As soon as you cross your 35th week of pregnancy and start looking like a ticking time bomb, ensure that your hospital bag is all packed and ready. It is most likely that you wouldn’t need it until you are in your 40th week or so but you can always be prepared for those false alarms that could very well seem like real labour. Among a host of other things, you will need to carry your essentials as well as a few for your baby. You can speak to the hospital authorities about what they would offer so that you can leave that out while packing. Below is a list of things that could you fit into your hospital; bag and keep it ready for unannounced trips:
Your Birth Plan And Insurance Papers:
Irrespective of whether you have discussed with your OBGYN or not, having a birth plan ready on a paper is essential, especially in scenarios where you might be delivering under the assistance of a new doctor. Have your insurance papers in place so that the financials are taken care of and you are not seen hollering down the hospital corridors while mid-way through labour.
Always carry a couple of them1 whether you plan to breastfeed or not. These offer support to your sore and leaky breasts and are quintessential if you intend to nurse your baby.
It takes time for your supply to stabilize so if you do have an emergency c-sec and need to stay back at the hospital for a few days, nursing pads would come in handy. Leaking breasts and oversupply are common in the initial days so make sure that you are carrying a pack of disposable nursing pads.
A Warm Robe:
Hospitals tend to be quite cold and dry so carrying a warm robe or sweater can help stay warm when you are in labour.
Although the hospital would provide you with the basic soap, disposable pads, paste etc, it feels better to use your own. Carry your hair brush, cream, lip balm, face wash, soap, toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner.
Cell Phone And Charger:
Whether you want to take your newborn’s photographs, feel like listening to your favourite numbers or want to speak to your loved ones; a cell phone is a must. Do remember to carry the charger to keep it charged throughout your stay.
Remember to carry a few comfortable maternity gowns or dresses that can be used to nurse baby while going back home.
You might want to read an easygoing novel or a magazine while waiting for the doctor or nurse to attend to you. Carry a couple of light reads in the bag.
If the hospital does not offer clothes to the newborn, you can carry your own homecoming clothes. Choose soft, cotton clothes and layer up with warmer ones if the weather is cooler.
Pack only the essentials and leave out what you feel might not be used because you wouldn’t want to be carrying around a heavy bag while in labour.