What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

February 22, 2019
Katherine Flemming

All of the lists. The apps! The constant reminders to SLEEP WHILE YOU CAN BECAUSE YOU'LL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.

I've heard it all.

And then there's the frantic stocking of your freezer with frozen soups because YOU'LL NEVER EAT HOMEMADE FOOD AGAIN.

There's a lot of tension wrapped up in all of the pre-baby to-dos, and so much of your pregnancy and birth is out of your control. But one thing that is? The comforts of home, to the degree that you possibly can—because you may be hospitalized for longer than you anticipated (hi, Emergency C-Section) and having a bag of things that will elevate the hospital experience is something you'll be grateful for.

Here, the ten hospital bag essentials that are really nice to have:

1. A really lovely robe. Whether you're all about that terrycloth or you prefer a slippery satin, trust me when I say that you will want to set those hospital gowns you're forced into wearing on fire. My husband bought me this one, which is made of recycled saris. The colors perked me up and the fabric was cozy and soft, with pockets and a gentle tie-waist.

2. Proper protection. Did you know you bleed after you give birth? Not for a few hours, friends. It's actually typical to bleed for up to six weeks. And everyone tells you that the mesh undies that the hospital distributes are life (which they are), but a girl can only coast for so long on lightweight, disposable fabric. Make sure you pack appropriately for this. Our new Dream Short (above!) has an extra-large gusset (think of an extra long pad) with our signature four-way stretch. The fabric is super breathable and lightweight, so you won't feel any extra pressure around your super sensitive area.

3. A lip balm that loves you. Hospitals area freakishly dry, lip balm is endlessly comforting, and these tinted ones from Caudalie can be used for a little flush of colour on your cheeks too. Because you know everyone has to come and visit and take a million photos of you in your freshly-minted state as a mama.

4. A sanitizer with style. Sure, you can find the basic-level hand sanitizer mounted on every wall of the hospital, but its jelly texture and alcohol-dense smell are so generic and unpleasant. This Germs Away Mist from Graydon Organics smells fresh, is beautiful to look at, and available in a teeny travel size (60mL). Use it to mist down the entire hospital bed and surrounding spaces (i.e. the chairs that visitors hang out in).

5. A sleeping mask in a high-quality fabric. Since you know you won't be sleeping, you should also be aware that if you happen to stay in the hospital a little longer than expected (if you have a C-section, it's standard practice to stay in the hospital for 48 hours after the surgery has ended), it's really challenging to sleep with all of the lit up beeping machines. Look for cotton, satin and linen.

6. Slippers or cozy socks. Hospital floor and germs; we needn't say more. If it's summer, you might be more comfortable with your favorite Birkenstocks or flip flops. 

7. A proper pillow in a patterned pillowcase. Unless you're a minimalist, bring a bright pillowcase that won't be mistaken for hospital linen. Plus, the comfort of your own pillow is everything after the exhausting process of bringing a small human earthside.

8. Headphones. See aforementioned lights that beep. All.the.time. And crying! One of the biggest letdowns of my hospital experience was being awoken by SOMEONE ELSE'S BABY! I'm honestly still not over it. Meanwhile, my baby was sleeping like a little burrito angel.

9. A tank with a built-in bra. I'm sure you're long past wearing uncomfortable bras, but a tank keeps you covered, held in (your lower tummy is quite sensitive post-delivery) and your likely sensitive breasts. Even though your milk doesn't come in for three or four days post delivery, you'll want something in a lightweight, stretchy fabric, with the ease of use to nurse. All you need to do is pull the fabric down (it snaps back into place, too). Try our best-selling Evolution Tank.

10. And while you're at it, pack it all into a hard-shelled suitcase. Sure, you can use a duffel or an overnighter—but a hard-shelled mini suitcase will be easy to wheel post delivery, and keep things structured. You can use one half of the suitcase for your gear, and one half for your baby's gear. As for the baby, all you need is clothing, diapers (the hospital will toss you a few, but you're on your own for the majority) and an infant carseat. The nurse will help you adjust the seatbelt before you leave, to ensure proper placement.

What did I miss? 

Super Leakproof Dream Short

Dreaming of a better sleep without any leaks? This super-comfy sleep bottom with built-in coverage features leakproof technology that absorbs the equivalent of 12 tsp worth of liquid! And within a 10-14" gusset, stops anything from leaking through. Full protection replacement for periods and incontinence, for a full night's sleep.

Please note: All leakproof products are final sale.

Dream Short Essentials

Overnight Leakproof Tech
Super absorbent with a longer 10" to 14" gusset depending on size. Moisture-wicking, odor-killing, and quick-drying to keep you feeling fresh and confident no matter what.
Soft, Stretchy, Breathable
Thicker waistband keeps the gusset in place for a super comfy, seamless feel. Feels very breathable and soft, just the way you like it for sleeping.
Conforms to Your Body
Adaptive 4-way stretch material that also relaxes with wash and wear for a perfect fit.

Leakproof Period Underwear FAQs

Super Absorbency
A total replacement for disposable period products - absorbs approximately 8-12 tsp, 40-59-ml, or the equivalent of 8-12 regular tampons worth of liquid.

High Absorbency
Ready to stop leaks whenever - absorbs approximately 4-6 tsp, 20-30 ml, or the equivalent of 4-6 tampons worth of liquid.

Medium Absorbency
Confident backup protection for heaviest days - absorbs approximately 3 tsp, 15 ml, or the equivalent of 2 tampons worth of liquid.

Light Absorbency
Protection for your lighter days - absorbs approximately 1 tsp, 5 ml, or the equivalent of 1 tampons worth of liquid.

Our Leakproof period underwear features triple layer technology that ensures you stay fresh, dry, and protected. The anti-odor top layer wicks away moisture from your skin; the inner-layer absorbs the liquid and locks it in; and the leak resistant outer layer keeps any liquid from spotting your clothes.

Depending on the size and style of underwear, the leakproof gusset ranges from around 7.5" to 9" long. Our Super Leakproof Underwear features a 25% bigger gusset, with more of the coverage in the front of the underwear. For overnight leakproof protection, our Super Leakproof Dream Short gusset ranges from 10" to 14" long.

Our Leakproof Period Underwear feature barely-there built-in panty liners that can absorb between 1 and 8 tampons worth of liquid, providing you with confident protection against period leaks, light bladder leaks, and sweat.

Our Essential Underwear feature a moisture-wicking breathable gusset that keeps sweat and odor away, but they do not provide any leakproof protection.

Depending on the level of absorbency of Leakproof period underwear you choose and the heaviness of your flow, you can wear our period panties on their own or as backup protection along with a menstrual cup or tampon. 

You're totally protected with our high and super absorbency Leakproof underwear, while our low and medium absorbency Leakproof underwear can replace pads and tampons on lighter days and work great as a backup for your usual period protection on heavier days.

Yes! Our period underwear is also the perfect protection against light bladder leaks (LBL). In fact, it was the frustrations and unnecessary stress of postpartum leaking that inspired our CEO Joanna to make her first pair of Knix. 

If you're one of the 1-in-4 women who experience light bladder leaks, our incontinence underwear are here for you. They absorb up to 8 tsp of liquid and feature a moisture-wicking, anti-odor, and bacteriostatic properties to keep you feeling fresh, dry, and confident.

Super Leakproof Technology