Moms tell Moneyish they packed everything from miso soup to decorative wall decals in their hospital bags
These moms will send you packing.
Kate Middleton is due to give birth to her third royal baby any day now, and OK! magazine claims that her hospital bag is already packed in preparation for her stay at the private Lido Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London.
Anyone who’s had a baby knows the importance of packing a go-bag complete with staples for mom and baby during labor, delivery and their hospital stay. Typically, expectant moms make sure to pack basic personal hygiene items, such as hair brushes and toothbrushes; comfort items like robes and slippers; as well as outfits for mom and baby to go home in.
Kate’s bag reportedly contains a 19th-century alabaster cameo pendant from the Queen that she’s used as a good luck charm for her previous births, as well as black onyx beads from her mother. She has also packed a calming music CD and her favorite aromatherapy candle to help her relax. More surprisingly, the Duchess of Cambridge is also said to have updated her Kindle with some must reads — though it seems unlikely she’ll have time to blaze through a book during her stay.
A 2016 study in PLOS Medicine revealed that the average hospital stay for women giving birth in the U.K. is just 1.5 days, compared to two days in the U.S., and 4.2 days in France.
But some moms say that what they bring to the hospital defines their birth experience.
Because hospital food is notoriously unimpressive, Tawny Krintzman, 37, a mother of two, brings her own food when giving birth. “Mishima Instant Miso Soup is a must,” she told Moneyish. “It tastes so good when you’re in labor and want a flavorful snack. I bring juice boxes, too.”
Hayden Ellison, who has two daughters, told Moneyish that, “I’m all about a robe, comfortable pajamas, sandals, a giant bra, an iPad and a charger. I bring the bare minimum, and leave after 24 to 36 hours because the bathrooms are so gross that I just want to go home and shower.” Ellison, 35, also adds that before heading home, she packs her bag full of goodies from the hospital — like those giant mesh postpartum undies.
According to more than a thousand moms in a Babycenter survey, the top things that they make sure to have on hand during labor and delivery include cozy clothes, memory makers like cameras and baby books, toiletries, magazines, books, music, their own pillows and snacks. Some women bring nursing aids, their own sanitary napkins and towels.
But some expectant moms go the extra mile. Instead of packing a hair dryer or flat iron in her bag, Sarah B., a mom of two in Los Angeles, brought a hairdresser both times she’s had a C-section. “When I had my daughter, a family friend who is a hairdresser came in and did me the favor of blowing my hair dry as a treat,” said Sarah, 35. “The next time around, I hired my regular hairdresser to come do my hair — it made me feel like a million bucks and it only cost $80.”
Dr. Tristan Bickman, an OBGYN in Santa Monica, Calif., has seen some wild things in her 20-plus years delivering babies. While hairdressers don’t faze her — apparently they’re pretty commonplace — she told Moneyish, “One woman brought anal bleaching cream in her hospital bag. I see people bring in a lot of spiritual things like crystals, diffusers and photos of pets.”
When it comes to practical necessities, former preschool teacher and mom of two sons, Dana Kao says, “I knew that I was going to be going through my phone’s battery quickly while in the hospital from playing music during labor to taking a million photos after the birth, so I packed an extra-long charger to keep my phone close to my bed, no matter where the outlet in the room was.”
Laura Ford, 33, a public relations professional from Westchester, N.Y., wished she had packed ear plugs. “I wasn’t in a shared room, but I could hear the moms next to me in the other rooms laboring — and as a first-time mom, that freaked me out,” she says. “I tried to sleep but could hear their screams.”
Central Florida-based blogger and artist Desirae Ofori of SincerelyMrsMommy told Moneyish that when she delivers her second baby this summer, she plans to bring a mini battery-operated fan. “It can attach to the hospital bed. I was so hot during labor, and the room has to stay warm for the baby after birth.” Another item she swears by is Depends disposable underwear. “I bought the silhouette fit and they were a dream! I wanted to keep wearing them well after my postpartum phase,” says Ofori, 33.
“The reality is that you don’t need anything. There should be no such thing as a hospital bag,” says Bickman. Not only do hospitals supply basically everything needed for the baby, like onesies, diapers, hats and blankets, but they also have toothbrushes, shampoo, razors and gowns for the moms. “I’ve had patients bring their own water!” says Bickman.
And she’s seen plenty of people decorate their rooms with battery-operated candles, string lights, plastic wall decals and framed photos of their other children. “The only thing I tell people to bring is socks for the baby, because hospitals don’t usually provide those, and maybe some lip balm for mom,” says Bickman.
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