What to bring to the hospital

This will probably be one of the few blog entries that many people, including those who do not know me can benefit from.

As many of you know I am an RN and have been working in hospital for about a year and a half now. My main focus is OBGYN (with an emphasis on post-partum and well baby) but this blog entry can benefit anyone who is going into the hospital for any sort of planned procedure, whether it be delivery of a baby or a surgery.

As anyone who has ever stayed in a hospital can tell you they are not the most comfortable of places. I would much rather recover from a surgery in a 4 star hotel but alas most hotels do not have the medical technology hospitals provide.

Here is a guide, mostly geared towards soon to be moms, about what to pack before you head to the hospital and how your should prepare yourself to make your stay more enjoyable.

First of all, as neurotic as it may seem, pack yourself a suitcase when you hit your 30 week pregnancy mark (25 if you are as crazy as I am). Babies often come early and you will feel much better if you are prepared ahead of time and ready to go to the hospital whenever junior decides to come.

Make sure to bring:
1)A comfy pillow from home (hospital pillows can be flat and scratchy)
2)A full set of toiletries including....toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, body wash or soap, a hair brush, and a hair tie and face wash
*note- get yourself travel size toiletries to pack in your suitcase so you won't have to take things from your bathroom at home or worry about bringing everything home with you when you leave the hospital
3)A comfortable robe- hospital robes dont have backs, to roam the hall you must tie the little strings on the back which doesn't guarantee you won't expose yourself to other patients. Better to have your own comfy robe that you can slip on over your hospital gown.
*note- you could bring a set of comfy pajamas but wearing restrictive clothing can make assessments difficult for you and the nurse (more rolling, turning and moving around when you might not want to be doing so)
4)Slippers- although the floors are cleaned daily you are still in a hospital, which means floors are germy. You want something on your feet to walk to and from the bathroom and in the hallway. You could opt for the stylish hospital socks with sticky treads on the bottom but why bother when you can have your own nice plush slippers.
5)shower shoes- three dollar flip flops are just fine if they will keep you from standing directly on the shower floor

Optional- A nice towel, head towel and wash cloth (hospital towels are not high quality
-a camera
-Some magazines or a mindless fiction novel (keep in mind you are supposed to be spending your days in the hospital recuperating. Do not bring work with you. As difficult as it can be to let go of responsibility in our technologically advanced day in age you will not come home well rested if you bring your job to the hospital with you)

Specifically for new moms-
1)your pediatricians name and phone number
2)a weather appropraite outfit for your baby to go home in
3)a carseat (you don't have to bring this in with you but you will want dad, a significant other or a relative to bring the carseat their first trip into the hospital so any staff who is designated can show you how to use the seat and you can get used to making strap adjustments before you have to put baby in the car)
*note-get your car seat installed and inspected at the local firestation before you have to come to the hospital so you are ready when the time comes
4)a notepad- you will be getting a multitude of information that will be much easier to remember if you write it down!

Please take this entry as a guide that if for use for all. Feel free to write with questions if you have any.

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