Items You Shouldn’t Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Your going to have a baby in a couple weeks and you want to bring everything. The best pajamas for hospital after delivery. 20 diapers for the baby to change into. Snacks and juices for the baby. Maybe even some toys for the baby to touch. You don’t want the baby to get bored and you want full preparation for the labor. I know you have good intentions for bringing all that stuff to the hospital during labor. But, you really do not need to have all those things. Hospitals have a large number of items readily available for you during your stay at the hospital. You probably won’t stay at the hospital for more than a week too. I will help you buy the things you really need during your baby labor at the hospital. Read about it below.

Do Not Bring Food and Drinks

food and drink for pregnancy

Bring no food and drink, when you go to hospital to have a baby. Hospitals are not just places with bandages and IVs. They have a wide range of food for babies and adults. Plus, they have medicine food to help you get through any stomach issues you and your baby might have. In addition, they can tell you directly what food your baby should eat if it is a newborn. What foods are deemed hazardous for new babies changes year to year. Best to let them feed your baby the most up to date food to make them healthy and safe. All in all, you don’t need to bring any food or water with you. Your going to a place that is perfectly safe and well above the normal standard of food sold at the grocery store. No need to bring food and drinks.

No Video Cameras Please

Video cameras are good to have to show your friends on social media, but you need to do away with those video cameras. When I was having my first baby, I never thought about whipping out my phone. I was happy to see my baby and know that there was going to be a part of me left on this Earth. A part of me that was going to be new and be able to continue my legacy. Showing my friends my new baby out of the hospital was the least on my mind. I really did not want to show them my baby and talk to them about it. Having my baby was my moment. The only thing I wanted to see besides my lover and baby was the best pajamas for hospital delivery that I had on. Meaning, I didn’t want to be in the spot light at that moment. I felt something and I am sure you would want to feel something during that time. That feeling is what you need to experience. Not showing people online about your life.

Diapers for Baby After Labor

Think you need diapers during your first labor don’t you. Well, diapers are not needed. Hospitals have rows of diapers and are willing to give them to you for staying in their hospital. Its part of the hospital payment plan. So, don’t worry about bringing diapers to the hospital. You can bring them if you insist your baby wearing specific diapers. No one at the hospital is going to stop you. But, if your the type of mother that brings diapers to the hospital because of necessity, then you need to change your mind and choose to not bring them. I assure you the hospital will provide you with fresh batch of diapers for your baby. Need more convincing, call the hospital your going to and ask. There is no way your hospital will lie to you on providing you with diapers. Majority of them do not do that.

June & July 2015

Clothing collection at a Stroller Strides class! These moms are fit, fabulous, and generous!

This summer in Chicago the sun isn’t the only thing shining bright! We love all our volunteers (big and small) who shine brightly on the lives of others! In June moms all over Chicago cleaned out their closets for our Women’s Career Clothing Drive supporting of New Moms, Inc! With collection events all over the city and partnerships from Bubbles Academy, Fit4Mom, Share Our Spare, and NPN, we were beyond thrilled with the results.  Together we collected, sorted, and delivered over 685 articles of clothing, shoes, and accessories.  These items will support teen mothers on the road to economic independence.

Kids decorating bags to fill with crafts and give to kids in need!
Kids decorating bags to fill with crafts and give to kids in need!

Love this mom modeling and engaging her son in giving back to the community!

Also in June, we created craft kits for VOCEL Early Childhood students.  This project stood out as we watched our 3 and 4-year-old volunteers really engage in putting together crafts for other kids to enjoy.

In July, families gathered at the Monica + Andy guideshop to Craft for a Cause. Moms and little ones created handmade gifts to be distributed as a random act of kindness.   The gift included decorating candles made by Bright Endeavors, the social venture of New Moms, Inc.  Our project goal was to model and teach our little ones that making a difference starts with small acts of kindness.  

Make a difference is so much fun!!
Make a difference is so much fun!!

Thank you to everyone who made a difference in June and July!

May 2015

On May 2, More Than Milk partnered with Bubbles Academy to celebrate the young moms from The Night Ministry’s Response-Ability Pregnant and Parenting Program (RAPPP). Program participants and their kids joined More Than Milk volunteers and their kids for a Mother’s Day Celebration, which included lunch and sweet treats followed by playtime in the Bubbles playspace and a sing-along led by Bubbles teacher, Miss Lauren. Everyone had such a great time chatting, singing, and playing.

Professional photographer Tiaa Norsym captured the energy and fun of the event through candid photographs of the group as well as mother and child portraits. RAPPP moms left the celebration with gift bags filled with bath and beauty products.

Cards for Doulas! #Moms4Doulas Campaign
Cards for Doulas! #Moms4Doulas Campaign

We also supported HealthConnect One in an online Mother’s Day campaign supporting community-based doulas throughout the country.  On May 14th we hosted the last Singing with Seniors of the season (back in the fall).

