The moment labor pains kick in, everything else takes a backseat, and life starts to revolve around the baby and the mommy. A few weeks before this is expected to happen, you should ideally have everything that you would need during and after delivery handy, to avoid any last-minute running around. A hospital bag for delivery is one of the most critical “essentials” that should be kept ready to prepare for the big day!
When to pack your hospital bag for delivery
Now that’s an important question. Because just in case the labor pains start earlier than expected, you would not want to be in labor, need something, and then make someone who should be there for you, instead go running around for it. So, by the time you reach the 36th week of your pregnancy (32nd week in case you are expecting twins), your maternity bag should be ready except for last-minute things like toiletries, comb, etc.
It might even be a good idea to keep a spare set ready in the bag so that you don’t forget them if you have to rush to the hospital. Now that we know why and when to pack the maternity bag or hospital bag for delivery, the next important question is -
What to pack in your hospital bag for delivery?
While packing the maternity bag or hospital bag, it is always better, to begin with, a checklist on paper. It helps keep track of things you need to buy, things you already have, what might be needed for the mommy-to-be, the newborn baby, the father or caregiver accompanying you at the hospital, and other general delivery-related things. Here is a ready-to-use hospital bag checklist that you can refer to while arranging for things you would need.
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Mom-to-be hospital bag checklist
• Your hospital and medical insurance paperwork. Ideally, your hospital will have your past reports and medical history and your doctor would also know you well. But in case there is a last moment change in the hospital or the attending doctor, it is always better to have complete paperwork, your medical records, medical insurance papers, identification, etc., handy.
• Extra pair of clothing depending on the season in which you are delivering. At times even in summers, post-delivery, a new mother tends to feel a bit cold. It is always advised to pack an extra cardigan or a front zip jacket/hoodie for yourself in such a case.
• Any medication that you consume apart from the ones related to your pregnancy. Make sure to tell the attending staff beforehand to make those medications accessible to you at your bedside.
• Comfortable flip-flops or slippers to use at the hospital.
• Hospitals usually provide one pillow, or maybe one extra if you ask for it. Carry your extra pillow to keep under the feet or behind your back for extra support and comfort. For hygiene purposes, it is also good to carry your towel in your hospital bag for delivery.
•Women experience heavy flow bleeding for the first few days after the delivery. Regular sanitary pads might not be sufficient at such a time. Thus, keep hospital-grade heavy-flow maternity pads and regular sanitary pads for later in your maternity hospital bag.
• It is also common to lose bladder control and experience incontinence after the delivery. Pack some adult diapers and a lot of extra underwear.
•If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure to keep a spare pair and the lens solution along with other maternity bag items.
•Last but not least, make sure to pack your breastfeeding and nursing accessories such as breast pads, nursing covers, nursing bras, feeding pillows, etc. Check out eco-friendly reusable breast pads by SuperBottoms.
Newborn baby hospital bag list
• An outfit that the baby will go home in. It is better to pack 2 outfits, one newborn size and one 0 – 3 months size, to choose from, as what fits a newborn differs for each baby.
• Newborn babies are not equipped to regulate their body temperature naturally. Thus, they can catch a cold easily. So, pack a warm baby blanket, knit cap, booties and mittens to keep them warm.
• Swaddling a baby helps them feel cozy and warm, and sleep better. So, pack a few prewashed soft mulmul cotton swaddles, such as SuperBottoms Mulmul cotton swaddles in the maternity bag for the baby.
• A couple of burp clothes, some extra layer of clothing in case it is cold, and a comfortable covering sheet for sleep time.
• Baby essentials include nail clippers, body wash, shampoo, massage oil, hairbrush, soft towel, etc.
• At times, the breast milk supply might take a day or two to kick in, and in such a scenario, if you decide to feed formula milk to the baby, keep feeding bottles and a packet of formula recommended by the pediatrician also ready.
Father or the caregiver’s hospital bag checklist
• There is no specified time until when the labor could go on and can last for long hours at times. Therefore, it is wise to pack a few snacks for the caregiver or father accompanying the mom-to-be.
• All COVID-19 essentials such as face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, surface disinfectant, etc., should be kept handy to avoid exposure to any infection while running around for arrangements at the hospital.
• A small pillow and a blanket, an extra pair of socks, neck support, and a few pairs of clothing in case you are unable to visit back home in between, before the discharge formalities.
• Caregiver’s prescription medicines, reading glasses, or any personal care items they may need outside the home.
• ATM cards, debit cards, credit cards, and some change cash for payments.
• Toiletries, extra phone chargers, and an extra bag to carry back any gifts that the baby or family received while at the hospital.
While we have covered all things one must carry in the hospital bag for delivery, there are also certain items that one must avoid taking along. Here is a list of things to avoid for you.
• Leave all your jewelry behind. It is advised to take off all the jewelry the mommy-to-be is wearing and leave it at home.
• Don’t carry too much cash or valuable items and electronics, as you would want your only priority to be the delivery, the mom, and the newborn on your mind.
• Avoid carrying any fancy or dressy clothes for yourself, as you would need to be comfortable and rest easy.
With this checklist, you are all set and ready with everything you need to bring a new life into this world. Now, all you need to do is remember to stay calm and breathe!
1. Most Essential: A hospital bag for birth is one of the most important "essentials" to have on hand to prepare for the big day.
2. Track: Keep track of everything you need to acquire, what you currently have, and what the mommy-to-be might require.
3. Consult any medication that you take that is not related to your pregnancy and make sure you notify the attending staff.
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