Are you already in your third trimester?
If so, are you getting ready for the big day? You must be wondering when should you pack hospital bag.
The answer is, you want your essentials packed and in your car no later than 35 weeks.
Why is this so important?
After a prenatal checkup, your doctor might decide not to send you home. Instead, he may get you admitted to the maternity ward in case of an emergency. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
In this text, you will find the ultimate hospital bag checklist that will help you pack all of the essentials.
If this is your first time packing for a hospital, you are probably feeling a bit anxious. You want to make sure that you bring everything you need for yourself, your partner, and your newborn.
So, what exactly do you need?
Hospital Bag for Mum
As a future mom, you might want to pack two bags instead of one. You should have a separate one for the labor itself, and another for the things that will be necessary after the delivery.
Hospital Bag for Labor and Delivery
If you’re planning to have your baby in hospital, writing a check-list will make packing go much smoother. You can even find a printable hospital bag checklist for labor and delivery on the internet.
Here are the hospital bag must haves you will need for your delivery:
- Insurance Information and Some ID. The clinic will probably ask you for some form of identification. Also, they may require your insurance papers up front, so you should have a copy of these available.
- Your Medical Records and Birth Plan. It is essential to have these at hand, so your doctors can easily access your medical history and birth plan. These may be crucial to the doctors if any last-minute questions appear.
- What You Will Be Wearing During Labor. A soft, comfortable dressing gown will be useful not only during birth but also during your entire stay in the clinic.
- Flip-flops or Slippers. Slippers are cozy and warm. They will be useful while pacing throughout the labor since maternity ward floors can be cold. On the other hand, you can use flip-flops while in the shower.
- Socks. If your feet get cold during childbirth, they will come in handy.
- Pillow. Maternity ward pillows are not known for being too comfortable, so it can’t hurt to bring your own.
- Birth Ball. These can be helpful during childbirth. You should also bring a pump so your birth partner can get it inflated for you.
- Water Spray. While giving birth, you will probably feel a bit hot. In this case, spraying some cold water on your face will feel refreshing.
- Lip Balm. During labor, your lips can get chapped, so you will need to hydrate them.
- Earplugs and Eye Mask. These will help you get some rest in a busy maternity ward.
- Pass-times. Bring along some of your favorite pass-times, such as books, magazines or a music player.
Recovery Room Bag
We recommend you to bring these extra items that will be essential during the time of your recovery:
- Nightdress. A comfortable night dress will be perfect for sleeping in while you are at the maternity ward. If you plan to breastfeed, pick the kind that opens at the front.
- Some Comfy Clothes. Bear in mind that after birth you will still look about six months pregnant. Your uterus will require some time to heal and get back to its original size. This is why you’ll need some soft, loose clothes to wear while in the maternity ward and for the trip back home.
- Heavy-flow Maternity Pads. After the labor, it is normal to bleed a lot. You will have to change pads every hour or two, but after a few days, the flow will slowly decrease.
- Postpartum Underwear. Bring several pairs of large, breathable panties made from cotton. Don’t pack the cute, expensive ones that you will mind getting messy.
- Nursing Bras. As the milk comes in, your breasts will get considerably larger, so you might want to bring two or three bras of different sizes.
- Nursing Pads. You can choose from disposable and washable ones. Even if you don’t plan to nurse, these are great for leak-protection.
- Toiletries. Don’t forget to pack tissues, towels, hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair ties, hair clips, and a hairdryer. You should also have a plastic zip lock pouch to put dirty clothes into.
- Soothing Products for Your Tummy, Vagina, and Nipples. You should consider packing a hemorrhoid cream for some relief in case you have a vaginal birth.
Also, wiping can get uncomfortable after childbirth, so you might want to bring a peri bottle which you can use to squirt water over your vagina, anus, and perineum.
While breastfeeding, your nipples can get irritated or even start chapping and cracking. To keep them moisturized, bring a nipple cream.
- Skin Care Products. As your skin will probably feel a bit dry, you can bring your skin cream and body lotion.
