Guys, I have a confession to make. I made this post today so that it would force me to finish packing my hospital bag. I have been meaning to pack my hospital bag for a couple weeks now, but keep putting it off. Now that I’m 36 weeks I knew it had to get done, and what better motivator to get my bags packed than to share my diabetes hospital bag checklist with you on the blog 🙂
Type 1 Diabetes Hospital Bag Checklist
You might notice that some things on my list are items that the hospital already carries, like a labor gown and diapers for example. For items like these I have chosen to bring my own either because it’s important for me to have a non-toxic option or because I want to feel like an empowered goddess during my stay (and less like a hospital patient). Ya feel me?!
For Labor & Delivery
Birth Plan. I printed out a few copies of my birth plan so that even with shift changes, all my doctors and nurses can be on the same page. I also have it saved on my phone.
Pre-Registration Papers. A lot of hospitals allow you to pre-register so you might not need to bring in any registration forms. However it doesn’t hurt to have a copy of your pre-filled registration form with you jussssst incase.
Birth Affirmation Print Outs. After scrolling through Pinterest I found some amazing birth affirmation. I printed out a stack of birth affirmations that resonated the most with me and I plan on taping/hanging these on the walls for powerful, visual, reminders that I am fierce and my body was made to do this. You can see my birth affirmation pinterest board here if you’re looking for inspiration too.
Labor Gown. The hospital provides a stiff, paper like gown for their patients to wear. For me, this does not say empowered goddess who is here to give birth; it says sick patient who is here to be treated. So I picked up this pretty gown in green 🙂
No Skid Socks. Most hospitals will have socks on hand, but I decided to bring my own because I knew I’d want no-skid socks that felt comfortable and ones that I knew were washed and not straight from factory to feet…
Flip Flops. Cheap ones for the shower that you can toss after. Hospitals are nasty places… so if you can avoid bringing your nice fancy ones, I would do that!
Lip Balm. Apparently your lips can get very chapped during labor. When I was scrolling the interwebs to figure out what to pack in my T1D hospital bag, lip balm was always at the top of everyone’s checklist, followed by a bunch of exclamation points. So apparently it’s very important.
Electrolyte Powder. Since I plan on not having an IV during labor, it will be super important to stay hydrated and continue to replace electrolytes. I was going to pack my own homemade electrolyte drink but this powder takes up far less space! This will even be great for after delivery! It has super simple ingredients and no dyes or artificial flavors.
Nightgown. I decided to bring a soft, loose fitting, nightgown (two actually) because it will be easy to slip a boob out to breastfeed and having a dress-like bottom will be a lot easier to go to the bathroom in than something that has pants/shorts for bottoms. They even double as a dress that I can leave the hospital in. I got this nightgown in the Navy Wishing Tree and White-Pink pattern.
Towel. Every hospital will provide you with towels. Heavily bleached, stiff, crunchy, towels. Which is exactly why I am bringing my own soft towel, washed in gentle detergent, from home.
Travel Size Soap. Just like with the towels, this is another item that the hospital will have on hand, however, I prefer more natural skin care items which is why I am bringing Dr. Bronner’s unscented soap with me.
Toothbrush & Paste. No explanation needed here.
HUGE Organic Pads. The hospital will provide you with pads, however it is important to me that the pads are non-toxic since they will right up against a super raw and vulnerable area. So any ol’ conventional pad just won’t do. These are the organic pads I picked up.
Happy Privates Spray. This postpartum yoni spray by poofy organics got a ton of great reviews in the mommy groups I’m in, so naturally I had to pick up a bottle and try it for myself! The essential oils used are naturally cooling and help heal your downunder space, post delivery.
Bed Sheets/Pillow Case. Just like with hospital towels, hospital pillowcases and bed sheets are heavily bleached, stiff, and crunchy. Which is why I am bringing my own soft sheets and pillow case, washed in gentle detergent, from home. Note: If you’re interested in doing this too, know that most hospital beds are twin size, so any twin size sheets will do.
Hairbrush, Ties, & Coverup. While I don’t plan on entering in any beauty contests during my stay, it will be nice to have the bare essentials to feel somewhat human. For me this means a little bit of coverup, brushed hair, and hair ties (incase I don’t even want to deal with my hair).
Easy slip on maternity dress. Next to the labor gown and nightgowns, this dress is the only other item of clothing I’m packing. This is my ‘going home outfit’. I knew I would want something that was loose fitting (hence no pre-pregnancy clothes) and super easy to slide on and off.
