Preparation, Not Just for the Girl Scouts

Pregnant Mommy Friends, heed my advice and pack that hospital bag eons before your due date. 

As you are all too aware, pregnancy is chock full of surprises but perhaps no surprise is greater than walking into your routine prenatal appointment at 36 ½ weeks and being told to get comfortable, your baby was arriving early.  At this juncture, the unprepared Mommy Friend will make a frantic call to her man and ask him to do 2 things: 1) Get his butt to the hospital  2) Pack her a hospital bag.  Even if you are calm enough to provide Daddy-to-Be with an itemized list of what you need, you are undoubtedly in for even more surprises once that hospital bag arrives.

Consider underwear.  Yes, you will ask him to bring underwear and while you assumed he understood underwear to mean your rattiest maternity undies, he may very well pack you a thong, or at a minimum, those adorable cotton non-maternity bikini ones with butterflies.  Ask for a bra and you are sure to get that lacy strapless number instead of the nursing bra still boxed on your dresser.  God bless your man.  He doesn’t know to pack the expensive super maxi pads because the hospital ones suck.  He won’t know to bring you a hair band or your fuzzy slippers.  And if I’m guessing, he may not know you need maternity clothes to come home in either.  It’s not his fault, he hasn’t spent the last 40 weeks thinking about delivery and talking to other moms, you have.  If you value your 2-4 day hospital recovery period at all (and subsequent photo ops), you will pack that all important bag way ahead of time because functionality and comfort (and dare I say a little style) are key.

So now that you’ve given birth, you are ready to go home with your precious new family member.

I hope you spent all that nesting energy doing some prep work to ease the insane transitional period once at home with a new baby.  I read about moms who cooked and froze a thousand meals prior to birth and arranged for a housekeeper to clean their house postpartum.  I didn’t do any of those things.  The only thing I did manage to do was stock up on the essentials of postpartum healing.  Even then, the only reason I did that was because I was devastatingly unprepared following my first birth.  I’m passing this wisdom on as to save my pregnant Mommy Friends from the perils of unpreparedness.

Mommy Friend Lori’s List of Essential Items for Postpartum Healing


1.      Lanolin Cream – If you are nursing you need lanolin cream for sore nipples, and lots of it.  Buy a flipping crate of this stuff, heck, buy stock in the Lansinoh company.


2.      Witch Hazel or hemorrhoid pads – If you had a vaginal birth, these are used to reduce swelling on your privates.  Buy lots.

3.      Anesthetic pain relieving aerosol spray – Again for the vaginal birth, this spray is for your privates and is a miracle must have, ask your doctor or pharmacist which one is right for you.  One can will do ya.

4.      Super-duper high quality ultra-expensive heavy overnight maxi pads – Don’t skimp here, spend the money, buy a couple packs.

5.      Stool softener – Yes, I am dead serious.  If you are nursing, ask the pharmacist or your doctor about which is safe to take.  One box is enough.

6.      Nursing jammies, regular jammies or a track suit suitable for visitor hosting – One or two sets that offer comfort and look good enough for pictures.

7.       A bunch of trashy gossip magazines.  Reading trash and gossip about celebrities has healing powers; don’t ask me why, it’s just a scientific fact.

8.      A BFF (preferably of the Mommy Friend variety) you can call at inopportune times to just cry and whine.  She won’t judge you, I promise.

9.       Lots of tissue boxes for impromptu crying sessions.

10.   The expectation that you will feel overwhelmed, sad, elated, confused and exhausted.

Expect to be a mess, just expect it, please. 

Childbirth is most the likely the hardest physical and emotional experience you have ever survived.  For me, the recovery period was even harder.  The key to preparation in anything is to expect the unexpected.  I’m trying my best to be honest about postpartum recovery because I literally felt smacked in the face by a frying pan on my first go around.  I’m not trying to scare or frying pan anyone here, quite the contrary.  I simply happen to believe there is a tremendous amount of comfort in knowing you aren’t the only new mommy afraid to go poop or confused as to why you have cried 5 times today over nothing and everything.

You can’t know everything, that is what hindsight is for but you can certainly prepare to the best of your ability.  Talk to your Mommy Friends, read up on postpartum experiences and know that just as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of healing.


  1. Great list of items – i had to use most of them after each of my births (i’ve had 3)

  2. Hi there! I, personally, can totally relate to this post!! LoL. We came across your blog through the FF and. We wanted to stop by and say hello! 🙂 Hope you had a fantastic weekend! ❤

  3. Ah yes, my husband was shocked after our first with the huge-ness of post-pregnancy underwear, so your comment cracked me up! Great post and thrilled to have found you through FF!

  4. I love this..and all of them are true. I was so happy to have my own jammies and slippers! And I also brought my favorite shampoo etc for when I could finally take a shower. I also brought my Ipod and travel docking station so I could listen to music. Happy FF!

  5. So true about the gossip mags…they always make me relax and feel better! Great list, I wish someone had shared it with me before I had my first baby. Following you from Friday Follow. 🙂

  6. Hi there! I’m popping in from Friday Follow to be your newest follower. I’d love for you to come follow my blog!Bridgette GroschenThe Groschen Goblins

  7. GREAT List! … you got dressed for your hospital visitors??… you are good! I just made sure I had a cute robe and slippers lol … and yes– all new moms should expect to be a crying mess. Though not everyone gets it… the baby blues is so common and I think scares a lot of new moms.

  8. I wish I had seen this before the birth of my first child. I had no idea about the crying, all the crying. Lanolin is the best invention ever. My boobs are still thankful.

  9. Hey…there’s an award for you over at “my place”… =)

  10. Oh, Lori! You know how to pinpoint all the little things that make a story true and hilarious!You’re so right…PACK YOUR BAG EARLY!!! Love the drawing.

  11. Oh my gosh!All so true! You should write one on the DURING pregnancy part too! That would be funny!

  12. Lori – when I first saw the title of your post I was immediately wishing for some thin mints. Then as I started to read your post and remember the day my little one arrived all of a sudden my urge to find thin mints disappeared! :)Great post and tips!!!

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