I found myself sitting next to an about-to-explode pregnant woman yesterday. I bit my tongue and resisted telling her just how insane her world was about to become and to go straight home to nap, because she wouldn't ever sleep well again. The poor woman looked so full of hope; the last thing I wanted to do was traumatize her.

Instead, I tried to offer some very practical advice: What I wish I'd brought to the hospital when I had each of my kids.Who knows if she actually took my advice to heart or not, but I certainly wish I'd been privy to such information back when I showed up with nothing but a change of clothes for myself and an outfit for baby. Here's an extended version of what I shared with her ...

1. Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. The first shower you take after you give birth will be the best shower of your life and the hospital products suck.

2. A roll of good quality toilet paper or wipes. That first pee after giving birth is brutal. Hospital grade toilet paper feels like sandpaper and you don’t need that rubbing against your bruised lady parts. Trust me.

3. Makeup. I know, I know. You just pushed a human being out of your vagina -- who careshow you look in pictures with your newborn? You will. For the rest of your life.

4. Cellphone (obviously) but don’t forget the charger. Between taking pictures, tweeting, Facebooking, calling, texting, and emailing, you’ll blow through that battery in no time.

5. An extra bag. You’ll be sent home with diapers, wipes, formula, and more. It’s like a new mother’s Halloween! Make sure you can schlep all of your loot or you’ll be kicking yourself the next week at Babies R Us. That crap is expensive.

6. Preparation H. It will be your new best friend.

7. Food. You’re going to be starving and hospital food is revolting. Stock your fridge with all the stuff you haven’t been able to eat in nine months. And make sure to lock it from your husband. He’s eaten enough.

8. Extra strength maxi pads. The ones at the hospital haven’t changed in a century. Seriously, they practically have belts. A box of extra strength Always will be one of the best investments you make.

9. Maternity yoga pants. It’s total bullshit, but you will leave the hospital looking as pregnant as you went in. It’s tragic, but true.

10. A blindfold. For yourself. Girlfriend, you are going to look like hell. Best not to see it.

 

Image via Scary Mommy