April 2015

Getting ready to shop for House of the Good Shepherd.
Getting ready to shop for House of the Good Shepherd.

April was packed with projects for moms and their little ones!  Forget April rain showers, we showered the community with kindness. Over the month we supported House of the Good Shepherd in 3 unique and engaging projects. We hosted our first interactive food drive collecting fresh and non-perishable food items.

Pint-sized volunteer at our Scavenger Hunt Food Drive. He loved collecting food for other kids!
Pint-sized volunteer at our Scavenger Hunt Food Drive. He loved collecting food for other kids!

This project included a “Scavenger Hunt” around Whole Food (April 13) and Mariano’s (April 28th) and carloads of food delivered that day to House of the Good Shepherd. Both projects included inspiring moments where our pint-sized volunteers truly grasped the idea of helping others.

We love Miss Sarah Jayne Lane! She brings joy to everyone she meets.
We love Miss Sarah Jayne Lane! She brings joy to everyone she meets.

We also hosted a concert and crafts event for the kids of House of the Good Shepherd with special guest, musician Sarah Jayne Lane. House of the Good Shepherd is an organization dedicated to providing women and children with a safe home to heal from the trauma of domestic violence as well as the economic development necessary to become self-sufficient members of the community.

Also in April we Crafted for a Cause supporting HealthConnect One and of course, rocked the house for our elderly friends ; )

Singing with Seniors (and being Silly with Seniors)
Singing with Seniors (and being Silly with Seniors)

March 2015

March kicked off with Singing with Seniors and our second Crafting for a Cause with Monica + Andy.  As always the energetic Miss Lindsey from Bee-Boppers music and our little ones entertained the seniors with fun songs and spirited dance moves.  Our craft this month was a St. Patrick’s Day good luck charm with a $20 Walgreens gift card and homemade earrings (made by 8 year-old Stella).  The Night Ministry Pregnant and Parenting program (RAPP) received the little gifts of luck!

We ended the month with over 100 moms, dads, and tots gathering at Bubbles Academy to support VOCEL Early Learning Center and literacy for all!  In partnership with Bubbles Academy, we hosted a Community Book Drive and Read Together Read-a-thon.  Bubbles was transformed into a reading oasis with comfy beanbags, blankets, story stations, story times, and favorite books galore.

Through book and monetary donations, we created a lending library for VOCEL students.  Local celebrities including Tanja Babich from ABC 7 Chicago, Nili Yelin, The Storybook Mom, Roopa Weber, author of Messy Penny and Kelly Holden, author of A Short Book on Time all joined in the fun!

January & February 2015

2015 kicked off with a lot of love for our elderly friends!  We hosted 2 Singing with Seniors events and launched a new partnership with Monica + Andy to Craft for a Cause and create handmade creations for our Featured Organizations.  In February we created Valentines for the elders of the Imperial Grove Senior Home and hand delivered the cards during Singing with Seniors.  The senior’s faces are truly priceless when they connect with a dancing or singing toddler or receive a special Valentine.  We love our partnership with Bee-Boppers music to bring so much joy to every generation!

Special thank you to TK Photography for capturing our January Luau Singing with Senior and capturing the bottom 3 photos.

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UrbanFamily Magazine - Amy Cahill | More than Milk EventUrbanFamily Magazine - Amy Cahill | More than Milk EventUrbanFamily Magazine - Amy Cahill | More than Milk Event

November & December 2014

Wrapping & creating beautiful bows!
Wrapping & creating beautiful bows!

Wow, what a finish to 2014!  We finished our 4th and most successful holiday gift drive delivering over 1000 gifts to New Moms, Inc. and The Night Ministry Open Door Shelter.  Both organizations serve pregnant and parenting adolescent mothers working towards a better future for their families.  New Moms, Inc. received toys, books, games and winter gear while the Open Door Shelter received makeup bags filled with over 20 beauties goodies, bath caddies filled with bath and body essentials, pajamas for the little ones, and toy packages.  We could not be more thrilled and thankful for the participation of families all over Chicago and our amazing drive partners: Bubbles Academy, The Bump Club and Beyond, The Dailey Method Chicago, and Monica + Andy.

An elder enjoying her homemade card & ornament
An elder enjoying her homemade card & ornament

We kicked off the giving season at Bubbles Academy with an afternoon of crafting for a cause, energizing Open Play, and introducing the holiday gift drive and benefiting organizations.  Moms and tots created turkey decorations for the Open Door shelter and cards and ornaments for the elders at the Imperial Grove Senior Home.  You should have seen the reaction of the elders when they received their gifts!   Following the Kick Off to Holiday Giving we hosted two Singing with Senior projects and spent the next month collecting gifts!   We closed out the year with a morning of organizing and wrapping the donations into beautiful holiday gifts!  Some kids helped with the wrapping but most little ones played UrbanSitters in the playroom.  UrbanSitter has been an amazing partner allowing moms to truly make a difference while kids are in trusted hands having fun!

