I was 32 weeks with my first set of twins when I met my cousin, Ellen, for lunch.
I remember her asking me, “Do you have your hospital bag together?”
“What? I’m only 32 weeks. I have at least six more weeks to go.”
“You need to get that ready now!” she said with urgency in her voice.
Of course I didn’t. I was still trying to finish the nursery and get other things in order. The next week my husband rushed me to the hospital when I had excruciating back pain. Preterm Labor. I never had a chance to pack my bags as I delivered the twins the next day. And, while my husband tried his best to round up what I needed, I wish I had had at least a list to give him.
So, when a mom expecting twins asked on our San Antonio Mothers of Multiples Facebook page what she might need to take to the hospital, the moms put together a pretty comprehensive list with excellent suggestions.
Your own pajamas and robe The hospital provides ones, but eventually those opened-to-the-air-and-to-everyone-else ones are annoying, especially if you are trekking to the NICU to hold/feed your babies. The moms suggested you bring at least two of your own from home. And, depending on the length of your stay, it is nice to take a shower and put on clean clothes.
Slippers or multiple pairs of gripper socks. See above regarding the trek to the NICU. You might want to bring both as some mothers experienced feet swelling right after birth and couldn’t fit into their slippers.
Maternity Underwear: You will still have a belly and if you had a c-section underwear that doesn’t hit right at the incision is key. Also, there is a lot of bleeding involved in the next few (or six) weeks so granny panties that you don’t mind burning later of essential.
Compression Belt One mother said that this really helped with her stomach going back to its normal size.
A going home outfit: Bring the most comfortable (and stylish because there are a lot of pictures of you being wheeled to the car holding two infants) maternity outfit you have.
Mild soap—something that smells good
Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
Shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush, hair dryer
Basic makeup: foundation, mascara
Face and body lotion
Earplugs and eye mask. One mother said that with these items she slept through almost all of the blood pressure checks. Don’t expect a complete night’s sleep in a hospital!
Labor and Delivery
If you are delivering vaginally, then hard candies to suck on during labor and something like granola bars after delivery. You’ll be hungry after birthing multiple babies.
For c-section, mints or hard candy for your partner!
YOUR CAMERA CHARGED and ready to go!
Phone and phone charger
Pillow and favorite blanket. One mother suggests a brightly colored pillowcase because they look better in pictures! I would never have thought of that!
Ear buds: Okay, when I was admitted to the hospital and in the triage area of Labor and Delivery, nothing was more disconcerting then women in the throes of labor. Putting in earbuds that amplified just for me my favorite music (Thank you Van Morrison and Cliff Richards for the duet, Whenever God Shines His Light because I needed these words!)
For the Babies Going Home
Going home outfits
Twin Nursing pillow if you plan to breastfeed
(the hospital provides diapers)
For Babies in the NICU
I only put this because you’ll have time to get these items together. Since I didn’t expect to deliver premies, all of the baby clothes I had were HUGE. Our Mothers of Multiples Club now has a program where moms who have babies in the NICU can get free preemie clothes for their babies. We’ve assembled a “clothes basket” where moms have donated clothes for the itty-bitty babies and are available to new moms.
Kimono style long sleeve tops: the babies are usually swaddled and there are so many wires and tubes that loose fitting items are best.
So there it is.
What else would you add?