Being a mom of 5 beautiful children, everyone has asked me what do I bring to the hospital when preparing for labor and that dreaded hospital stay? Well after four beautiful girls I am here to give you the nitty gritty of what is essential to bring and what is absolutely just unnecessary. The first baby I overpacked because I had no idea what to expect. As a newborn photographer though and a mom who has been distracted by labor so much I highly suggest hiring a birth photographer to capture that special day because honestly you will be so busy or maybe drugged that it will be hard to remember all of those tiny details. Now if you do not feel comfortable with a stranger catching those exposing shots of your legs sprawled out every where with all your bits hanging out for the world to see then make sure you bring your own camera and have your husband, mother, or friend capture this special moments.

The camera is always my number one priority on my list as well as charged batteries and memory cards for it. This is one time you will want to remember but usually have difficulty recalling later. My first was born in Enterprise, Alabama and it spoilt me the great way the nurses treated me the entire stay. While I have now delivered at three different hospitals I can confidently say they all provided the essentials for after care while you stay in the hospital. All of the hospitals provide you with the lovely mesh underwear for after birth and lots of pads. Ask for extra of everything! You will get charged regardless so why not make it worth your while. lol Pack light as you do not want to haul a million things to and from the room. I need a certain pillow to sleep so I bring it every time I go anywhere and the hospital is no different. I take a medium size rolling case with me to the hospital every time. I pack loose fitting sleep pants for the duration of my stay. Dark colors are a must as you do not want to have to get blood out of light colors. I pack three pants and two button up shirts (easy access for breastfeeding). In addition I also pack a couple of spaghetti strap tank tops to wear under my button up shirts so I can nurse discreetly. a few pair of underwear are also nice or you can stick with the hospitals mesh underwear they provide too. That first shower will feel like a million bucks and you will want to feel more human in your own clothes and not the hospitals gowns. Every piece of clothing you bring make sure it is something you do not mind getting rid of in case of staining.

That brings me to the next part DO NOT FORGET TOILETRIES! Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hair brush, and hair ties, I like to pack my own small bottles of shampoo as I am allergic to most scented items. Some new mamas like to pack light makeup to make them feel more like themselves but I prefer to say no to that as I just want to sleep after restless nights and feeding baby every few hours.

The reason why I bring a medium sized bag is because I also pack plenty of snacks and small meals for the stay at the hospital. While the hospital does provide you with meals at certain times of the day as a nursing mom you will want/need more than what they provide. If you are not nursing you can still pack some light snacks but not totally necessary if you want to skip this step and go for a lighter bag. For me breastfeeding made me starve the first few days so I made sure I packed plenty of snacks and some tuna salad packs with crackers for a quick protein fix. I utilized the amazing soft ice that all hospitals have and drank lots of water while eating so much amazing soft ice while doing so! That ice is everything.

As far as packing for the baby, everything is provided for the baby after birth. Diapers, wipes, blankets, thermometer, and bulb syringe is all provided for you. I do pack the baby a bag with a few onesies, a coming home outfit, hand mittens to keep baby from scratching themselves those first few days, and don't forget the car seat of course! Other than these items maybe a bobby pillow if your nursing but even that is not essential.

Essential List for Mom:

- camera (extra batteries, extra sd cards)

-3 pair of loose pants

-3 button up shirts if nursing if not then just three shirts

-3 tank tops (perfect for discreet nursing)

- underwear

- a nice outfit for fresh 48 session (not necessary but just in case)

- Chapstick (you will thank me for this afterwards, so nice to have during labor too)

- toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, shampoo, deodorant)


-phone charger

-small extension cord (in case the charger is not long enough to reach the bed <-- This happened to me the last birth I had)

Essential List for Baby

- a few onesies

- a coming home outfit

- a small blanket

- mittens

- socks

- car seat

- a boppy pillow (if needed)

- special outfit for a fresh 48 session ( not necessary but I like to have a special outfit for this)

The Mad Propper Photography wants to congratulate you on your new bundle of joy you will be welcoming soon! I hope everyone has a safe and speedy delivery!

Fresh 48 sessions are done in the hospital during the first 48 hours after birth! Such an amazing way to remember these first few days by!