The big day is almost here; do you have your hospital bag ready?
Babies sometimes arrive earlier than expected, so it’s good to be prepared for your hospital stay by your eighth month of pregnancy. When you go into labor you don’t want to be scrambling around looking for what to pack!
Especially for first-time parents, it can be hard to figure out what you’ll need, so we have put together a helpful checklist of items to consider bringing with you.
Hospital Bag Essentials When Giving Birth
Make sure you have any hospital paperwork you may need, your ID, and your insurance card. Copies of relevant medical records that provide your basic medical history are also good to have. Keep these in an easy-to-reach place so you have them readily available when you check-in.
Your birth plan, if you have one. You will likely have discussed with your doctor the particulars of your birth plan, but it’s helpful to have it written down so any healthcare provider can refer to it if needed, or if questions come up.
Hospital Bag: For Mom
Some things are essential to have in your hospital bag, while others are optional or simply fun to have. The hospital can provide basic items, but it’s nice to have exactly what you want to be as comfortable as possible.
Essential Items to Bring:
Personal grooming items, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, hair brush, and other toiletry items. Hospitals can be very dry, so it’s nice to have a little bottle of moisturizer and some lip balm as well.
Hair clips, ties, or barrettes if you have longer hair you want to keep out of the way.
Consider bringing along some basic makeup items in case you have visitors and want a touch of lipstick or mascara, and/or to help you feel more ‘human’ again after giving birth.
An eye mask and/or earplugs are good for diminishing light and noise at night when you’re trying to grab a couple valuable hours of sleep!
Glasses or contact lenses if you need them! This is the type of item that is easy to overlook with all the excitement on the big day.
Slippers and/or socks, flip flops, and a bathrobe.
Although hospital gowns are always available, it’s nice to have your own clothes as well, so you feel less like a patient and more like a happy new mom. Maternity clothes usually still fit after giving birth, or bring some oversized items you will be comfortable in! It’s also nice to be wearing regular clothes for visitors if needed.
Practical/Fun Items Mom Can Bring:
Comfortable pillows are great to have to make sure you sleep better and to prop up and rest on while you hold your newborn.
Your phone/camera for snapping pictures of your new little one!
A phone charger is another basic item that is easy to forget about, so putting one of your spare chargers in your hospital bag is always a good idea.
A reusable water bottle that can be refilled as needed ensures you stay hydrated.
Diversions to keep you entertained in case you have a longer labor. Especially in the early part of labor, there can be a lot of waiting, and it’s nice to have entertainment to keep you occupied.
Hospital Bag: Your Birth Partner
Mom isn’t the only one who needs to be prepared! It’s important for your birth partner to have what he/she needs as well. Here is a list of items your birth partner will be glad to have while at the hospital:
- Snacks and drinks are great to have! Prepackaged, portable snacks, water, and juice can help prevent frequent trips to the vending machine or hospital cafeteria. Often Mom isn’t able to eat during active labor, so it’s helpful to be aware of that and not pack her favorite snacks.
- Your partner should also bring clothes, as it’s not possible to predict how long you will be staying at the hospital. A clean pair of sweatpants and a clean shirt, at a minimum, are nice to have.
- A pillow is usually provided by the hospital, but you can’t rely on that and it’s always nice to have your favorite pillow along to grab sleep when you can.
- Spare items Mom may need, like glasses, a phone charger, can save the day.
- Be sure to have things to do while you’re waiting, like a book, crossword puzzle, or even a little puzzle that helps pass the time before labor begins in earnest.
What to Pack for Baby in Your Hospital Bag
It’s exciting to think about what your new little bundle of joy will need while at the hospital and to be prepared to go home!
- “Onesies” or bodysuits for your baby. Hospital policies vary on what newborns can wear, so ask your hospital in advance.
- The hospital will provide a blanket, but it’s also fun to have a nice, soft, colorful blanket to wrap your baby in for photo ops and during skin-to-skin contact. It’s also great for keeping your baby warm on the way home!
- If your baby will be born in colder months, bring along a hat, booties, or a warmer outfit for the trip home.
- You will not be able to leave the hospital without a car seat, so be sure you have it installed in your car and ready to go before you leave for the hospital.
Are you looking for an OB/Gyn you can trust? Do you live in the Tucson area? Book an appointment today!