1. Your birth plan (this *is* what you're heading to the hospital for after, all)
There's no "right way" to write a birth plan.
Your birth plan actually starts way before you put pen to paper. It starts as a relationship with the medical staff you've chosen, and a hospital or birth center whose labor and delivery options work for you.
Once you have those basics in place, a written birth plan helps to clearly communicate your wishes to hospital staff during the intensity of labor.
Questions cover everything from pain management options during labor to choices around your son's circumcision.
Let Motherly walk you through your options.
In Motherly's birth class, we'll go through ALL your birth options and help you write a birth plan that is right for YOU. You'll even get a printable birth plan and preferences workbook to bring with you to the hospital or birth center. Learn more.
2. Clothes you can wear to labor in comfort + style
Pick out a beautiful labor gown for comfort and (of course!) for your first family photos. James Fox Co. makes lovely gowns for labor that we just adore! They also have shoulder snaps that allow for easy breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact post-delivery.
3. A beautiful bag
Every first-time mama overstuffs her hospital bag, so we're not going to dissuade you from adding the kitchen sink to your tote.
But we truly love the idea of a buying a special bag that you'll bring with you to the hospital greet your little one—and for the many overnight trips to Grandma's house that are soon to follow.
Let your partner know that it makes a fabulous new-mama gift. ?
4. An amazing camera
We're not about to suggest that your husband strap a GoPro onto his head, (although, you know, that would be cool). But we definitely recommend bringing a high-quality camera with an empty and ready to go memory card.
You're going to want to capture every little adorable first move baby makes, and you'll cherish HD videos and photos for decades to come. (Be sure to learn how to use it before the big day!)
Totally worth the investment.
5. Breastfeeding-friendly snacks
Stuff your bag full of oats and honey bars from Kind, and you and your partner will stay energized through labor, delivery and hours spent snuggling your baby.
Plus, oats are widely considered a galactagogue, a big word that indicates a substance is believed to help boost milk supply. (You'll be an expert on these terms in no time.)
6. Lovely lip balm
Mamas love to take EOS Lip Balm to combat the hospital's dry air. And not just because it's 100% natural, but also because its packaging is just so darn cute.
Plus, the sweet scents are sure to remind you of the special times you spent kissing your new baby.
7. A super-comfy nursing bra
Bravado's Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra gets top marks from mamas and designers for how comfortable it is against mom's and baby's skin.
Removable foam cups inside the bra help to conceal leaks, and the one-handed clip release makes it easy for baby to get to boobie.
You'll have strong opinions about nursing bras soon, but this bra is sure to fit the bill.
8. A stunning robe for greeting visitors
Wrap your little one inside for a little breastfeeding and skin-to-skin, and then cover yourself back up when your family and friends drop by to visit.
9. A toiletry bag stocked with overnight supplies
You may move rooms a few times during your stay at the hospital or birth center, so make it easy on yourself by packing your toiletries and cosmetics (not to mention hair supplies like a blow dryer and elastics) into an easy-to-transport bag.
10. A dreamy receiving blanket
Perhaps you have a family heirloom that you want to bring to the hospital, but if not, be sure to grab a blanket for snuggling with baby.
So, so sweet.
11. The sweetest ever coming-home outfit
Dress your baby in layers—heavy sweaters and jackets are a no-no in baby's carseat, so having cardigans and blankets to add to your little one's look is ideal.
12. Fabulous loungewear
Your job at the hospital after baby is born is to chill out and bond with baby. That's easier to do when you're super comfortable.
We are wild for Storq's maternity clothing and accessories bundles, which take you from your first trimester to postpartum with key items to shape your wardrobe.
Plus they're super soft and look amazingly chic in all those photos you'll be taking with baby.
13. An outfit for you to travel home in
Most women look six months pregnant when they leave the hospital with baby. This is normal! But it also affects how you'll dress in the weeks and months postpartum.
Pack a special look for you that makes you feel amazing—we love this nautical dress from Seraphine that features easy access for nursing. The A-line silhouette also allows extra room to disguise the pads you'll be wearing the whole month after birth. Again: normal. Pair with leggings for a super-smooth look.
The dress will begin to drape more in front as uterine swelling goes down, and it transitions from summer to winter months equally well.
Bon voyage, mama!
And don't forget...
• Safely installed carseat
• Extra-long phone charger
• Your insurance card + photo ID
• Flip-flops (for the shower), sandals or socks (to walk the halls with)