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What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Delivery

By Maria T. Pepin

As the time draws closer to your due date, it’s important to plan ahead and pack your hospital bag in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute or you are likely to leave behind that one thing you end up kicking yourself for forgetting. A good time to get everything ready is around the 37-week mark when you are considered full term. Here is a list of items to bring along that will help make your hospital stay more comfortable.

 

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Pajamas ~ Consider bringing a few pairs of warm and comfortable pajamas with you, so you don’t have to wear the flimsy hospital gowns. You may want to grab an older pair that you don’t mind getting bloodstained during the delivery or postpartum. If you are planning on breastfeeding, pajamas that open in the front are especially helpful.

Socks and Slippers ~ Hospitals are usually on the chilly side, so it is a good idea to pack some socks to keep your feet warm. Slippers are great for walking around your room or down the hallway, if need be.

Toiletries ~ Make sure you pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap and shower slippers. After labor and delivery, you will feel much better as soon as you can take a warm shower and freshen up a bit. If you’d like, toss in a little makeup for photographs and to greet visitors. Chapstick is great as well because your lips tend to get dry and cracked from all the heavy breathing and pushing.

Nursing Bras ~ Nursing bras are wonderful if you plan on breastfeeding because they will give you extra support and easy access for your infant. Hospitals usually sell these types of items. Don’t forget to seek out the breastfeeding consultant for extra help on breastfeeding techniques. They are there to assist you!

Underwear ~ The hospital will provide mesh underwear for you to wear, but you may want to bring your own underwear from home that fit you better. There is a good possibility you will leak from the bleeding, so pack a few extra pairs in case.

Sanitary Napkins ~ Generic sanitary napkins are provided for you, but you will probably prefer your favorite brand instead. You may be bleeding heavily after birth, so make sure you bring highly absorbent napkins with plenty of coverage.

Video Camera or Digital Camera ~ You will definitely want to capture all the precious moments of your infant coming into the world on video or in pictures.  Those first few minutes, hours and days are priceless. Check with the hospital beforehand to see if they allow camcorders in the delivery room. Don’t forget to bring extra film, tapes and batteries.

IPOD ~ Some mothers find it soothing to have their favorite tunes playing in the background during labor and after birth. Make sure you pack your charger as well. 

Computer ~ After your baby is born, you will want to have your husband send out a birth announcement to family and friends. It’s a good idea to have your contact list ready to go beforehand in a draft email, so you don’t miss anyone in all the excitement.

Snacks ~ Let’s face it, hospital food isn’t the greatest. You will not eat or drink much during labor, so it’s a good idea to pack some of your favorite snacks. After your baby is born, you will probably be starving. Labor is hard work! It’s nice to have a handful of healthy snacks to eat right after delivery or to munch on in the middle of the night when you get hungry.

Going Home Outfit ~ Opt for something loose and comfortable such as sweat suit. You will still have a tummy right after delivery because it takes time to shrink back to your pre-pregnancy size. If you’ve had a C-section, you will appreciate something loose around your waist. Flat shoes are a good choice as well. 

Baby Clothes ~ Some moms bring something special for their baby’s going home outfit. Consider the weather when you pick something out. If it’s cold outside, you will need a good receiving blanket and a cap to keep your infant’s head nice and warm.

Car Seat ~ This is a must! The hospital staff will not allow your baby to leave without a car seat installed. Dad may want to bring it inside and practice putting the baby in the car seat first, before heading home.


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