Real Essentials for Your Birth Hospital Bag
As with most things in life, preparation is key. For this reason, when it comes to packing your birth hospital bag, we recommend you having everything ready to go at least 3 weeks prior to your birth date.
The following is the only checklist you will need but as an extra tip, ask your hospital if they provide any of the things mentioned, so you can check them off the list and save on time and hassle.
- Your ID card and any hospital related paperwork you may need.
- Your birth plan/maternity notes, if you have any. These will inform the midwives and doctors of your wishes, regarding what kind of birth you’d like to have and more importantly, what you want to avoid. Bring these along in case you’re unable to tell them yourself.
- A fresh dressing gown, for those potentially long nights and morning during early labour, when you’re pacing the hospital corridors.
- An old T-Shirt or nightdress you don’t mind sacrificing for the cause. During labour, things might get a bit messy so don’t buy anything special or pricey.
- Non-skid socks and slippers: believe it or not, your feet might get cold during labour. As for the slippers, refer to point 3.
- Several pairs of maternity underwear. Some women love the mesh underwear provided by hospitals, most do not. One thing is certain: you can’t go wrong with your own.
- Comfortable bras. Whether you plan on breastfeeding or not, your breasts are likely to be quite tender when your milk starts coming in. You’re going to want support.
- Your hospital might not have the perfect ones, or even enough to make you feel comfortable. A V-shaped pillow is especially helpful and lovely, especially if when breastfeeding your baby.
- Toiletries! These include the essentials like a toothbrush, toothpaste, a hairbrush, a hairband (or 20), deodorant, make-up and most importantly, lip balm.
- Snacks and drinks for while you’re in labour. You don’t know how long you might be there but you know that you’re likely going to get a little bit peckish. Be sure to bring along sports to keep your energy levels up. It might also be a good idea to pack glucose tablets.
- Things to keep you calm. If you’re there for a while, you’re not only going to need snacks, you’re going to need some sort of entertainment too! Bring your favourite book(s), a laptop, your tablet, an MP3 player, anything that will keep you occupied, especially if you’re going to be induced.
Must have’s for your birthing partner:
- Comfortable shoes and a change of clothes. After all, they too may be there for a while.
- Mobile phone, camera and all associated chargers! After all, someone has to keep n touch with the outside world, as well as document the big event.
- Snacks and drinks. You know what’s worse than long hours spent waiting in hospital rooms? Spending long hours waiting in hospital rooms without snacks. Stock up and make sure they do too.
Must haves for your baby:
- A baby blanket. Hospitals are usually quite warm but you might need it when leaving the hospital and taking your bundle of joy home!
- A muslin to mop up any spilled milk or any your baby may bring up.
- A couple of vests.
- Most importantly, you’ll need an installed car seat. You can’t take your baby home without one so make sure you have a rear-facing seat properly installed ahead of time. (Also make sure you or your birthing partner know how to buckle the baby in properly and safely too).
- Jewelry and excess cash
- This one may seem obvious but this includes vitamins. Speak to your doctor beforehand, to ensure that the hospital can provide anything you may require.
- Save your supply and leave them at home – the hospital will provide nappies for your baby whilst you’re there.
- A breast pump. If, for any reason, you are in need of one, the hospital will definitely provide you with one too.
Childbirth: What to pack for the hospital or birth center | BabyCenter. (2013, May). Retrieved May, 2016, from http://www.babycenter.com/packing-for-the-hospital-or-birth-center
Pelley, V. (2015). 10 Essential Items for Your Hospital Bag. Retrieved May, 2016, from http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/labor-delivery/10-essential-items-your-hospital-bag
Kashtan, P. (2016). Checklist: Packing a Hospital Bag. Retrieved May, 2016, from http://www.thebump.com/a/checklist-packing-a-hospital-bag