#8 Take the mesh underwear and EVERYTHING ELSE not nailed down in your hospital room

Welcome to my birth and postpartum guide, item #8. Congrats on the upcoming addition to your family! Please take care of yourself and best of luck with your preparations. This is one piece of a 10-part guide. Feel free to explore the other pieces from the introduction page.

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Even in the United States, I have not been charged for taking all of the baby supplies in our recovery room upon discharge. Or perhaps, it’s more accurate to say that you have already been charged for it, so take it. You can sometimes even ask for extras of things right before discharge so you can take home more. Some personal highlights:

  • The mesh underwear (obviously)
  • The receiving blankets (as many as you can get your hands on) — they are made by Medline and ubiquitous across the world. Much of the U.S. uses a blue and pink stripe pattern, but both hospitals I delivered at have opted for the slightly-more-expensive foot-print pattern. Watch the nurses use these blankets — they use them for everything, they are so absorbent that nurses use them as towels after a baby’s first bath, they line the crib. And they are still soft enough to use for a swaddle. At home we’ve used them as a way to line a counter for the baby’s sponge bath before her umbilical cord falls off and to line changing tables.

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  • The little newborn hats (also in the picture above). Our kiddos were born small and almost no purchased hats were small enough for their heads. It’s key to have some hats at home to throw on after baby baths for the first few weeks.
  • All the diapers and wipes you can find — those have been donated to the hospital for marketing purposes, so get ‘em while you can.

But seriously, take anything and everything you like — like the plastic cup? Take it. Like the pads, take those too. Got a tube of Benadryl for an allergic reaction? It’s yours now.

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