Packing for Your Baby’s Arrival-Don’t Leave Home Without It

Spring makes me think of flowers, and babies, and taxes…taxes…but we don’t want to go there!!!!  I really prefer to stick with the happy things in life.  I started to think that a packing list for the hospital might be helpful.  Being the research queen, I went online to see what was out there as far as recommendations go and found that many publications seemed to have parents packing for a short vacation!!!!  Lordy, we really do not want you staying in the hospital more than you have to.  We want to get you back home where you will be comfy and cozy.   Short and sweet is best in my book.  Here is this Nurse Midwife’s packing list for baby’s big day:

Luggage set

In Your Purse for the Hospital Pack

  • Your driver’s license, insurance card.
  • Your birth planIf you feel you need one.  You will have discussed this with your provider already but this copy is for the nurses.
  • Contact list-whether this is separate or on your smartphone, to make the big announcement after baby arrives.
  • A small amount of cash and change for dad to use at the gift shop, cafeteria or vending machines (most hospitals do have ATMs to use in a pinch also).
  • Mints or a few hard candies for dad- I can’t tell you how many times I have had poor dad be accused of having bad breath.  All because he hasn’t had time to get a drink and because he has been huffing and puffing with you.  Do him and yourself a favor!!!!
  • Eyeglasses-if you wear them or if you wear contacts that may need to come out later.
  • Your cell phone and charger.  Do not forget your charger!!!! Especially if you own a smartphone you know how invaluable this will be later on for your contact list, pictures, announcing the birth and ordering take out!
  • Camera or video recorder if you plan on using one separate from your smartphone.  Check your hospital’s policy on video recording during labor and birth.
  • Music or relaxation tools-check with your hospital or support person to see what type of equipment they have before packing, this may not even be necessary.  Our hospital plays nice relaxing music on our TVs that is perfect for labor.  Other items to consider include lavender oil or back massager.

For Your Bag

  • T-shirt, leggings, sleepwear, robe, nursing bra, several pair of undies.  Sports bra or bathing suit if you plan to get in the tub.  In our practice you may opt to wear your own clothes or a hospital gown during labor.  You may wear/or not wear whatever you feel most comfortable in for the tub.   A robe is a must in case you decide to walk up and down the hallway during your labor.  The hospital provides what we call our beautiful “victoria secret” stretchy mesh panties and pads but afterwards you might feel better in your own.  Comfort is the key…and of course, your outfit to go home in.
  • Slippers, socks, shoes to go home in-Something comfy to cover your feet during labor and to walk the halls in afterwards.  Remember, your feet may actually be more swollen after labor than they are now, so plan for it.
  • Toiletries-shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, contact solution, makeup, lip balm. You probably will just feel better with your own.
  • Outfits for baby-remember baby will be having his/her first photo op.  Also, he/she will have sharp little finger nails so pack an outfit that comes with the cute little covers for the little hands.  Invaluable!
  • Your baby’s memory book-so that we can put your baby’s foot prints in this for you.

Things on other lists that I would leave at home.  Remember; what you cart in you have to cart back out (plus a newborn)!!!!  We want to make this a stress free as possible.

  • pillows-the hospital has plenty I promise.  We know how to position them for comfort, labor and for breastfeeding!!!!
  • breast pump-If you are going to breastfeed we want to get baby to the breast.  If you need a breast pump, the hospital has the appropriate one for you to use.
  • nursing pads, nursing creams-your breasts make only a couple of drops of colostrum after the baby is born.  No need for pads at this point.  We will supply any nursing cream (lanolin) if you need it.
  • Feminine pads-we provide those too…along with the “victoria secret” mesh panties!!!
  • nail clippers for baby-experienced moms will tell you that you should not clip your baby’s nails right away, it is an accident waiting to happen.  See my comment above about covering your baby’s hands.
  • watch-not to worry-we have equipment for timing contractions too.
  • white noise machine-please….again, what you cart in, you have to take out.
  • books, magazines-You will now have a new family member to get acquainted with!  We will be giving you lots of information and handouts, plus lots of personal attention.  In between, we hope that you will be resting.

As you can see, the list of what not to pack is almost as long as what to pack.  Even if you were to forget your bag, it is not the end of the world.  We have all the necessities to get you through until someone can go home and get your personal stuff.  No worries!!!!

Local Celeb Liz Bonis Shares Her Fitness Advice

With spring just on the horizon, I am sure that the thought of getting into those summer clothes has been weighing heavily on your mind, just like it has been on mine 🙂  My favorite girl Amy Poehler had this to say in the March issue of Ladies Home Journal when she described her version of the perfect exercise class.  Embed from Getty Images

Personal trainers are people who yell at you to keep pushing. I’m like, “No, you keep pushing!” My idea of the perfect exercise class is this: The teacher gives us all a hug and goes, “You did it! You showed up! Let’s lie down.” We all lie down and she’s like, “How is everybody feeling?” We’re like, “Great!” And the teacher’s like, “Great!” Then we all get to leave 20 minutes early.

