Pregnancy is one of the most memorable phases of a woman's life that cannot be replaced by anything else. However, as time to labor approaches, it is vital to get certain things right. More often than not, we tend to prepare for the big things and forget about the small yet significant things. One example is getting your hospital bag together before your labor approaches.
If you think you can just prepare a hospital bag at the last moment, you are wrong. Once your water breaks or your contractions start, you literally will not be in a position even to move, let alone put things inside a bag. So as soon as your eighth month ends and the ninth begins, by the time you are around 36 weeks pregnant, you can start packing a bag to take to the hospital. So what should go inside your hospital bag? Here is a checklist for you that is going to help you in more ways than one!
Hospital Bag Checklist For Moms
If you thought that hospital bag would contain things for only your baby, you're mistaken. You are important, too, and your hospital bag must have something useful for you pre-labor and post-labor. Here are some of the most important and valuable things you should carry to your hospital:
Hospital Files And Important Documents
Keep your medical records and the hospital file handy to not waste much time at the reception. Also, make sure that you have your ID proof and insurance documents safely inside your bag to avoid any hospital admission delays.
Not everyone has a birth plan, but if you do, print out a few copies and keep them ready for doctors and nurses to refer to them whenever needed.
Dressing Gown And Night Dresses
You will need a loose-fitting dressing gown that will help you feel at your utmost comfort when pacing the entire room during labor. You will need nightdresses once you've delivered and if your stay at the hospital is prolonged.
Socks/Slippers And Flip-flops
You don't want to be walking around in uncomfortable footwear while your labor is approaching. You'll need flip-flops or slippers that go easy on your feet and make your feel comfortable. You can then easily walk around the ward even while in labor. Pack some socks, too, just to keep your feet warm.
These are super essential as they're your personal healthcare army. Pack your towels, hairbrushes, toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, face wash, shampoo, hair conditioner, hairdryer, etc., to make sure that you don't struggle for any of your essential products.
Our most comfortable pillow is the one that we use every day. It's best to carry a pillow that makes you feel comfortable rather than using the hospital's pillows.
Since labor can be time-consuming for many, carrying things like books to read, an iPad, or a laptop to watch series or movies can help you keep yourself entertained and distracted. These can be used even if your stay at the hospital is prolonged post-delivery.
Cell Phone And Charger
Cell phones are essential items in today's era, and unless you've sworn by digital technology, you need to pack your phone and charger. It will be a way to pass the time during labor and be in touch with your close friends and family. You can even click cute pictures of your baby and share them with your immediate circle.
Labor can chap your lips and make them dry. Pack a lip balm and protect your lips from dehydration.
Of course, your hospital will provide you with maternity pads. However, since you'll need many to control that blood, it's always better to carry a good number on your own. You will need more pads initially, but your vaginal bleeding will reduce as time passes.
Bras and Panties
Your breasts change during pregnancy, and your old bras would hardly be used, especially if they're padded and underwired. Buy a couple of nursing bras that aren't underwired to give you the much-needed comfort. You can also add nursing pads to help in the absorption of leakages. You also need to remember to pack an extra number of panties so that you don't have to worry about them getting messy or dirty. The underwear needs to be large enough to hold those big maternity pads.
You will need a pair of clothes when you are discharged from the hospital to go back home. So, make sure you carry a comfortable set of clothes in your hospital bag.
Although makeup is probably the last thing you will think of once you deliver, it's still always good to pack some essential makeup items just for a little touch-up when you leave the hospital to go home. Also, moisturizers are absolutely crucial to save your skin from dryness.
Snacks and Drinks
Waiting for your baby to come out is one of the most awaited times of a woman's life, and what better than your favorite snacks and drinks to accompany you during this wait? You can consider packing some drinks and snacks for your time at the hospital. However, you should first consult your doctor and ask him about what you can eat and when.
Hospital Bag Essentials For Your Baby
Baby clothes are something that you will need without a doubt. Since gender discourse is not allowed in India, you can carry unisex clothes for your little one. Also, several cultures in India believe in not carrying clothes for babies before they're born. In such cases, you don't have to worry at all because most hospitals usually have clothes for babies readily available to buy!
This is something that you will need in bulk. A newborn baby needs about 12-14 diapers each day, and you'll need to make sure you stock up on that number. However, you can also buy the same from the hospital itself if you don't want to carry that much weight to the hospital.
There are plenty of wipes available in the market. You need to make sure that you choose the right one to serve your baby well. To cater to the sensitive skin of your baby, the wipes that you prefer need to be of cloth base preferably. This will help in keeping your baby comfortable at all times.
Blankets will help your baby feel comfortable, cozy, and warm. Although your hospital will provide blankets, it is always better to carry your own blankets to the hospital. You can also use the blankets to keep your baby warm during the car ride home.
You can either use a blanket or even soft muslin cloths to swaddle your baby. Muslin cloth can also be used as a bib if you haven't already shopped for one.
Mittens, Hat, And Socks
Newborn babies are undoubtedly cute, and everything about them is adorable. However, they also have long nails, and you may have to use mittens and carry baby nail cutters to trim their nails and save them from scratching their own face. You will also need newborn baby socks to keep their feet warm. A pretty and cute hat that covers their ears is advisable to prevent excess air from entering their ears, thereby keeping them warm.
Formula and Feeding Bottles
If you choose not to breastfeed your baby right from the beginning and stick to formula milk, you must carry feeding bottles, usually two, and formula powder. Of course, you can buy them from the hospital store, but you'll need to check if the formula of your choice is available or not.
At the end of it all, there's no doubt that packing a hospital bag is crucial in your pregnancy journey. But what essentials you need are solely dependant on you. Just jot down what you need and what you can get from the hospital in a sheet of paper and prepare your hospital bag accordingly. And of course, don't worry if you forget or miss anything. You can always ask your partner to help you out!