What to pack in your hospital bag?
What to bring to your labor and delivery? The journey to motherhood is an exciting moment for any expecting mum and for sure you've been dreaming of meeting the baby soon. Although most of it is filled with bliss and excitement is can also be a bit stressful at some certain points. Part of the stress is deciding on the most important thing you need to do during the third trimester: what goes into the hospital bag. Some first-time moms tend to panic and they start bringing their entire universe but don't worry, we will help you organize and pack the necessities. One tip is to start packing about two weeks before your due date to make sure that you're ready for your baby's big arrival. Here are some suggestions on what to bring with you:
Essential items and documents:
- Photo ID (driver's license or other form of identification),
- Insurance card,
- Pediatrician's name and phone number.
* Check with the hospital or maternity hospital in advance for any necessary paperwork. Ask if it would be helpful for you to bring a copy of your medical records.
Birth plan, if you have one. Take extra supplies with you in your hospital bag so that every member of your healthcare team can have a copy.
- Phone and charger. You can bring a multi-plug socket with you if you need to charge multiple electronic devices at the same time.
Personal Care Items:
- Pack a toothbrush and toothpaste,
- Lip balm,
- Brush and comb,
- Makeup (if you're planning to use it),
- Hair ties.
- Hospitals usually provide soap, shampoo, and lotion, but you can take your own.
- A hanging toiletry bag can be helpful as there's usually little counter space in the bathroom.
- Sanitary pads. You will be provided with them in the hospital but if you want to use some particular brand, feel free to use it.
* Make sure you have a supply of heavy-flow pads waiting at home!
- Glasses if you wear them.
* If you are having a caesarean section, you will be asked to remove your contact lenses before the procedure.
- A bathrobe,
- A nightgown or two,
Choose loose, comfortable clothing with no sleeves or short loose sleeves so you can easily check your blood pressure.
Open-back slippers and a light bathrobe can come in handy if you want to walk the hallways during labor or recovery.
The front opening nightgown provides skin-to-skin contact with the newborn and facilitates breastfeeding.
- A comfortable outfit or two,
Maternity yoga pants and tops are a good option as your belly will still look pregnant. If you are having a C-section, you will need loose clothing that is comfortable over the incision.
- Several pairs of postpartum underwear,
- Comfortable nursing bras and pads
For the birth partner:
- Snacks and Drinks
- Phone & Camera
- Toiletries and a few changes of comfortable clothes
- Comfortable shoes
- Eye mask and earplugs. These can help you sleep if your room is bright or noisy.
- Books and magazines
- Pillow and a small blanket, if you prefer to use your own instead of what's provided by the hospital. It's important for labor partners to rest during downtimes too.
- Prescription medications and pain reliever, in case you get a headache or have a backache from dozing on the hospital chair or cot.
- Clothes for going home. Bring at least 3 onesies or sleep-suits and vests. We recommend bringing 3-month sized clothes if you’re not sure how big baby will be. You also need to bring a pair of socks or booties and a hat.
- Warm Blanket. Although hospitals are very warm, your baby may need a blanket if it's chilly outside when you leave.
- Burp Rags. We recommend muslin squares for mopping up any milk your baby brings up.
- Newborn Nappies. Newborns poo each time they are fed.
- Baby Car Seat. Some hospitals won't let you leave by car without one. (The National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Reusable Bag. You can use this to keep those small, memorable items like the baby anklet ID and bassinet name tag, for safekeeping. Some hospitals also send you home with extra diapers, wipes, and other baby products.