We’ve seen it in movies – the harried husband, scrambling to pack his pregnant wife’s suitcase, tossing in lingerie (as if), he’s frantic, clueless, endorsing the dopey male stereotype. Meanwhile, wifey massages her swollen belly, breathing quick, short breaths, already in what appears to be full labour. They race out of the house, the half-packed suitcase in the foyer, forgotten in the fray. It makes for amusing entertainment.
In reality, that’s not how this goes down.
First, a woman who leaves packing to her husband is a fool. A hopeful fool, but a fool nonetheless. Honey, you need to pack yourself. He doesn’t know. And that’s OK. He knows many things, but he does not know (nor do you, if this is your first), the myriad of emotional and physical needs you will have whilst in the delivery room, and as you prepare to bring baby home. Would he bring a hairbrush, for example? Not likely. And who brings lingerie to have a baby?
Pack your own bag, sweetheart.
Here is a list of ten items you’ll need. I’ve had two kids so, trial and error . . . with my first, I over-packed and brought DVDs (you won’t have time for that), and under-packed on things I actually would require (feminine care products). Sure, the hospital had them . . . from the 1950s. No, just no. Bring your own products and panties. You won’t be sorry.
In the build-up to delivery, it hadn’t occurred to me that I’d experience symptoms of bladder leakage after it was all said and done. Yes, sisters, it starts right away, after childbirth. Had I known, to maintain my dignity, confidence and freshness, I’d have brought this first item on my list:
- Poise pads and liners. These things are awesome. They’re not bulky and absorb leaks so that they’re the last thing on your mind, allowing the focus to stay on baby. With a Poise pad you will get absorption, comfort and odor control without any bulk because they feature a thin-flex® technology that moves seamlessly with your body. Feeling fresh and clean is a welcomed relief after the myriad of changes your body experiences post baby. Reclaim some dignity, enhance your confidence. Poise pads. You’re welcome.
- Sacrificial pair of underwear — see above. You will be given hospital-issued mesh fish-net. I don’t know who invented them but they are less than ideal so bring a pair you won’t mind giving up.
- Comfy PJs. Pick something easy to nurse in and loose-fitting for exponentially larger breasts. Your milk will come in and sister you will be stacked. You need buttons in the front, and pick your favorite most flattering color. Yes, it’s about your looks, too. Think pictures, sweetheart. There will be many pictures and you want to look good.
- Which brings me to the next item, a camera phone and charger. These babies are going up on Facebook before they can say “Momma” and you’re going there with them.
- Next, a make-up kit. You’re going to sweat, maybe throw up, and have under-eye bags the size of Texas. Take a few minutes for you, throw on some lipstick, run a facial wipe over your sweaty mug, put on some foundation and mascara, I promise you’ll be glad you did.
- Now that you’ve had the baby, taken pictures, and shown off the little cherub, you need to think about post-baby comfort, not baby’s, yours. I have two words for you: stool softeners. You want everything moving because that department shuts down for maintenance and repairs during labor. It’s a direct inverse relationship and a secret. Well, I’m blowing the lid off that. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s normal. I’m told, and this did not happen to me, that some women, um, evacuate their bowels during delivery. No shame ladies, you are making a person! You are a goddess! Remember our bodies are temples and we are doing the most incredible thing. You are a warrior. You are not alone, and you get to engage in whatever self-care it takes to feel dignified, fresh, and beautiful.
- You also want to bring music. Your new baby will cry. You might cry. Be sure to bring a variety; you will be on a rollercoaster of emotion and music soothes. Whether you need a lullaby or a head-banging rock n’ roll tune, you’ll ride out those tears. Baby will too. I’d go all the way from heavy death metal to Celine Dion.
- Slippers or House Shoes. You will walk. And walk. The nurses will encourage you to get out of bed and roam the halls to get things moving. You’ll be glad you have your Poise pads; you’re active in any situation with Poise. And, you’ll be thankful for comfortable house shoes. Sure, the hospital gives you socks with no-stick-um rubber bottoms so you won’t slip. Do you really trust carrying your new baby wearing those? Be prepared. You won’t be sorry.
- Snacks. They won’t let you eat before and during labor, but after you’ll be famished. Bring something to nosh. Who knows when they’ll feed you? We ordered a pizza but it took forever to arrive! I wish I’d had a stash of chips and guacamole in my purse, a few beers and a margarita on ice. Man, that would have been sweet. I’m telling you, plan ahead, sisters. It’s good practice for motherhood.
- And finally, under NO circumstances do you bring your pre-pregnancy jeans to wear home. Are You Insane? You will wear your pregnancy clothes. And although I’d gotten so much wear out of mine, I wanted to burn them. Either way, if you think you’ll fit into those jeans, you’re nuts. And if you do, well, there’s a special place in you-know-where for women like you. No, seriously, bless your heart and aren’t you lucky . . . good genes and all that.
Now you’re ready. Go forth and deliver that baby, my friend. Go with the knowledge that you are well prepared, don’t forget the snacks and the Poise. Congratulations on the most exciting time of your life!
For information on Poise products and to find a fit that’s right for you, visit www.Poise.com
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by our friends at Poise, but all opinions are ours.