Hospital Bag Checklist for Labor
So you’re counting down the minutes till your due date. The nursery is ready to go, your hospital route is planned and your doctor is on stand-by. But what have you packed in your hospital bag? Do you know what you’ll need before you’re in labor or after you’ve given birth? Here are the top 7 things that all women should pack in their maternity bag.
Your own comfortable clothes- ie. a robe, dressing gown, yoga pants
The hospital will usually provide you with a hospital gown for the labor itself. But just after the delivery, particularly if you’ll be in hospital for a day or two, wearing your own clothes such as a robe, dressing gown or comfy pants will go a long way towards making you feel more comfortable. While you’re in hospital it’s the small personal items like your own pillow from home or your favourite pair of slippers that can help you settle in.
You’re probably wondering why this is here. After all hospitals have plenty of food on-site. This is true but the food may not always be available when you need it -like at 2 in the morning, when you’re craving crackers, and the food that’s available may not necessarily be the kind that you enjoy. Pack light, healthy snacks like dried fruit, cereal bars or trail mix. That way you’ll have something to snack on at any time of the day.
Nursing bra and personal toiletries
Pack one of two good nursing bras and bring along some of your favorite toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash and face towel. Is there a brand of shampoo that you always use or do you favour certain types of conditioners? Don’t forget these as well. You’ll definitely thank yourself.
Things to help you relax or pass the time
Books, light music, magazines or games are all things that can help you relax and pass the time. Hospitals are not known as places of great entertainment and there is a lot of downtime, especially in the beginning stages of labor. So bring along things that will occupy your time like a laptop with your favourite TV shows or an e-reader that you’ve pre-loaded with books.
Cell phone or Iphone charger
No one forgets their cell phone but almost everyone forgets their charger. You’ll be in hospital for at least 24 hours and almost certainly you’ll want to snap pictures of your little one to share with family and friends. You can’t post pictures onto your social media account if you weren’t able to take them in the first place so don’t forget to put a spare charger in your hospital bag.
These are a must. All women will have some spotting or vaginal discharge after labor and it will likely continue for the next few days. Hospitals are usually happy to provide sanitary pads, but these may not be of great quality so come prepared with your own. In the same vein, be sure to bring old or cheap underwear, or disposable panties. Don’t bring your best ones as they will get messy!
Items for your baby and the trip back home
An infant car seat – If you’re driving home, some hospitals won’t let you leave the premises without one.
An outfit for the trip home. All-in one stretch outfits, long loose skirts or large sun dresses are easiest to maneuver.
A going-home outfit for your baby as well. Bring at least 2 outfits of different sizes in case your baby doesn’t fit into one of them.
Remember that some hospitals have strict policies about what you are allowed to bring with you when you have your baby. If you want to take a few items from home to make the environment more personal and less clinical be sure to check with the hospital first just to confirm that you’ll be allowed to bring them.