Greening your hospital stay.

By Kristie Turck •  Published 04/14/09 •  8 min read

Last updated on July 1st, 2022 at 02:13 pm

With the impending birth of our second child on the horizon, I’ve given a lot of thought to packing my hospital bag and what I used last time, and what I’ll definitely want to bring this time.   Being a little wiser, and greener, I’ve given consideration on how I can minimize my environmental impact, while also keeping in mind that I’ll have just had a baby, so I need to be realistic.   I’m not the greenest person on the planet by far, but the amount of waste that a hospital creates is insane.  If you’re planning on giving birth in the hospital,  there are steps you can take to be a little greener.

Diapers.

In general, the hospital will supply diapers for you during your stay, which makes things easy.   When we stayed in the hospital with the birth of our son, I made sure to take every single pack of diapers in the room, if they weren’t nailed down.  But that was before I decided on cloth.   Now, while I would love to bring my cloth diapers with me to the hospital, it’s not practical.  Possible, yes, but definitely not practical given that you’re already exhausted, sore and have limited resources.  If it’s something you can pull off, then I commend you, but there are other greener alternatives to conventional disposables.

Wipes

Wipes are another thing that they do supply in the hospital.   My hospital supplied just basic paper towel-like wipes that you simply wet down, which are great from a chemical-free standpoint, but if your hospital supplies disposable wipes, they may be a brand that harbors unfavorable chemicals.  Again, if you’re planning on being brave and bringing your own cloth wipes to the hospital, hats off to you, but here are a couple of different wipes brands we love:

Baby Accessories

Again, bringing as much as you can from home, without having to rent a U-Haul, is key.   Although, I will tell you, for the love of all that’s holy, take the hospital-grade aspirator home with you.   Tell them you lost one and take two.   This was invaluable advice that was given to me (by Kathy, I believe) and we still use that thing to this day.  Literally.  I’ve been using it for the last two weeks.  Of course, there are things you can do in the interest of health, and things you can do to create less waste at the hospital, but disposable things are going to be thrown away, no matter how you cut it.   So pick what will work for you and use stuff that the hospital gives you if it’s just going to be thrown away anyway.

Accessories for Mama.

Of course, you’ve just given birth and while you can’t have all of the luxuries of home, you can bring some things that are not only pampering but at the same time, reduces your impact.

Of course, we could go crazy and recommend a million things to help lessen your impact, but some of them are just not practical.  Like bringing your own cloth maxi pads.   Trust me, you’re going to want to use the disposable stuff that they give you in the hospital.  The aggravation is just not worth it.    And if you have any other ideas,  definitely contact us, and we’ll happily add it to the list.  Especially if it’s something you did in the past and it worked out for you.   Again, we realize that you’ve just given birth, so we’re trying to be as realistic as possible.