- Reference Books and Handouts. These will help you remember all of the handy notes you got from your doctors and nurses.
- Your Phone and Charger. Staying in contact with your loved ones is invaluable.
Caesarean Section Bag
Even if you are planning for vaginal childbirth, you should still consider packing a few extra items. There is always a possibility you might have an unplanned C-section.
You are probably wondering what to pack in hospital bag for c section.
Medical staff will treat the wound throughout your stay at the maternity ward. Even so, you will feel more comfortable and relaxed bringing some of your things with you to the maternity ward.
Here is a hospital bag checklist for c section with some extra items you will require during your recovery and prolonged stay:
- High-wasted Stretchy Cotton Underwear. Panties with a regular waist may rub and irritate your wound, especially if they are made of synthetic or lacy fabric.
- Baby Wipes. You won’t be able to take a bath, so these will help you stay clean.
- Bendy Straws. It will be difficult for you to sit up, so you can use these while drinking.
- Snacks with Lots of Fiber. If your recovery is going well, you should be able to eat some apricots or prunes. These fiber-rich snacks will help ease constipation.
- Peppermint Tea or a Packet of Mints. The peppermint smell will help relieve any nausea you might feel after the C-section.
Your stay at the clinic after caesarian section will last approximately four days. So, you probably won’t have enough room in your maternity ward cabinet to store everything you will need for the entirety of your stay.
We advise you to bring only the essentials in your c section hospital bag and leave the rest in the car or at your home. Your partner can always bring in some more items when you require them.
Birth Partner’s Bag
- Comfortable Footwear. As a birth partner, you will also be pretty busy pacing up and down the halls with the future mom, getting whatever she needs and talking with the family. So a comfy pair of shoes can make all the difference.
- Clothes. You never know how long you will stay at the clinic, so it can’t hurt to have an extra change of clothes.
- Snacks. Both you and the future mom will be thirsty and starving after the labor. You should consult with the doctor beforehand what she can eat.
- Change. If the cafeteria is not open, some change money will come in handy for the vending machines.
- Phone and Charger. You should keep the family and friends informed while the mom is busy. Also, you can use the phone camera to take some photos and videos.
- Pillow. While assisting during childbirth, you will get exhausted, and your body may also require some rest.
- Pen and Paper. Write down any recommendations that your doctor, nurse or lactation consultant give you.
- Car Seat. As soon as you start packing, you should get a car seat installed in your car. You will not be allowed to leave the hospital without it.
- Diapers. Your baby will need 10-12 diapers daily.
- Burp Cloths. Babies burp, so you will need a cloth to absorb or clean up milk that your newborn spits out.
- Bodysuits. Bring at least two or three side-snap bodysuits. This way, you won’t feel intimidated by pulling something over your baby’s head.
- Mittens. Newborns have very sharp nails, so you will need to keep your baby from scratching its face.
- Hats. Babies lose most of the heat through their head, so your baby will require a cap, especially on the way home.
- Socks and Booties. Newborns can’t regulate their body heat and get cold quickly, so their feet will need to be covered.
- Blanket. The maternity ward very warm, but you will require a blanket when you leave.
- Going Home Outfit. For the trip back home, you will want to think about the weather and dress your newborn accordingly. If it’s warm outside, a onesie, a hat, and booties should be enough. In the winter, your baby will need a jacket or a snowsuit.
One of the most important things in getting ready for childbirth is packing all of the hospital bag essentials on time. When you are 35 weeks pregnant, all the essentials should already be packed and in your car.
Also, it is important that you bring everything you will need to make your stay cozy and stress-free. The number of items you will require depends on your personal preference. You should choose depending on what you will need to make you feel pleasant.
You will feel more comfortable bringing your favorite things with you, but even if you forget about something, there is no net to get overly nervous. Getting ready for the big day is not the time to be stressed out. The maternity ward does have all of the things that will be necessary for your recovery after giving birth.
Good luck and don’t forget to bring your confidence with you!