One of the greatest blessings of this whole experience is the number of mothers-to-be I have connected with who are facing a similar situation- while I wouldn't wish this upon anyone else - I have great gratitude that I have been able to share the journey with other moms. Two women in particular were recently moved from home bedrest to hospitalized bedrest, and asked what they should bring - wanted to share this list if you know of anyone going the hospital route. All of that said, my nurses all laugh and say no one has ever moved into a room quite like I have (I mean, who brings a laminator to a hospital room?!) but I have narrowed down some essentials that may be laying around your house- or if not, I found that Amazon Prime Now (1 hour delivery) and Google Shopping Express both delivered to my actual room (packages sent took a few days in the hospitals mail room). Check with your hospital!
Bedding and Sleep:
Let's get real. You are going to be spending 23.5 hours in bed a day (if you're lucky enough to be granted to bathroom privileges) - may as well make it comfy! Hospitals are a really really difficult place to sleep (computers beeping, babies crying, sirens blaring) but what you and your baby need right now is rest- so lets maximize comfort!
- Pillows: Hospital pillows are encased in plastic due to recent bedbug outbreak and cleanliness issues, so you absolutely must bring your own as the plastic will make you sweat like a sauna. I suggest two.
- Quilt: My mom actually brought my childhood twin size quilt and I thought I wouldn't need it - but I sure did! The color brightened my room and it was great for those nights I wanted to leave the window open and finally get some fresh air.
- Egg Crate: I had Google Shopping Express deliver mine - just a plain twin size egg crate (like you get moving into the dorm rooms) I think it was $14.99 and made a world of difference. My first two nights I was just on the plastic encased hospital bed mattress, the egg crate made it so much more comfortable and also prevent bed sores.
- Earplugs: I couldn't get comfortable sleeping with them, but if they work for you- such a necessity! Babies cry 24/7 which made me miss Grace- but also almost drove me bonkers.
- Eye Mask: Again, something I didn't use but I have read really helps a lot of people
- Linen Spray: My bestie Daniela sent me the "Rupa Mist Relaxing Body & Linen Spray by Chopra Center" and OMG - game changer. Sure the nurses change linens every day, but a squirt of this could change my mood and ability to sleep and relax.
- Pajamas: You will want socks, pajama pants and tops. If youre hooked up to the IVs, you will likely just wear what they give you, but if you can get off, you'll want comfy jersey tops and bottoms - nightgowns and robes won't work as you'll likely be monitored multiple times a day and need quick access to your growing bump.
- Noise Machine: I didn't bring one in, but as my daughter uses one to sleep, I kind of wish I had - would solve a lot of problems.
- Humidifier: I have also read a lot of people bring in humidifiers. I didn't but if it will make your stay more comfortable- do it!
Pamper & Bath Products:
- Water bottles: I keep three waterbottles at all times (so the nurses don't have to run back and forth so often, I drink a ton of water) - a pitcher would work also. Staying hydrated while pregnant is key, dehydration can cause contractions and PTL. I also ordered cucumber slices and lemons each day on my hospital menu to turn my water into "spa water" - it is the small things!
- Organizers: I had Google Shopping Express drop off a few organizers (my room had no closet or any place to stash stuff) and I keep a small one bedside with essentials. Having everything close at hand and easy to grab is so important.
- L'Occitane Hand Lotion: Hospitals are notoriously dry and my friend Alice sent this lotion that proved to be a lifesaver!
- Chapstick: EOS or any type - stash one in the bathroom and one bedside - again, hospitals are dry!
- Facemasks: h/t my friend Cathryn who suggested treating the stay like a spa - facemasks that you just have to unroll (I bought a few from Target that GSE delivered and were $2.99 each) is a fun way to kill time and keep your skin intact
- Full-size bath products: I cannot stress enough how important this is. If you are being admitted for the long haul, not having to fight with a travel size shampoo every other day makes a world of difference. Although my showers are all "chaperoned" with my nurse in my main room, my showers each day are my escape for 5 minutes- get the very best products and spoil yourself.
- L'Occitane Body Oil Wash: This is my favorite product hands down for any pregnant woman soooo moisturizing- available on Amazon or Sephora, it is pricey but worth the indulgence - and will keep your growing belly stretch mark free!
