Having a baby? Make sure you have a Go Bag prepped before you go into labour. You're going to need a few bags, actually. Here's the most important one.
The Mom Bag:
This is the bag you want to bring with you the moment you head to the hospital. This is the bag that will ensure you the most comfortable post-partum experience.
1. Old pajamas: If you plan to nurse, make sure that these aren't the "over-the-head" type. They should have a button down or other way to easily access those ta-tas. (Pro-tip: You may want to bring beautiful pajamas for those insta-worthy pics, but not only will they likely get ruined, nothing is more beautiful than that first, sweaty, messy-haired pic where you see you baby for the first time. You will never replicate that magical moment, so take it of your authentic self.
2. Slippers: Two words: Hospital floor.
3. Socks: see above. Also they are cozy in bed.
4. Many ways to pull your hair back: You'll think you just need a ponytail, but trust me, it won't catch it all and you will want nothing touching your face. When your in labour, hair in your face sticks to you like walking through a spiderweb (we've all done it). It's sticky and never seems to brush away. Plus, a ponytail can be uncomfortable if you are lying on a pillow. I recommend clips or bobby pins, and most importantly, a soft, athletic headband. Not only will that wick away the sweat, but it will keep anything that comes out of the ponytail from your face.
4. Granny panties: Seriously, you have 9 months to SAVE OLD UNDERWEAR. You don't want to be sexy here. You want industrial strength, big-ass undies. Yeah, the hospital will give you disposable ones, and that's great - for a day or two. Any real underwear if going to get messy. And if you have had a c-section, this is still good advice. You want comfy, roomy and full-bottomed underwear.
5. Monster pads: The bleeding... oh man the bleeding.... Think about all the periods you missed while pregnant and then save them up until just after you have your baby - SURPRISE - it's the worst period of your life. The hospital pads feel like those ones you get out of those machines in a public washroom. They are so thick and uncomfortable. I was recommended these and was so grateful. They are long and cover a LOT.
6. Toiletries: Pack your usual overnight supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush etc) but also pack some kind of wipes (I mean, at this point you should have baby wipes right?). They come in handy, not just for cleaning up that horrific bleeding, but for moments when you need to freshen up (visitors are coming! quick, wash your face!). Also, trust me when I say: Don't forget the lip balm!
7. A LARGE water bottle: Not one you can get from a vending machine. I'm talking like a 750ml-1L/24-32 oz ish size. So many reasons:
a) you just lost a ridiculous amount of fluid
b) if you plan to nurse, more water will help with more milk production
c) it's sooooo easy to get dehydrated post-birth. This is when your life gets flipped-turned upside down. It's so easy to get wrapped up in cycles of feed baby, change baby, sleep that you can get dangerously dehydrated quickly. Set a goal to drink x amount of ml/oz per day and stick to it. When you get home from the hospital, take water with you everywhere. Better still, leave water bottles all over the house so you can have some sips whenever you enter a room.
8. A robe: Walking is a great way to recover after birth. The robe helps you cover up a bit while you roam the hospital halls. When I gave birth, the maternity ward was a loop, so I often would slowly shuffle once or twice around it whenever I felt the urge to get moving.
9. Chargers/battery packs: A must in today's day and age. You don't want to have no battery after day one! Pro tip: Pack a power bar with a long cord. That way you can plug in a lot, and not have to be quite as tethered to an out of the way wall socket.
10. Snacks snacks snacks: Yeah, the hospital will feed you, but what if you give birth in the middle of the night? Will the kitchen really be able to feed you enough? I had granola bars, and a few other things in their to get me by.