The First 24 Hours: Hospital Necessities

by heirtoblair on September 17, 2012

Title: The first 24 hours.

Before we left for the hospital on October 13, 2009, I made sure all the essentials were packed for Harrison – a blanket, comfy sleeper to come home in, a hat & pacifier. I cared very little about what I packed for me or Doug; truthfully, my little boy was all I thought about those days. & how much it might hurt getting him from uterus to outside world. 19 hours of labor later, 90 minutes of pushing & I held my little boy in my arms.

Exhausted & swollen & utterly famished, we were wheeled into our postpartum room where I called my mother & invited her to meet her grandson. Then I asked her to bring something for me to eat. Object #1 to obtain in the first 24 hours: FOOD. I was told to eat a light breakfast & I obliged with a small bowl of cereal & glass of orange juice. But labor is pretty much the hardest workout ever & over 24 hours later, I was tempted to gnaw my own arm off in hunger. The Momma brought in a biscuit & yogurt from McDonald’s & I stuffed my face before any of the other patients ordered their breakfast.

Once I was full, I realized that I stunk. Remember how labor is a workout? & pretty much every human fluid known to mankind is released? Item #2: SHOWER. The nurse helped me & for any future births, I will be bringing my own pretty suds & shampoos. I was so thankful that I brought my hair dryer & a pretty, soft nightgown & robe to put on after the shower – I felt human again.

Under the nightgown & robe? The most important thing for formula feeders: BINDING. I decided not to nurse & while I had no milk yet, I wanted to be sure I didn’t stimulate it & then have the painful process of drying up. I wore two sports bras & then wrapped my chest with a flexible back brace. Yes, you read that right. I’ve heard that other folk bind their bellies to help the uterus shrink faster & that’s dandy, but I was more focused on my non-performing breasts.

Last, but certainly not least, was a BLANKET from home for my husband. He was exhausted after staying up with me all night & when Harrison went to the nursery to be bathed & checked, we caught 45-minutes of shut-eye. It made life so much more comfy for Doug to have a large, warm blanket from home to curl up with on the sofa in the hospital room.

Was there anything unexpected that you wanted or needed in the first 24 hours after delivery?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel September 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

Pillows from home!

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Erin September 17, 2012 at 11:17 am

I have to agree with the shampoo/bathwash…I used the hospital stuff with my first son, but remembered to pack my own with #2. The hospital stuff, while free, just doesn’t cut it. Also, since I planned on breastfeeding, having a nice, comfy nursing/sleep bra was something I was glad to have as well.

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Jami September 17, 2012 at 11:19 am

The Boppy pillow. I nursed, but it wasn’t even for that, it was just for the simple fact that it was the easiest thing to have Hayden lay wrapped in when I didn’t have my arms around him. I had a c-section and if no one was in the room, I hated asking the nurses to come in my room just to get him out of his bassinet for me, and that way he was right between my legs in the pillow at all times. My husband brought it up later the next afternoon after Hayden was born, his second trip home. His first trip home he brought me back a regular pillow, not realizing what I was asking for…

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Meghan September 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I had to have a c-section for my daughter and had to have a repeat with my son, I think the requirements are so much different for a c-section Mama. All of the things listed above plus the largest pair of granny panties you can find. If elastic so much as looked at my incision, I was in tears. A belly support band. It helped keep the incision from pulling. I am sure there is more but it escapes me right now. The only other thing that sticks out in my mind is lotion. I had an adverse reaction to the anesthesia and my face was ridiculously itchy. Even with the benadryl, lotion really soothed and helped!

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Kati September 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I was on hospital bedrest for 31 days before my first little girl was born, so I ended up with literally everything I owned at the hospital. But the second time I would say having a robe, because after a c-section you can hardly get up but the last thing you can concentrate on after you do finally get up is keeping your cheeks covered while you try to waddle to the bathroom.

My own blanket for me as well. Hospital blankets are just so harshly laundered that I just hated having them against my skin. So I brought my own lightweight blanket and pillow case.

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CIara September 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I completely agree with bringing some comfy clothing from home. With my first, I originally planned on just wearing hospital gowns so I wouldn’t have laundry to do when we got home. So glad I decided against that. That delivery was rough and I was so glad I had my own things to put on to help me feel somewhat like myself. Also second the boppy pillow. It was great for nursing, but also for good snuggling and holding the baby close.

