Once you’re about 34-35 weeks far along your pregnancy, it’s about time you packed up for the hospital (unless you opt for a home birth of course. All you would need is your vajayjay! :D). It’s a pain to figure out what is really needed to pack for both mummy and baby (and maybe daddy, but he can do it himself :P)
Typically, most of us woman end up over packing and either have too much and don’t use what we have or have so much we can still manage to forget a thing or two.
I would usually (haha! as if i birth every so often!) pack 2 different bags. One for the birthing (labour) room and the other for the before/after birth.
Have no fear, your perfect Hospital Bag CheckList is here!!
Usually, hospital forms have been filled in and room bookings have been made prior to your due dates so you may not need all of the following but do have them in hand just in case. (Hubs usually sorts all this out so I never had to worry :p)
- identification card – which you should have on at all times anyway.
- insurance inf0 – especially if your amongst the lucky ones whose company pays for your birth.
- hospital deposit – most hospitals require deposits so have some cash/credit card on standby.
- cord blood box (if you have one) – We banked with Cryocord and they give us the cord collection box for us to bring to the hospital once baby was ready. Don’t freak out if you happened forget it because they usually have spare cases in the hospital for those who do forget. Also, don’t forget to call your cord blood representatives so they can send their collectors to the hospital immediately to collect the necessary.
For some mummy’s, the birthing (labour) room needs to be the most comfortable place to welcome life. Here’s some things to make your birthing room a little more homely.
- cd/ipod player – soothing music is a lot of help for mummies experiencing their birthing process.. For hypnobirthing mummies, we have our birthing affirmations which is awesome!
- gym/birthing ball – the gym ball is lots of help for loosening the pelvis and soothing the back. The ball could also be used (if your doctor allows it) for your birthing instead of having to lie in bed.
- birth plan (if you have one) my birthplan – Some mummies would have already pre-discussed their birth plans with their obstetrician during the early stages of their pregnancy. Just in case (they forget), bring a copy along with you. (I was seriously serious about my birth plan and made sure it was perfectly followed. I taped a copy on my hospital door, next to the bed, one on the table next to me and one was given to the nurses desk. LOL)
- hand towels – soaking a towel in either cool or warm water helps at times during surges (contractions). Dabbing the face, neck and chest is actually nice and calming too.
- snacks – if you aren’t in much of a mood to eat heavy (coz you’re afraid you might poop it all out when baby comes), light snacks like sandwiches, biscuits, chocolate, fruits and nuts may help and hunger times.
- nursing bra (for those planning to breastfeed) – if you’re ok to free fall and let baby dive in, by all means, go for it! But for those who need support no matter what (like me), wearing a nursing bra during birth would be good. This way you can still have baby latch right onto you once he/she is born.
- socks – unless you wanna show your baby (and doctor and nurses) your brand new gorgeous pedicure, keeping your feet warm is nice especially when you’re in a freezing cold hospital room. Keeps your feet clean too! 🙂
- robe and slippers – sometimes the birthing process doesn’t happen as quickly as you would hope. Instead of walking about the halls in a hospital robe with your bum sticking out, wrap yourself up in a robe and prance about the halls in comfort. Why not make it feel more hotelish and stick on a pair of comfy hotel slippers too.Or house slippers if you have any. 🙂
- camera/video camera – somebody’s gotta take the footage!! There is no way you wanna go through the birthing process without having it on tape! Such a magical memory to keep on record.
- phone (and charger) – to keep family and friends up to date with mummy and babys progress.
- spare change – for vending machines.
- a positive mind!!
- receiving blanket – I usually prefer having my baby wrapped in a blanky I had gotten for her as soon as she arrives in the world. (I also opt in delaying the wiping off of the vernix so it blanky is more meaningful, im sentimental like that.)
Mummy and baby are now ready for the parade! Lots of bonding and lots of rest!!
- clean clothes – if breastfeeding or pumping, something loose you can lift up or even nursing wear.
