during our hospital stay. But if youre tight on cash, dont sweat this one.
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15: An empty bag
At the hospital, youll be able to take all of the diapers, ointments, gauze and pads that you want. Stock up!
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