What to Pack in Hospital Bag for Labor
As your due date approaches, it’s important to start preparing for your stay at the hospital. One of the most important things to do is to pack your hospital bag for labor. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to pack everything you need. Having a well-packed bag can help you feel more prepared and relaxed, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. In this post, we’ll share with you the essential checklist of what to pack in your hospital bag for labor.
Preparing Your Hospital Bag in Advance
As you near the end of your pregnancy, it’s important to start thinking about what to pack in your hospital bag for labor. You want to be prepared so that you can focus on bringing your new bundle of joy into the world. Here are some tips to help you prepare your hospital bag in advance:
- Start Early
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack your hospital bag. It’s best to start early, around the 32-week mark, so that you have time to make any last-minute adjustments.
- Make a List
Create a checklist of items you’ll need for labor and delivery. This will help ensure that you don’t forget anything important.
- Consider Your Hospital’s Policies
Check with your hospital to see if they have any specific policies regarding what you can and can’t bring. For example, some hospitals may not allow certain electronic devices.
- Pack for Different Scenarios
While you hope for a smooth labor and delivery, it’s important to be prepared for different scenarios. Pack items that will help you stay comfortable in case of a longer stay.
- Keep it Light
Remember, you’ll be carrying this bag into the hospital while in labor. Keep it light and manageable.
By taking the time to prepare your hospital bag in advance, you’ll be able to focus on the excitement of bringing your baby into the world.
Clothing and Comfort Items to Pack In Your Hospital Bag
When you’re packing your hospital bag for labor, you’ll want to prioritize items that will make you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Here are some essential clothing and comfort items to consider packing:
- Loose-fitting clothes: Pack a few pairs of loose-fitting, comfortable clothes to wear during your stay at the hospital. Opt for something with a soft and breathable fabric that won’t irritate your skin.
- A cozy robe: A soft, warm robe can provide a comfortable layer of warmth and a sense of familiarity, making you feel more at ease during your stay.
- Comfy slippers or socks: Make sure to pack a pair of comfortable slippers or socks with non-slip soles for walking around the hospital.
- A nursing bra: If you’re planning to breastfeed, bring a comfortable and supportive nursing bra to wear during your stay.
- Comfortable underwear: Make sure to pack a few pairs of comfortable and breathable underwear that won’t irritate any stitches or incisions.
- A comfortable pillow: Bringing your own pillow from home can provide a sense of familiarity and help you get better quality rest during your stay.
- Essential oils or aromatherapy diffuser: If you find certain scents or aromas soothing, consider bringing along a small essential oil diffuser or a few drops of essential oil to help you relax.
Remember, everyone’s labor experience is different, so it’s important to pack clothing and comfort items that work for you and make you feel at ease. Don’t forget to pack extra items in case your stay is longer than anticipated.
Important Documents and Forms to Put in Your Hospital Bag
When you’re preparing your hospital bag for labor, it’s essential to remember to pack any important documents and forms that you may need during your stay. Here are a few things to consider bringing along:
- Insurance information: Ensure you have your insurance card, any relevant forms, and contact information for your provider if you need to update your coverage.
- Hospital registration forms: If your hospital requires you to pre-register, be sure to bring any completed forms with you.
- Birth plan: If you’ve created a birth plan with your healthcare provider, make sure you have a printed copy to share with your delivery team.
- ID and other personal documents: You may need to provide identification or other personal documents (such as a passport or Social Security card) during your stay, so it’s a good idea to have these on hand just in case.
- Pediatrician information: If you have a pediatrician already selected for your baby, bring along their contact information so that the hospital can get in touch with them after the birth.
By gathering these important documents and forms beforehand, you can help ensure a smooth and stress-free experience during your hospital stay. Don’t forget to keep them all in a safe and easily accessible place within your hospital bag.
Personal Hygiene and Toiletries
When it comes to packing your hospital bag for labor, personal hygiene, and toiletries are often overlooked. But having these items on hand can help you feel fresh and comfortable during your hospital stay. Here are some essentials to consider packing:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste – Freshen up your breath and maintain good oral hygiene.
- Hairbrush or comb – Keep your hair tangle-free and presentable for visitors and photos.
- Deodorant – Stay fresh and clean throughout labor and delivery.