- nursing bra (if planning to breastfeed) – be sure you measure yourself for a good fitting bra by the time you are 5 months pregnant. This would be about the same size your breasts are when milk is produced.
- nursing pads – once your milk has finally come through (it takes time, milk production doesn’t happen immediately) milk will drip on one side while you feed on the other and also when breasts are too full or when it’s just feeding time.
- sanitary pads – although the hospital may provide you with their pads, you may want to think about bringing your own if you’re the type who likes to use winged pads.
- disposable panties – a god sent! unless you’re the type that uses old undies when you’re on your period and don’t mind getting them a bit errrr dirty. just throw them away after that. heh!
- corset/tummyband – after birth, your tummy will still seem a bit bloated and errrrrr fat-ish. It’s always good to have a wrap for your tummy to start the process of getting back into shape (or at least get that belly back into place).
- nipple ointment – this is used for cracked nipples which happens to us mummies who have a hard time when baby doesn’t latch properly. but I personally feel that when they say breast is best, this also means that breast milk, when rubbed over nipples, is a better solution to those ouchies.
- toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, hair brush, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, facial wash, face creams, and even make up.
- towel – usually hospital towels aren’t very nice. They feel rough and don’t absorb much water after showers. Bringing your own would be pretty god idea.
- contacts/glasses (for those who need them).
- going home outfit – whether you would like to dress to impress or just go home in some comfy sweats and jumper, you need to wear something to go home in. :p
For mummies who undergo a caesarean section, there are some specific thing which would also be needing. Hospitals may provide some so do ask in advance.
- Big underwear – “granny undies” that don’t sit on your wound. Disposable panties work too!
- Big pants – avoid tight elastic pants which don’t irritate your wound.
- Sanitary pads – good idea to put over the wound as padding.
- Metamucil/stool softeners – beware! Your first bowel movement can be bad.
- Comfy dresses – just so you won’t irritate wound.
- Comfort food – eat whatever makes you feel good (before heading home for confinement of course!).
- Yoghurt – to get good bacteria into your stomach afterwards.
- Mouthwash – perfect if you want to freshen up your mouth but can’t get out of bed yet.
- Hair dryer – good trick used to dry your wound.
- nappies – just a few, don’t go crazy. Hospitals usually provide nappies while you are still admitted and most give out little goodie bags with nappies as you are discharged. But if you prefer using the reusable type, bring ’em!
- swaddle/receiving blanket – babies should always be swaddled until they can roll onto their tummies. This is because they feel most content when wrapped. Wouldn’t you feel awkward being so free after being stuck in a belly for 9 months? They must feel like they’re sky-diving when they aren’t swaddled up! LOL!
- mittens, hat and socks– mittens are so your baby wont scratch themselves as their nails grow pretty fast. Hats however is so that your baby will be able to contain the heat within their bodies. Socks are to keep those cute little toesies nice and warm.
- going home outfit – just a couple of sets is good enough for both new-born and 0-3 sizes. By now you’ve probably got a cupboard full of baby clothes. Try not to go too crazy as these will only fot for such a short amount of time. babies grow pretty fast within the first year of their lives.
- change of clothes
- phone and charger
- big brother/sister gift – if your new baby has a big brother or sister, it’s always nice to have a gift ready for them. Children often get jealous of a new addition to the family. If big brother/sister is still young, try telling them that the gift if from his/her new baby brother/sister. This could make things ‘all gooooood’ between them and the sibling rivalry/jealousy might not be so bad.
- magazines/games (for pre-birth) – since birth may not happen as soon as your waterbag ruptures or may not happen immediately after induction, you will need something to kill time.
- laptop – if you decided that you need to do work in the middle of everything.
- pictures of the family – just to make the room a little bit of a comfort zone, family pictures are always nice to have.
And there you have it! Once you have packed up, keep the bags in the car so there is no rush. Also, by this time, you should already have your baby carseat ready and installed.
Need to print a checklist?