- Hair Dryer: I used one of those hairdryer brushes and kept it next to my bed -- when you have to sit in bed for hours, its best not with wet hair.
- Bathmat: so this is purely optional but my first few days I was sliding around the bathroom floor terrified, GSE delivered a $12 bright turquoise bathmat from Target that brightened up the bathroom and made my 5 minute escapes that much more pleasurable (and safer).
- Towels: My hospital actually has amazingly plush towels but I've read that to be a major complaint by many.
- Glasses: I normally wear contacts but found myself only wearing glasses in the hospital due to how dry it was... and how little I really actually needed to be able to see :)
- Dry Shampoo: if you are not granted shower privileges, this is an absolute absolute must!! Even if you are, you may not want to wash your hair daily but being stuck in bed will do a number on it so I highly recommend.
Bedrest means you will have a ton of time to kill -- staying busy is the best way to stave off depression which is common amongst bedrest patients. I kept a checklist of things to occupy my time each day - but honestly - if you can schedule visitors throughout the day- you may not have enough time to get anything done! Truly-- days passed by quickly the more visitors I had, I still have tons of projects to tackle!
- Laptop: a laptop is essential, don't forget the power cord! You can take classes on Coursera or Duolingo, write the next great american novel, surf the web and shop!
- iPad filled with books and games: I like to actually hold a physical book, so this isnt for me, but if you are good with ebooks, a kindle/ipad/etc is your best friend. I have also heard lots of people like listening to audio books while knitting etc-- the internet is your oyster! Also a great way to interact with friends who can't come visit, games like Words with Friends keep you connected.
- Board Games: If you have a favorite game, bring it in. There is nothing more awkward than having visitors come visit. You can't get out of bed, you likely don't feel beautiful, and they're just staring at you trying to have conversation but unfortunately nothing is "new" in your world except the hospitals Soup du Jour (ick!) Having a way to interact kills the awkwardness
- Adult coloring books: well these are the greatest invention ever! Friends would come visit and we could chat and color - also have a pencil sharpener, extra colored pencils and a clipboard ideally for visitors to use to color.
- Craft Kits: PaperSource has some awesome kits that friends like the Guajardos, Stephanie and Ashley all brought me-- great way to kill time - kits rock because they are self contained
- Other crafting supplies: cross-stitch, sketching, knitting, crochet- whatever suits your fancy!
- Magazines: friends and family would bring them by- a nice escape and even nicer to share with the other moms in the ward on bedrest of the nurses for the break time
- Thank you cards and Stamps: So I've had the Thank You cards forever, but for all of you whom I owe one to-- I am sorry- smuggling in stamps has been impossible!!! I can't seem to get them delivered and family hasn't had a chance to run to the post office with everything going on!
- Books and Toys: If you have other children, I cannot stress how important it is to have a little basket filled with books, diapers, pouches, and toys so that your kids feel more comfortable hanging out here. My new friend Elizabeth sent me a wonderful book, "Wherever you are, My Love will Find You" that I read to Grace when she visits and to the new baby while I am hooked up to the monitors.
- Extension Cord that fits 3-6 products: I had my laptop and phone charger always plugged in, along with my blow dryer after showers. Its a must.
- Notebook + Pen/Pencil: questions for the doc? great ideas? you just need these bedside, trust me.
- Scissors and Tape: you just need these, and keeping them bedside helps. I taped up all the letters of encouragement I received and used the scissors for packages that arrived, trimming flowers, etc.
- Snacks: I've been trying to be healthy on bedrest and focus on protein, so little bags of cashews have been my go-to but things like granola bars, etc. are awesome. Most hospital rooms do not have a fridge, so just make sure items are non-perishable and easy to open.
- Trash bags: in the beginning, I wasn't really supposed to get up- keeping a shopping bag I could throw kleenex/wrappers/etc into helped a lot.
- Family photos: I have a few pictures of Grace around my room which can bring a smile to any day. Our visits are usually just 20-30 minutes long, but seeing her little face makes the long days brighter.
- Lap Desk: I got a foldable, plastic lapdesk from Target for $15 and it was a lifesaver - the tables can be a bit funky but this allowed me to bead, draw, color etc. so easily- highly recommend!
If you're being admitted, send this on over to your husband as a scavenger hunt and see what he comes back with! Would also love to hear any other ideas to add!