- Use face wipes or washcloths to clean your face, freshen up, or cool down.
- Lip balm – Keep your lips moisturized and prevent them from becoming chapped.
- Feminine hygiene products – These will be needed after giving birth. It’s recommended to bring heavy-duty pads instead of tampons.
- Nipple cream – If you plan to breastfeed, nipple cream can help prevent dryness and cracking.
- Moisturizer – Hospital air can be very dry, so bringing a moisturizer can help keep your skin hydrated.
- Contact lens solution and case – If you wear contacts, don’t forget to pack these.
- Extra underwear – You’ll likely need several pairs of comfortable, high-waisted underwear to accommodate any postpartum bleeding or swelling.
Remember to pack travel-sized versions of these items to save space in your hospital bag. And don’t forget any prescription medications or vitamins that you take regularly. Being prepared with these personal hygiene and toiletry essentials can help you feel more comfortable and confident during your hospital stay.
Electronics and Entertainment Options Are a Must Have for Your Hospital Bag
Labor can be a long and challenging process, and having some entertainment options can help you pass the time and distract yourself from the pain and discomfort. Here are some items to consider adding to your hospital bag:
- Phone charger: You don’t want to run out of battery while trying to communicate with family and friends or listen to music.
- Bluetooth speaker or headphones: Bring your favorite playlist to help keep you calm and motivated during labor. A speaker or headphones can help you listen without disturbing your partner or others in the room.
- E-reader or books: If you’re an avid reader, consider packing a Kindle or other e-reader. You may not have a lot of energy for physical books, but you may appreciate the distraction and mental stimulation.
- Tablet or laptop: You can use your tablet or laptop to stream movies or TV shows to help pass the time. This is also a great option for partners who may need to work remotely or want to watch something on their own.
- Camera or video camera: Capture those first few moments with your newborn by bringing a camera or video camera to document the experience.
- Board games or cards: If you prefer a more interactive option, consider packing a deck of cards or a board game to play with your partner or family members during downtime.
While electronics and entertainment options may not be essential, they can certainly help make labor a more pleasant experience. Make sure to double-check with your hospital beforehand to see what their rules and regulations are around the use of electronics during labor and delivery.
Snacks and Drinks for Energy Boosts
Giving birth is no easy feat, and it’s important to fuel your body with healthy snacks and drinks to keep your energy levels up during labor. Here are some snacks and drinks you may want to consider packing in your hospital bag:
- Water Bottle – Staying hydrated during labor is crucial, and having a water bottle with you can make it easy to sip water regularly.
- Electrolyte Drinks – Consider packing some electrolyte drinks like Gatorade or coconut water to replenish your body’s electrolyte levels.
- Protein Bars – Packing some protein bars can give you a quick and easy energy boost during labor.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Bringing some fresh fruits and vegetables like bananas, apples, carrots, or celery sticks can provide you with a healthy snack option during labor.
- Nuts and Seeds – Snacking on nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds can give you a good dose of healthy fats and protein.
- Energy Chews – Some women find energy chews helpful during labor as they are easy to eat and provide an instant boost of energy.
Remember to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that you are packing snacks and drinks that are safe for you and your baby.
Miscellaneous Items to Bring
While it may seem like you’ve already packed everything you need for your hospital stay, there are a few miscellaneous items that could come in handy. These may include:
- Extra pillows: Hospital pillows are notorious for being uncomfortable, so bring a few of your own to make yourself more comfortable.
- Comfortable nursing bras: If you plan to breastfeed, a comfortable nursing bra is a must-have.
- A going-home outfit for your baby: Pack a cute and cozy outfit for your newborn to wear when you take them home.
- Phone charger with long cord: Don’t let a dead phone battery keep you from calling family and friends to announce your new arrival.
- Snug-fitting underwear: Pack some comfortable, snug-fitting underwear that will keep your pads and ice packs in place after delivery.
- Cash or credit card: You may need some cash or a credit card for parking fees or vending machines during your hospital stay.
- Your own water bottle: Staying hydrated during labor and after delivery is essential. Bring your own water bottle so you can sip on water throughout your stay.
- A journal: Bring a journal to document your labor and delivery experience, including your thoughts and feelings during this exciting time.
By packing these miscellaneous items in your hospital bag, you’ll be better prepared for any surprises that come your way. Happy packing!