When you packed up to go home from the hospital after having a baby, did you clean out the drawers of extra wipes, diapers, and other extras? Maybe slip a bunch of disposable mesh underwear and pads into your bag?
It’s a normal move — but many parents aren’t sure whether they’re taking a five-finger discount or doing something legit when they pack for home after the hospital.
Miki, a Seattle nurse-turned-Tik-Tok-influencer has gained a huge following of 2.4 million people by sharing the everyday realities of being a health care worker — as well as by sharing insider information on how the health care system works. Recently, she responded to footage of a dad in a hospital shoveling newborn diapers into a bag before leaving with his new kid.
“You know that like illegal, right?” Miki says in reaction to the video, before quickly changing her tone.
“Just kidding, I’m not a Karen. I hope I didn’t trigger you. I’m a nurse and I’m here to tell you that we have to throw away everything after you leave, so you might as well take it home.”
I hope that includes the amazingly huge water bottle they gave me, because I still use that thing when I ride my exercise bike.
In another video, she further explains the reasoning behind the policy, and why it’s fine to “swipe” diapers, wipes, and
“As a nurse I’m here to tell you a secret. We can’t reuse stuff in your hospital room, so please take it home with you. In fact, if you need extras, most of the time we’re more than happy to send more home with you.”
In the comments, other healthcare workers chimed in on what you can take and what you should leave. One says, “Generally if we can't wipe it down with disinfectants, it's probably disposable and will get thrown away. Take that stuff,” says one nurse.
That includes items like: diapers, wipes, formula, diaper cream, bottles, baby thermometers, and other baby things. As well as medical support for mom, too, like mesh undies, pads, nipple cream, water bottles, that amazing squirt bottle (you know the one), and numbing meds.
As other commenters point out, it’s probably already on your bill anyway, as part of the birth, so either you or your insurance company have technically paid for it in one way or another.
This is far from the first time Miki has gone viral — follow her for insights into what life is like being a nurse and other great (and fun) information about navigating the health care industry.