Snacks. Hospital food is not known for its nutrition… or taste. So I will be packing a plethora of snacks to munch on during my stay. Some of which I can pack now, and the rest will be on my “last minute grabs” list because they need to be fresh. But basically my snack list includes RX Bars, Kind bars, protein balls, crunchy munchies (like kale chips, hemp bites, etc.), chia seed pudding, and fruit. I am also packing some low snacks just to have on hand, even though I’m sure the hospital will have OJ (and obviously a glucose drip). Some juice boxes, gummy snacks, and glucose tablets should do the trick.
Extension cord. I got this genius idea from a good friend of mine. Phone charger cords are usually only 2ft long and when you’re laying in a hospital bed, the nearest outlet will most likely be juuuustt beyond that reach. The extension cord will allow you to use your phone from the bed without having to get up and stand by the outlet. Because let’s be real, with all the new baby pics you’ll be taking, that battery power will drain real quick!
Diabetes Supplies & Medication. Pods, strips, and insulin, oh my! I packed 5 pods, 3 bottles of test strips (50 strips in each bottle), 1 vial of insulin, and two Dexcom sensors. This is more than enough to get me through a couple days, but I like to have a big fat diabetes cushion to sit on.
Print Out of Postpartum Insulin Plan. Usually around 36 weeks your Endo will come up with a postpartum basal & bolus rate plan for you. It is typically what your rates were pre-pregnancy or slightly lower. If you’re on a pump, you may even be able to set up a separate profile in advance with these rates and when it comes time you can just switch over to that profile. I’m on the Omnipod pump which allows for a separate Basal profile, but not Bolus profile. So I set up a separate basal profile (which is slightly lower than my pre-pregnancy rates) and called it ‘postnatal basal’. For my bolus rates I have a blanketed rate of 1 unit per 10 carbs all day, which is slightly less aggressive than my pre-pregnancy 1:8.
Popular Items That I Excluded
Entertainment. Between juggling a newborn, learning to breastfeed, figuring out postpartum basal & bolus rates, nurse check-ins, and trying to catch some shut eye, I have a feeling that boredom will be the furthest thing from my mind during my hospital stay.
Deodorant. Even though my deodorant scent is pretty mild (according to my nose), it’s probably going to be pretty intense for a newborn baby’s nose, especially when being so close during breastfeeding. I figured I’d leave this beauty product at home for the two-day hospital stay, especially since I can’t imagine working up a sweat from sitting in a hospital bed.
Shampoo & Conditioner. I typically only shampoo my hair 1-2 times per week. So just like the deodorant, I’m leaving this beauty product at home.
Bras. With baby feeding every couple hours, it seems like a bra would only add to the chaos. I plan on ditching the bra (even nursing bras) for my hospital stay.
Birthing/Labor Tools. Our hospital has a lot of labor tools on hand and we’ve hired a Doula, so between the two of them, everything from labor balls to essential oils will be covered.
Hospital Bag for Baby
Diapers & wipes. The hospital will be well stocked with diapers and wipes on hand, but I prefer diapers & wipes that are free of chlorine, bleach, and other harsh chemicals, so I will be bringing my own stash from home.
Blanket/Muslin. Just like with the hospital towels and bed sheets, newborn blankets are pretty stiff and crunchy and washed in detergents that have some sketchy ingredients, even for claiming to be “safe for babies”. I’ll be bringing a handful of blankets/Muslins to wrap baby in that I have pre-washed at home.
Onesie. Since baby will either be skin-to-skin with me or swaddled in a muslin during our hospital stay, the only outfit I will be bringing is the one to take him home in. I will be bringing two options for him, a zip up onesie (long sleeves and pants), and a short sleeve onesie with pants.
Infant Socks. Newborns can get chilly, even in the middle of summer. The general rule of thumb is to dress them in one layer more than yourself. So while we’ll be walking out in flip flops, we’re bringing a pair of socks to put on baby’s feet.
Infant Hat. I doubt we’ll need this, but it’s so tiny that I’m not worried about it taking up space.
List of Last Minute Grabs
Because some items are used on a daily basis and can’t be pre-packed, I’ve made a list of last minute grab items and put it next to my hospital bag.
Wallet. With ID and Insurance card.
Diabetes Bag. This is my Sugar Medical bag that has my Omnipod, BG meter, and Dexcom Receiver. I never go anywhere without this bag so I feel silly putting it on here, but who knows where my mind will be at once labor starts.
Snacks. Fruit, protein balls, chia seed pudding
Cell Phone & Charger.
Print out my Diabetes Hospital Bag Checklist list by clicking on the image below!
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