At about 36 or 37 weeks, moms-to-be often start planning their birth experience. Starting to get a birth plan together including planning out the perfect routes—and alternate routes—to the hospital, perfecting breathing techniques for during labor, and getting a hospital “go-bag” packed and ready to go. While it may seem a bit early to have a hospital bag packed, it’s best to be prepared in case of early labor. Here is what to put in a hospital bag for mom-to-be for during and after delivery.
Paperwork is essential to take with you to the hospital. There is a lot to keep track of and the last thing you want to do while having a contraction is coming up with the name and direct number of your pediatrician. Here are common paperwork items you may need.
- Medical records: Having any pertinent medical information on hand can save you and your doctors time and stress.
- Medical insurance card
- Birthing plan: If you have a plan, bringing a printed-out copy is helpful for doctors, nurses, and birth-partners to reference.
- Notebook to record details about your baby’s birth, record baby’s feeding schedule, and more
Moms need comfy clothing during labor, after giving birth, and for the days of recovery. Here are the basics you’ll want to have with you at the hospital.
- Bathrobe: This is great for pacing during labor and for walking around after delivery.
- Cheap flip flops for the shower
- Compression socks: There are many reasons to wear compression socks during pregnancy, but the effects of pregnancy on your lower legs extend until about three months postpartum, so you may want a pair to wear home.
- Comfortable underwear that will fit maternity pads
- Nightgown (opening in the front if you plan to breastfeed)
- Nursing bras or comfy bras in a bigger size
- Wear-home outfit
It’s important for mom-to-be to feel as comfortable as possible during this painful and stressful time. Hospitals may be a safe environment to bring baby into the world in, but they can feel very unwelcoming. Here are some important comfort items many moms find helpful at the hospital.
- Lip balm and body lotion: Your skin and lips can get more dehydrated than normal during labor.
- Comfy pillow
- Eye mask and ear plugs
- Any toiletries you regularly use: Think toothbrush and paste, hairbrush, makeup, glasses, and contact case or solution, etc.
- Entertainment for downtimes: Download movies or shows onto a tablet or phone, bring a speaker for music, or even a good book.
- Nipple cream: If you plan to breastfeed, bring some nipple cream and thank this list later.
There are other essential to bring with you to ensure the smoothest transition to motherhood as possible.
- Maternity pads
- Phone charger
- Snacks and drinks: You may be allowed to eat light food during labor, and the hospital should provide water and juice, but you may want coconut water or an electrolyte drink for during or after birth.