Pack your hospital bag - Checklist for the best birthing experience
Essential items to pack in your hospital bag, that you will need for labour and delivery:
Welcoming the child on the earthside is a special experience for any mama, whether this is your first or the 5ht bubba, I believe you are super excited and ready to start packing your hospital bag and welcoming your little newborn baby on the earthside. If you ask mums what they needed, you can expect different answers since each woman has different needs and might give birth in different hospital settings. To help you, I did some research and write down the most common essential items, that Auckland mums and midwives have recommended for a comfortable stay in the hospital.
When packing, it's important to include all the must-have items you'll need during your stay. Here is a general checklist to help you get started
- Insurance information and identification
- Comfortable clothing, including loose-fitting tops and bottoms, socks, and slippers
- Personal toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and soap
- Any prescription medications you're currently taking
- Glasses or contacts and solution, if needed
- Pack plenty of Snacks and drinks, including water and juice
- Entertainment items, such as books, magazines, or a tablet
- Phone and charger
- Camera or video recorder (Don't forget a memory card)
- Maternity bras and pads, if breastfeeding
- Going-home outfit for you and your baby
- A car seat for your baby's trip home
Don't forget to pack for your partner or support person, who will likely be spending a lot of time at the hospital with you. They may want to bring their own comfort items, such as a change of clothes, toiletries, snacks, and entertainment items. Remember, every hospital and birth plan is different, so it's important to check with your healthcare provider or ask your hospital for any specific items they recommend you bring.
Hospital bag checklist of essential items you will need for the newborn baby
- Several onesies or bodysuits: Your baby will need several comfortable and easy-to-change outfits to wear. Onesies or bodysuits are a good option, as they are easy to put on and take off, and they will keep your baby warm and comfortable.
- Socks or booties: Your baby's feet can get cold,, so it is a good idea to pack a few pairs of socks or booties to keep their feet warm.
- Warm, receiving blankets: Receiving blankets are versatile and can be used for everything from swaddling your baby to covering them in their crib.
- Diapers and wipes: Your baby will need several diapers and wipes, so it is a good idea to pack a supply of these essentials in your hospital bag.
- Hat: Babies lose a lot of heat through their heads, so it is important to keep their heads covered to keep them warm.
- You will need a properly-installed car seat to bring your baby home from the hospital
- Breast pump and bottles. If you plan to breastfeed your baby, it is a good idea to pack a breast pump and bottles in your hospital bag. This will make it easier to express milk and store it for later feedings.
In addition to these essential items, you may also want to pack a few additional items to make your stay more comfortable, such as a comfortable nursing pillow, a sound machine to help your baby sleep, or a blanket or stuffed animal for your baby to cuddle with. It is also a good idea to pack a few extra items in case your baby needs them, such as extra onesies or receiving blankets.
When I should start preparing "The bag"?
When it comes to packing a bag for delivery, it's a good idea to do so usually around 35 weeks into your pregnancy. This gives you plenty of time to gather all the essential items and double-check that everything is in place before the big day arrives. With all these items packed away in advance, you can rest assured that everything is ready to go when you go into labor and are able to focus on welcoming your newborn into the world!
Have your Delivery Plan ready!
Having a delivery plan is important if you wish to have a successful and smooth process. Before the big day arrives, take the time to write down all of your preferences for delivery and include them in your hospital bag. That way, you can be sure that everyone involved in the birthing process will be aware of your wishes. Your plan should include items such as who you want to be present during the delivery, any pain relief options that you would like to consider, whether or not you wish to have skin-to-skin contact with your baby immediately following birth, and how long you would like the labor to last. Make sure that your hospital bag is packed with everything that you might need during this special moment. It should contain items such as snacks, a water bottle, comfortable clothes, and any other items that are important for you or your baby’s wellbeing. With a birth plan and a well-stocked hospital bag on hand, both you and your baby can look forward to a safe and fulfilling birthing experience.
Prepare important documents and medication
It is important to discuss your medications and any important documents with your midwife. They can advise you on which medications are safe to take during pregnancy and labour and can help you create a plan that includes any necessary documents. Some of the medications and documents that may be relevant to your birth and delivery include:
- Any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are currently taking, as well as any herbal remedies or supplements. Your healthcare provider can help you determine which medications are safe to take during pregnancy and the birthing process and can help you create a plan for taking your medications during this time.
- Your medical history, including any conditions or allergies that may affect your pregnancy or the birthing process. Your healthcare provider will need this information to provide you with the best possible care.
- Insurance information, including your policy number and the contact information for your insurer. This is important in case you need to use your insurance to cover any medical expenses related to your pregnancy or the birthing process.
- Any advance directives, such as a living will or power of attorney, that specify your wishes in case of an emergency. It is important to have these documents on hand in case they are needed during the birthing process.
Must-Have toiletries you might need
Some items you may want to pack include:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Soap and shampoo
- Lip balm
- Brush or comb
- Feminine hygiene products (if applicable)
- Any other personal care items that you use on a regular basis
What are the best maternity clothes to pack?
When packing outfits for your delivery, it is important to choose comfortable, breathable clothing that will allow you to move freely and easily during labor. Some good options to include in your hospital bag include:
- Comfortable maternity or loungewear: This can include loose-fitting tops and pants, or a comfortable maternity dress or gown. Look for clothing made from breathable, stretchy materials that will be easy to move in and will not restrict your movements during labor.
- Nursing bras and tanks: If you plan to breastfeed, it is a good idea to pack a few comfortable nursing bras and tanks that will make it easy to feed your baby after birth.
- Slippers or comfortable shoes: You will likely be on your feet a lot during labor and the postpartum period, so it is important to have comfortable shoes that will support your feet and help you stay comfortable. Slippers or comfortable, supportive sneakers are good options to pack in your hospital bag.
- Socks or slipper socks: It can get cold in the hospital, so it is a good idea to pack a few pairs of warm socks or slipper socks to keep your feet warm and comfortable.
- Light jacket or sweater: Even if the weather is warm outside, it can be chilly in the hospital, so it is a good idea to pack a light jacket or sweater that you can wear if you get cold.
- Change of clothes for your partner: It is also a good idea to pack a change of clothes for your partner, as they may be spending a lot of time at the hospital with you during labor and the postpartum period. Look for comfortable, breathable clothing that will be easy for them to move in.
When choosing your outfits, it is important to think about comfort and ease of movement, rather than fashion. Keep in mind that you may be in labor for several hours, and you will want clothing that will allow you to focus on the birthing process, rather than on feeling uncomfortable or self-conscious.
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