Also? Stool softeners, started immediately. I’m sorry I said stool softener, but it is so true. I started them way too late with my first and paid for it. Badly. Learned my lesson for the second babe and had no problems.

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Christina September 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Giant cotton underpants that you can bleed the hell in to. That, and a peri bottle to spray my under carriage with.
I stayed in the hospital for the exact 24 required hours, so I really didn’t need that much stuff from home. Plus, it grossed me out thinking of my home stuff in a hospital..

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Robin September 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm

-Boppy pillow
-my own personal pillow
-slippers or sandles

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Courtney September 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm

A donut! I wanted a donut so bad afterward, and my dad (who was our first visitor) brought me one. Plus I had a huge lunch. The nurse thought it was hilarious but whatever, dudes, I was on a high from the natural birth and I was STARVED.

Also:
- my own pillow and blanket
- same for my husband
- my robe, and flip flops for walking around/showering
- my toiletries
- eye mask for sleeping
- snacks! even with all the (gag) hospital food, I was still hungry
- sweet sweet ice packs for the crotch area, stuck into sexy mesh panties. Who knew I’d love those so much I would steal some to take home?

(sorry if this posts more than once–I kept getting a database error)

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Amy September 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm

My Brest Friend Pillow. A MUST for BF’ing mamas. These litte gel pads you put on your nipples that soothe them. Ah! I wish I had those for my vag too. Alas, I didn’t. Those ice pack pads were pretty awesome, though.

When I do it again, I’m stealing like 10 of those little hospital squirt bottles that I used to ::ahem:: clean up down there when I when to the bathroom. I use mine all the time now for Charlotte’s baths and for just whatever around the house.

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Shannon September 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm

My breast pump. My little guy refused to latch and I was super uncomfortable, but I hated the hospital pumps. They are loud bulky, and not as powerful as my personal one IMO.
My own pillow. It was like a extra touch of home that I desperately needed.

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cheryl September 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Chapstick! My lips were so chapped.

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Cara September 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm

a little power, blush and lipgloss, because after you look all pink and glow-y from childbirth you look bleh–so a little power and blush to make you look fresh in all those pics your family and friends snap!

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Erin September 18, 2012 at 8:30 am

I took most of the above but also my advice would totally be to keep your bags in the car! I developed preeclampsia in literally 5hrs- was fine at the doctor at 2p & by 7p when I went to the hospital for a NST my blood pressure was off the charts & we had absolutely nothing with us. I was told at my appt they’d see me in a week so when we went in for the NST we didn’t grab the bags or the carseat. My poor husband had to run home at 1am by the time they finally got me in a room & started the induction just to get our stuff. I couldn’t even sleep b/c I had contacts in but nothing to put them in so I could sleep without having super dried out scratchy eyes. I had no desire to eat even after having my daughter- I think 14hrs of pitocin does that but I would say I’m really glad we packed snacks for my husband. In the middle of the night there are not many options left in the hospital so he was happy to have all the little things snack items we grabbed.

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Tammie September 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I remember all I wanted after having my baby was ice for the under carriage. They had this rubber thing that looked like an inflated banana that they filled with ice and it was wrapped with a cloth and you wrapped it beteen your legs and froze yourself and it took the sweeling down and the pain away and I have to say it felt GREAT… I hope that wasn’t to visual….

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Michelle S September 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm

A heating pad. A friend told me how she got an ear ache during labor and couldn’t take any meds for it, so her hubby brought a heating pad. Then after delivery it helped with the cramps as the uterus returned to size. :-) A also loved that it helped with the chills I got after delivery and keeping my feet warm in the really cold hospital room. My husband also appreciated it too since he was REALLY cold! And I liked having the boppy pillow too, but not for breastfeeding…it was a great pillow to sit on in the uncomfortable hospital chairs when I was sick of being in bed and with multiple stitches…well yeah, the bobby became my best friend for a few days! And it made the car ride home more comfortable!

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JJ September 22, 2012 at 12:27 am

My OWN pads instead of those horrid hospital diapers
Hygenic cleansing wipes for the lady bits.
Chapstick (not for the lady bits)

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