While Amy certainly keeps us smiling, her idea of exercise isn’t going to make us look very good in our summer clothes. So I decided to look for some expert tips on how to incorporate exercise and healthy eating into our busy schedules.   I turned the tables on Liz Bonis, medical reporter for Local 12, nutritionist and personal trainer.  Liz graciously agreed to share her advice with us here!!!!

Liz Bonis  Local 12 Health Reporter/Nutritionist/Personal Trainer

Liz Bonis Local 12 Health Reporter/Nutritionist/Personal Trainer

On getting motivated to exercise

I am embarrassed to tell you that I really only exercise because without it, I am a little piglet.  I know it’s good for me.. but that’s not enough motivation.. so I started just making myself get up..and getting in five to ten minutes on the treadmill before the day started.   If you don’t do it first, you will be too tired later.   It is still just a decision every day… and a hard one.  There’s no secret.   To quote Bobby Knight, “discipline is just knowing what you need to do, and doing it every day”.  So now I do at least a ten k, every day, on the treadmill ..sometimes at 2 or 3 am before work…and it never gets easy…and I don’t really like it.  I just like the way I feel after I do it!

On fitting exercise into a busy schedule and maintaining motivation

The most helpful thing I learned, was that the reasons you can’t exercise, are not really important.  If it’s not the priority, I(you) will do everything else and never get to it.  So I look at it that if all the social things come first.. I don’t have those to do if I am not healthy… and being healthy allows me to do all that other stuff… such as work, and eat out, and be active and have energy… it’s not all that stuff first, and exercise second…

Liz’s tips for healthy eating

I don’t have any forbidden foods, there are no good or bad foods, there are good and bad quantities of foods.. I can’t diet..but I can eat less of what I want…some days… I don’t own a scale and choose not to assign “good” or “bad” to any foods.  I do however try to eat a plant-based diet for health reasons…meaning…I try to make most of the plate fruits and veggies..less meat, cheese, fried food etc… I also eat six times a day.. at least.. or if I wait too long.. I will pig out …

What I love about Liz is she is just like that rest of us…and what  I like most about her advice is how approachable she makes it all.  Surely if she can get up at 2:00-3:00 in the morning to exercise, then it really is doable for even the busiest of schedules.  Breaking it down into 10 minute chunks also makes exercising seem like a realistic goal.  After all, It does make us feel good!!!!  I like too that there are no “bad” foods in her book.  I would really hate to feel deprived of anything….and science has shown that 5-6 small meals a day are better than 3 big ones.

Looks like I am getting back on the exercise bandwagon.  I can’t wait to begin taking my morning walks with my friends Clair and Hazel.  How about you?  Tell us about your exercise routine or how you plan to eat better…

Thanks to Liz Bonis for sharing your great advice!!  It was wonderful getting to know you better 🙂

Spring Break, Sunshine & Girl Scout Cookies

Living in grey Cincinnati can be pretty depressing at times.   It seems like the clouds get sucked into the Ohio Valley and refuse to leave.  This year has been especially brutal with freezing temperatures and weekly snowstorms.  I have been trying to practice my mindfulness, appreciating the beauty around me and reminding myself that the snow only brings the opportunity to cozy up by the fire.  I do have to admit that I have found myself looking forward to this week and it lived up to all of my expectations!!!

My youngest decided to come home from college for spring break after all.  He had planned to go on a mission trip to Virginia to help build homes but a minor illness derailed those plans.  He came home on Friday with laundry in tow:)  It is so great to have him home!!!!  The dogs can hardly contain themselves…their buddy is back who takes them for walks through thick and thin.  Me, I am more of a fair weather girl…

Which is why I was particularly excited about today.  The chores were done yesterday so today was for enjoying.  Here is how the day shaped up….First of all, the sun decided to come out.  Hallelujah!  I love how the sunlight bounces off the table on my sunporch 🙂

Sunlight streaming on sunporch

Sunlight streaming on sunporch

Then, after much anticipation; my friend and her daughter delivered my girl scout cookies that I have been looking forward to for weeks.  I don’t know which was better, the visit or the cookies?!

Kate showing off her favorite girls scout cookies!

The weather was so beautiful that I even got to go for a walk.  (I am behind taking the pic)…

The youngest with the dogs

The youngest with the dogs

Hopefully your day was wonderful too!  After I tackle the girl scout cookies, I will be back to taking my walks….as soon as spring arrives, that is.  Next week Liz Bonis, health reporter for Local 12 news will share her fitness tips.  Be sure to stay tuned!!!!