Saturday, 19 November 2016

What is in my hospital bag as a paraplegic

We are getting really close to baby time! Everyone is getting so excited to meet baby girl and I'm really anxious to make sure everything is done and ready for her arrival. 

Because of all of the pre-term labour scares we had, I have been putting my hospital bag together from about 30 or so weeks along. Now that I am in the last few weeks of the pregnancy, I am putting in the last details and checking to make sure that we have what we will need because we don't know how long the stay will be. 

Here is a look at what I have packed for myself, my husband, baby girl, and an overnight bag for Y who will be sleeping at our friends house while I am labouring. 

What is in my hospital bag

For me 


If you are planning to nurse, I highly, highly recommend bringing washable nursing pads. It's not because your milk will come in. It is super unlikely that milk will come - instead, baby will have more than enough from the colostrum you are producing, which is very important for baby. 

So why the nursing pads? The cracking and bleeding that may ensue. I was given a nice cream from the hospital, but didn't want that on my bra. They also gave me disposal nursing pads, but pieces of the cotton from them got stuck on the scabs and it was all incredibly painful. This time, I'm bringing my own washable nursing pads that I don't mind getting cream on. I get more wear out of my nursing bras, and don't need to worry about anything getting on scabs if nursing leads to so much bleeding. I should also say that Y had a slight tongue tie which contributed to the pain I experienced. 

The other thing I want to make note of is the black dress I am bringing. I have a medium length cotton black dress that I wear a lot. Because I am paralysed, I am honestly dreading getting pants and underwear on after delivery. I figure, during the day, the easiest thing to do will be to wear a dress that I can easily lift up for using the bathroom or if the nurses will need to check on things. Plus, it seems easy for going home. However, I am also taking sweats and leggings because let's be real, there's going to be blood and clothing will be getting dirty. 

  • 2 pairs of black leggings
  • 1 pair of comfy sweat pants
  • 1 comfy nursing night gown 
  • 1 long sleeved shirt
  • 2 short sleeved shirts
  • 1 comfortable cardigan/sweater that buttons up 
  • 2 black tank tops (one for labouring, one for wearing after)
  • 1 comfortable black dress - knee length 
  • 1 light weight, cotton robe 
  • 2 nursing bras 
  • Nursing pads
  • 1 pair of warm, fuzzy socks
  • 1 pair of normal socks 
  • Glasses (I always have them on anyway, but important to have)
  • Cell phone 
  • Cell phone charger 


  • Shampoo & Conditioner 
  • Body wash
  • Hair oil
  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth paste
  • Face wash
  • Face cream 
  • Simple make up 
  • Deodorant 
  • Razor (no way I'll be shaving my legs, but for my under arms, it may be nice) 
  • Hand cream/lotion 
  • Chap stick 
  • Hair brush 
  • Hair band and ties 


I don't think a nursing pillow is per se necessary and I definitely didn't need it when Y was born. This time, I am taking it specifically because of my injury. Due to paralysis, balance can be extremely impacted. Luckily, I have pretty good stability in my upper body, but I don't know how tired I will be and how well I will feel after delivery. Everything will feel different and my point of balance of course, will be altered. I want to take the pillow for holding the baby and nursing without worrying about needing to do extra work or place strain on my body to hold the baby. 

  • Nursing pillow 
  • Necessary documents  
  • Snacks -  a few fruit bars, cookies, and maybe some easy fruit (we are allowed to eat during labour and for the stay after. The hospital also provides fruits, food, drinks etc) 
  • Maybe a pair of slippers (not really sure if this is necessary because I use a wheelchair) 
  • Wet bag for dirty wash

What I'm not bringing

  • Diapers
  • Blankets 
  • Pillow
  • Towels 
  • Wipes 
  • Cream/paste for baby 
  • Underwear for me - yes, mesh panties from the hospital! 
  • Sanitary products for bleeding - hospital has more than enough 

For husband

Because I will be induced, we can kind of plan pretty well for when my husband will be at the hospital. We plan to have him present for the entire induction/birth and first night at the hospital. The night after the baby is born, my husband will be sleeping at home with our son. 

I will have a bit of a longer hospital stay of about 2-3 days, so my husband is going to try to be home with our son during the evenings and then they will both visit the hospital during the day. 

We live exactly 11 minutes away from the hospital so if he needs anything, it's really rather easy to go home and pick something up so my husband doesn't need very much all in all. However, I did want to pack a few things just in case the induction takes a while, and to be nice because I love him and all ;) 

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of underwear 
  • 1 pair of socks 
  • 1 long sleeved shirt
  • 1 short sleeved shirt 
  • 1 pair of sweat pants
  • 1 hooded sweat shirt 
  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth paste (I'll have it for me anyway) 
  • Body wash and shampoo 
  • Deodorant 

For Y (4 years old) 

When I go into labour, Y will be staying with friends of ours. They are our go to babysitters and Y loves them! They babysit their other grandchildren all the time and Y is basically a grandchild there. We knew he would be comfortable playing with the other kids, and they would be so happy to help. Plus, they are both retired so we also can call them any time. 

Once we are ready for Y to visit, we will call them and they will bring Y to meet his new sibling. 

Because he'll likely be spending the night at their house or at least the day, I packed an overnight bag for him, too. 

  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste
  • Special big brother shirt/outfit for meeting his sister! 
  • Big brother book 
  • Gift from Y to the baby 
  • Pajamas 
  • 2-3 pairs of underwear and socks 
  • 1 pair of sweatpants 
  • 1 sweat shirt
  • 2 t-shirts (1 long sleeved, 1 short sleeved) 
  • His pillow (to be packed at the last minute - he has an attachment to it that developed when I was injured and living in the rehabilitation center. He won't sleep on a different pillow other than the one he has on his own bed, which we definitely let him do). 
  • A few small toys and tablet with charger (for the hospital) 

For Baby 

Unlike what I have seen in the US, we have to bring our own clothing for the baby here. I remember with Y, he had a few blowouts and we didn't have enough clothing with us. This time, I wanted to be prepared and took a few extra outfits to avoid a run home. 

  • Special big sister outfit for meeting Y! 
  • 2 hats (1 warmer one for going home) 
  • 2 fleece zip up pajamas 
  • 2 cotton zip up pajamas
  • 1 coming home outfit
  • Fleece bunting
  • 2 cute but comfortable outfits (carters style with a long sleeved onsie, short sleeved onsie, pants, and socks)
  • 1 sweater 
  • 2 extra onsies 
  • 1 pair of mittens 
  • 2 pairs of socks 
  • 1 extra large swaddle blanket (more to use as a nursing cover if necessary) 
  • Hand sanitizer (not really necessary, but I wanted to keep it in the diaper bag) 
  • Gift from 'baby' to big brother! 
  • Car seat 

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