The ‘hospital bag’ carried by expecting mammas to the hospital for labor and after is one of the most discussed topics out there. As the due date of a woman starts approaching, the mamma knows it’s time for her to pack the hospital bag but there’s always some lack of clarity about where to begin.
Some women go into labor much sooner than expected and hence, the hospital bag should ideally be prepared as soon as by the 36th-37th week of pregnancy. While some essentials on this list are absolutely essential, some also need to be there because they will remind you of where you would be with the baby after all the pain. It will subconsciously remind you of your comfort space, your home.
Here’s a quick hack checklist for everything you need to have in your hospital bag-
The best way to go about hospital bag packing is to pack one bag for yourself, having your support pack one for themselves and one bag for the little one yet to arrive. This avoids confusion and unnecessary clutter.
1. What to Pack In The Mamma Hospital Bag-
- Comfortable Clothing: Pack a comfortable robe, PJ sets, or a loosely-fit nightgown for post-delivery clothing. This also helps if you are planning on breastfeeding post-delivery. Nursing bras can also be a viable piece of clothing to have.
Also, if your plan is to labor in water as a method of water birth, pack a dark-colored sports bra for the purpose.
- Comfortable Footwear: Crocs or slip-on shoes will be the best option for footwear as your feet might swell up due to the IV fluids.
- Toiletries: While you are in the hospital, you will still need the basics. Pack your hairbrush, deodorant, toothbrush, moisturizer, dry shampoo, and lip balm for the basics.
- Hydrates: Pack enough hydrating drinks like coconut water and even ensure that you carry a reusable water bottle
- Extension cord: The hospital beds can be annoyingly far off from the charging points. Save yourself the horror of not being able to record your baby’s moves post-delivery and ensure you carry an extension cord!
- Nipple cream: Sore and cracked nipples can get painful as the skin around the nipple area tends to dry up when you breastfeed. Hence, if you are planning to breastfeed, ensure you carry a nipple cream for some relief.
- Pillows and a bath towel: As a new mother, comfort will always be your top priority. Do not rely on hospital towels and always carry your own pillow and towels for the best post-delivery showers and sleep.
- Adult diapers: Talking about comfort, using the hospital-provided, standard diapers might not be the wisest choice. Research on the best, most comfortable diapers and use that for post-delivery excretion.
- Music playlist: Some labors are known to last for as long as 24 hours. This is a very long time and you cannot be stuck listening to random music. Research and curate a playlist on soothing music that will calm you down during the long wait.
2. What to Pack In The Baby Hospital Bag-
- Baby Seat: If you plan to travel back home in your car and not in the ambulance, a car set is of utmost priority. Even the hospital authorities will never let you take your baby back home without a car seat.
- Baby outfit: Carry a cute, comfortable yet fancy outfit for your baby for when you finally take your bundle of joy back home. You never know how big or small your baby would exactly be and hence, try and take outfits of at least 2-3 different sizes. Also, if yours is a winter baby, remember to carry protective clothing and accessories like gloves, socks, and caps.
- Your consulting pediatrician’s contact number: You will be asked for this multiple times. You could either keep all the reports in your bag or you could also take pictures/scan them and keep it handy on your phone.
- Bottle in case of bottle-feeding: If you do not plan to breastfeed your baby, pack at least two bottles in the bag. It will also be wise to research and keep a baby formula ready instead of depending on what is offered by the hospital.
Bonus tip: Do not pack any wipes or diapers for the baby. The hospital will bombard you with freebies of the baby, do not fret too much about that.
3. If you have your support partner/relative staying over at the hospital with you for long hours, they will need some things as well. Though not a comprehensive checklist-
- Have them pack a lot of snacks: Try packing candies, wafers, healthy dried/fresh fruits along with the reusable water. Snacks can be of great support in boredom and will also be liked by the mamma after birthing.
- Entertainment: Carrying an iPad or books will be another great option for a companion. There’s only so much one can do on a 6-inch phone anyway!
- Pillow: Perhaps not a towel like the mammas need to, the support should at least carry a light pillow. This is primarily because the hospital pillows are infamously scratchy and that’s not something anyone would want to put themselves into.
- For the obvious, one always needs toiletries and a change of clothes. This, however, can always be worked out depending if the support might want to take quick home visits for showers and change of clothes.
Now that you have your hospital bags ready to go, let the congratulations be in order!