If the birth of your baby is just around the corner, you must have by now started assembling and packing the various items you will need for the days you spend at the birth center. You have to carry a few items for yourself, your baby and also your partner.
Here’s a list of things a mother-to-be should pack in her labor and delivery bags. Also learn a few tips to organize your bag so that you don’t rummage frantically when the time actually comes.
Divide the contents of your bag into “During Labor and Delivery” and “For after childbirth”. You put the items in separate carry bags and place them in one big travel bag or you can carry two small travel bags to the birth centre.
For Labor and Delivery
- Insurance card and Hospital Paperwork – These are among the most important documents you should carry to the hospital. The hospital paper work includes registration forms and your medical file.
- Birth Plan – A birth plan is a written document listing the expectant parents’ expectations on labor and delivery. If you have created one carry it along to the hospital. It should be the first page in your medical file.
- Eyeglasses – If you use eyeglasses carry them along or you won’t be able to see what is going on. You could also wear contact lenses during the delivery if you find spectacles uncomfortable. Get the lens holder and solution too.
- Toiletries – Since you will be staying a few days at the hospital, you will have to carry a few of toiletries. They include your toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar or soap, shampoo (hospitals provide, but you can carry your own if you have a personal preference), deodorant, lip balm and body lotion. Also do not forget to carry a comb, barrettes, rubber bands, hair clips and a hair band. They will help keep your hair in place especially during delivery.
- Clothing – A lose comfortable night gown to use during delivery and one you don’t mind getting dirty. Choose a sleeveless night gown or one with short sleeves. You can also bring along a bathrobe, slippers and a pair of socks.
- Other Items – This category includes the items that will comfort you during labor and pregnancy. It could be a pillow, an iPod to listen to music or even some reading material.
For your husband or partner, you can pack a change of clothes, toiletries, snacks and something to read. Don’t forget to put in the camera with a pair of charged batteries and the memory card to capture those beautiful first moments.
For after delivery
- Clothes – You will need another night gown to change into after delivery. Actually carry at least two nightgowns. Some women tend to sweat a lot after pregnancy and would like to change. Pack an oversized outfit to put on when you go home from the hospital.
- Undergarments – Pack two nursing or regular bras. The breasts during the first few days after delivery feel flushed and sore. A good nursing bra with nursing pads will support the breast and absorb leaks. The hospital provides new moms mesh underpants equipped with sanitary napkins. Lochia or vaginal bleeding continues for the first weeks after birth. However, you can bring your own cotton underpants and sanitary napkins.
- Snacks – Labor drains your energy and gets you hungry. Carry a few sacks- granola bars, nuts, crackers, biscuits or dry fruits. You can buy main meals at the hospital cafeteria.
- Pastime – You can carry a few magazines or your iPod to while away time in the hospital.
- Pen and Diary – Use it to take down doctors’ notes and other instructions.
For the Baby
You should buy a going home outfit for your baby. A one-piece suit is a preferable option. If not, carry booties and socks for the baby’s feet. Get a soft, comfortable cap. Bring along a blanket to swaddle your baby in. Install the car seat for the baby well in advance.