In case you haven’t heard: Having a baby is pretty expensive. While baby showers are a great way to come up with lots of baby essentials, you most likely won’t get EVERYTHING you need from your family and friends. That said, you can grab some really great essentials from the hospitals… FOR FREE. Here are my top five favorite things to take advantage of before leaving the hospital:
When you give birth in a hospital, you are SURROUNDED by people who know breastfeeding hacks. If you’re struggling, don’t be too shy to ask for help. Every nurse I have ever met has been more than happy to help new moms figure out positioning and latch, but hospitals ALSO have lactation consultants on staff, who can help with more advanced issues. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this while you’re at the hospital- its so much easier than trying to get out of the house to visit them in office, while recovering from childbirth! Also- grab all the nursing pads, nipple creams, and breastmilk storage baggies they’ll give you!
Okay, so maybe they aren’t actually sexy. I remember being pregnant with my first, and turning my nose up at the thought of even wearing them. Ladies, believe me, they live up to the hype. They are comfortable, supportive, and understanding of where you’re at in life. These are literally the doulas of the undergarment world. Need an industrial sized pad? No problem. Just had a cesarean and have a tender incision area? They’ve got your back. Tell your nurse she’s amazing or have one of your visitors bring her a Starbucks drink in exchange for as many of these as possible. It will be a WISE investment, guaranteed.
When you get moved to your postpartum room, your bathroom will come stocked with both of these. I have to be honest and let you know that the seemingly unimpressive squirt bottle in there, combined with a little warm water will become your best friend. After birth, using the bathroom is hard to do, especially if you’ve had an epidural, and then when you finally go, it can hurt. Aim where you feel the burn, and you’ll experience nothing but relief. (Just be sure your water isn’t too hot!) Your nurses will give you more free pads anytime you ask, so make sure you leave the hospital with a stock- and do NOT forget your bottle!
Unless you plan to cloth diaper, I’m willing to bet you don’t have enough diapers to last until your baby is potty trained. Babies go through about a kajillion diapers a day, and it really adds up. Your postpartum room will come stocked with them, so you don’t even need to bring any diapers to the hospital. Grab as many as you can before you leave, too. As for the diapers you have back at home, you can exchange diapers at most stores without receipts for the proper size, different brands, or store credit without much hassle at all.
I grouped these altogether because most likely you’re thinking something like, “But I want to use my own, that I’ve already bought.” The clothing items the hospital provides are easy to overlook, because of their plain designs, but grab them anyways. You’ll be amazed at how much laundry newborns generate, and how easy it is to lose something like a pacifier. Trust me, its a really great idea to take these home with you!
Hopefully, this list helped you feel a little more prepared for your hospital stay! If your due date is around the corner, or you’re planning ahead, consider following this blog for more helpful tips on pregnancy, breastfeeding, and motherhood.