Creating holiday magic!
Creating holiday magic!

We are thankful for all the moms and families who supported and participated with More Than Milk in 2014.  And we are excited to be making a positive difference in Chicago!  Below is a letter received from New Moms Inc. in response to our holiday gift drive donations:


Hi More Than Milk,
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Holiday “store” where New Moms, Inc. participants “shop” for gifts for their children

Hope you had a great holiday! I just wanted to say thanks for all the help of More than Milk in making our New Moms’ Christmas celebration such a success! Your generosity was key to us being able to provide a fun day filled with holiday cheer and gifts for all the kids and adolescent parents at New Moms. Thank you for organizing, delivering, and supporting our work in this important way and designating us as a partner with the Bump Club event this month! 

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New Moms, Inc. holiday event

Attached are a few photos from the celebration – the ‘store’ was overflowing and was refilled several times! We really were overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and donated items to share with our participants. 

On behalf of our team at New Moms and all the participants and their children who will have a bright holiday because of your generosity, thank you! 
Happy New Year!

Laura Zumdahl, Ph.D.
President & CEO

October 2014

The Happiness in action at Bubbles Academy
The Happiness in action at Bubbles Academy

While Halloween takes the cake this month, moms and kiddos found 4 significant ways to be SWEET without treats!  On October 21st we joined  Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® (JRFTR) campaign mobilizes millions of children and adults to celebrate literacy by participating in the largest shared reading experience.  We love celebrating programs and projects that provide opportunities for families to make a difference together.  Two days later moms,babies, and tots brought Halloween fun to the elders at the Imperial Grove Senior Home.  Led by Bee-Boppers Music kids brought  joy to our elderly friends through music, dance, singing, and silliness!

Collection for special needs classroom
Collection for special needs classroom

As we approached Halloween, we joined forces with Bubbles Academy to bring The Happiness Club to the Bubbleween Costume Ball.  This event included a performance from The Happiness Club in an effort to showcase the group’s talent and inspiring message.   Finally, throughout the month we hosted a “Pop Up Project” where we collected gently used books, games, and toys for a special needs preschool classroom.   As usual, Chicago moms displayed tremendous generosity and went above and beyond to support the benefitting teacher and students.

THC dance party with adorably dress kiddos!
THC dance party with adorably dress kiddos!

September 2014

September kicked off with an impromptu gift card drive for back-to-school shoes.  While we love to plan in advance, we also love to fill a need for our Featured Organizations.  The kids staying at the House of Good Shepherd needed new shoes for the new school year and we were happy to rally our community.  We donated 31 $25 gift cards and were once again amazed by the quick response and generosity of Chicago families!  Our friends at House of Good Shepherd were beyond appreciative.  The House of Good Shepherd is an organization dedicated to providing women and children with a safe home to heal from the trauma of domestic violence as well as the economic development necessary to become self-sufficient members of the community.

IMG_4253In mid-September we launch our new Singing with Senior project at The Imperial Grove Senior Home.  We welcomed Bee-Boppers Music to help us spread joy, laughter, songs, and smiles to our elderly friends.  With a room filled with energetic toddlers dancing, singing, and hugging, smiles were abundant among elders and moms! We can’t wait for next month!

On September 20, More Than Milk helped the participants of New Moms, Inc., celebrate fall with their children, providing snacks, crafts, photography, and a music concert! Ten More Than Milk moms and their kids enjoyed a morning of making new friends and supporting the mothers and staff of New Moms, Inc. Miss Lindsey of Bee-Boppers Music and Carlo Navarro Photography helped make it a morning to remember!



July & August 2014

More Than Milk had an energizing summer engaging with New Moms, Inc., The Academy for Global Citizenship, and The Imperial Grove Senior Home.  From making candles, to helping in classrooms, we enjoyed connecting with organizations and individuals making a difference in Chicago.

IMG_3975On July 16, More Than Milk volunteers spent the morning at Bright Endeavors, the non-profit social enterprise of New Moms, Inc., where participants gain on-the-job experience producing and marketing a line of eco-friendly candle and bath products. While babies and toddlers played with UrbanSitter sitters, volunteers worked alongside New Moms participants, hopefully easing the stress of a busy season. New Moms, Inc., is an organization dedicated to equipping struggling, impoverished adolescent parents and their children with the personal and career-readiness tools to permanently change their life stories from chronic dependence on society to economic independence and family stability.

Image 3On Friday, Aug. 8, More Than Milk Moms teamed up with teachers at the Academy for Global Citizenship to help the school get ready to start the year! Academy for Global Citizenship is a Chicago Public Charter School dedicated to teaching children how to make the world a better place. Moms helped clean desks, organize libraries and put up bulletin boards. Big thanks to the Urban Sitter babysitters who played with our kids in the school gym and playground!