Pack Your Bags!
Packing for my trip to the hospital was one of the most fun activities for me. What I think I enjoyed the most the about packing, was that it was a sign that the birth was just around the corner. While I didn't want my precious bundle to come too soon, I was excited for the day he would be born, and packing made me realize just how soon he would be here!
For most expectant mothers, I recommend packing your bag approximately four weeks prior to your due date. If you have a history of preterm labor, you may want to pack your bag even sooner. If you are like me, some of what you will bring with you, is what you need to keep using until the moment you walk out the door. In this case, pack the items that you won't be using, and write a list of the specific items you want to remember to pack at the last minute. Your list will be especially helpful to your husband or labor coach who may have to collect these items for you.
Here is a list of items that you may want to bring to the hospital or birthing center. Remember, everyone is different, and not all of these items may apply to you and your birthing experience.
- Birth plan
- Sugarless lollipops or hard candy
- Lotion or oil for massaging during labor
- Tennis ball or other massage tool
- Soothing music and a cassette or CD player to play it
- Your own pillow and blanket - many laboring mothers enjoy having their own items which make their hospital bed seem more like home
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products, soap, etc.
- One or two bras - same size as you wore when pregnant
- Underwear - make sure they are comfortable
- 1-2 nightgowns or pajamas - if giving birth in the hospital, they will have gowns, but many laboring and postpartum mothers prefer to wear their own comfortable PJ's.
- Socks - consider bringing a pair of your husbands thick athletic socks to keep your feet comfortable and warm
- Hair brush, comb, scrunchie, barrettes, clips
- Small mirror
- Loose fitting clothes to wear home
- Sanitary feminine pads - many hospitals will provide you with these, but you may want to ask prior to the birth
Chances are, you will be plenty busy during labor and postpartum, but it is always a good idea to bring something to do just in case you get bored.
- A book or magazine
- Pen and paper
- Calling card or change - especially for your husband or labor coach so that they can call family and friends.
- Phone numbers - bring a list of all the family and friends you want called from the hospital. Don't rely on your memory!
- Snacks for dad so he won't have to buy from vending machines or leave your side
- Camera or camcorder - don't forget plenty of film and batteries
- Pregnancy journal and/or baby book
- Playing cards
- Baby name lists that you have created if you are saving this for the last minute
- A bottle of champagne or sparkling cider for celebrating
For the Baby
Many hospitals will provide you will all of your infants diapers, shirts, and blankets during your stay, but it is wise to ask the labor and delivery staff prior to the birth. The items listed below are for when you and baby are about to go home:
- Take-Me-Home Outfit
- One-piece underwear or side-snap shirt
- Booties or socks
- Receiving blanket - for wrapping your little one up
- Blanket or bunting
© 2001 Brandie Valenzuela
Brandie is a wife and homeschooling mom to three children, who also works fulltime from her home designing custom scrapbook albums and teaching scrapbook classes. For more information, visit: http://brandievdesigns.4t.com