The baby’s on the way! You grab your bag quickly, hop into the car, and you’re on your way. The last thing in your mind as you rush to the hospital is the content of your hospital bag. And then you realise your bag isn’t ready. No one wants this experience and neither should you.
Getting your bag ready a month before the expected due date will ensure that nothing you will need for the big day is forgotten.
Wondering how to pack your hospital bag or what should you pack for delivery in your hospital bag?
You can refer to www.ohbaby.co.nz and make sure you have what you need for a smooth delivery and hospital stay. Some of what you will find there has been mentioned below.
What to Pack as a Mom
You should start with your hospital file. Keep your medical notes available, to enable your physicians to see your medical history very quickly. Your hospital may need some form of ID, any medical cards, and front-end insurance documents so ensure you have a copy of these handy.
Birth plan (if you already have one). You may have talked to your medical team about your birth plan but having a few copies handy means that everyone can refer to it in case of last-minute questions.
Although everyone would have various products that they want to use during their pregnancy and during their stay afterwards, this list is a useful reference from which you can take the ideas you need for your hospital bag. It is safest to pack a hospital bag before labour – we recommend it at about 35 to 36 weeks.
- At labour and after giving birth, comfy PJ’s, a comfortable night dress and soft slippers are an absolute must. You won’t want to wear uncomfortable clothes at the hospital so just make sure you have some casual clothing that you won’t mind getting dirty and maybe even throw away after wearing during your stay at the hospital to keep everything as hassle-free as possible.
- Having warm things like a coat and boots for cold weather when you leave will make going home more comfortable.
- An open-front gown will make it easier to breastfeed.
- A comfortable nursing bra
- Breast pads
- Maternity pads and plenty of extra knickers (these are especially handy too). While some may be provided by the hospital, it is advisable to pack a lot of heavy-duty maternity-pads. Bleeding quite a bit after birth is normal and maternity pads are more absorbent and softer than standard ones. Initially you may need to change pads every one to two hours but the flow will begin to decrease within a few days.
- Toiletries and bath basics such as toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, flannel and wash things.
- Rubber bag for dirty laundry
- Antiseptic wipes – particularly if you’re concerned about shared bathrooms
- Makeup, a lip balm, and a hairbrush.
- Cereal bars, any other snacks, tea, and some juice if you like.
- Any other underwear and soft, comfortable night dresses.
What to Pack for the Baby?
Before you go to hospital it’s a smart idea to get the foundation built. You don’t need tons of baby outfits – it’s not easy to change your new baby a million times just because you have new baby’s clothes! Baby is still small and changing their clothes is difficult at first, thus there is no reason to pack their entire closet for the hospital.
That said, here are some essentials you need to include in the hospital bag for baby when packing.
- Wipes – check with your hospital, some hospitals provide wipes – and you can take home what you don’t use, so plan to go home with a few extra goodies if they do.
- A coming-home outfit and hat – you may want to find a matching hat and swaddle package (totally optional) for the first photo of the baby!
- Boots and socks. Newborns will quickly get cold, so you might want to dress yours in gloves, booties and socks.
- Around 20 to 30 baby diapers, your baby could need 10-12 diapers every day, so start stocking up.
- Warm blankets (for the ride home); a monogrammed one is certainly not necessary but it does make the moment feel extra-special.
- Clothes -– something handy to get is a swaddle or two-piece, comfortable, easy off-and-on outfit.
- Infant car seat and base – obviously an essential. Have this fitted in the car before your arrival at the hospital.
What Should Your Birth Partner Pack?
If you are going to have a birth partner, you might want to inform them on time about packing some things they will need while supporting you in the hospital. Being a birth partner is a lot of work and they should be comfortable whilst doing so. Here are a few things the birth partner can bring along:
- A change of clothing, comfortable shoes and personal care things
- A portable fan to cool off. Trust us when we say they will need some fresh air at some point. So will you!
- A phone with batteries/charger and a memory card to catch the major event. Ensure you enquire ahead about the hospital’s filming policy. You will need the phone or a camera to take some shots. (Make sure there is plenty of room on the camera’s or phone’s memory card too.)
- Labour is an uncertain affair, it’s always a smart thing to have a change of clothes because you never know how long your stay will be.
- Snacks and some water or something refreshing to drink. Even for supportive partners, labour can be a thirsty job. Consider packing some change for vending machines in the hospital.
When is the best time to start packing my hospital bag?
If a woman has a high-risk pregnancy and she feels that she could be in labour early, for example, an expectant mom of twins, we would recommend packing at around 35 weeks but we would recommend somewhere between 37 and 38 weeks, in other cases. It’s a good idea to get your bag packed well in advance, especially if you are having a C-section, because delivery could begin before the scheduled date.
What type of bag can be used as a hospital bag?
Your hospital bag can be anything: a holdall, rucksack, cabin bag, or small suitcase. Whatever works best for you. It’s also a good idea to use something that’s easy to see in and/or find things in (for those inevitable moments when all your partner can find is body spray and a single baby sock).
The fact is no two moms or bags are the same. However, a certain truly amazing requirement for all moms before and after labour is the need to breathe. Arguably one of the most crucial aspects of planning is to simply take a moment and breathe. You’ve got this, Mom!