The time has finally come...you have waited nine months for this day! It's time to go and give birth to your baby! Just remember to relax, breathe and enjoy this experience. But before you go don't forget your hospital bag...
By the end of your second trimester, it is recommended to pack a hospital bag in order for you to have everything ready for when the time comes to give birth to your baby.
A hospital bag is essential for you to prepare to feel more comfortable by taking basic items that you and your baby will need.
Below is a list of items to prepare in your hospital bag, to take to the hospital with you.
Hospital Bag Essentials
Nightgown or pyjamas – You can find out if your hospital requires you to wear one of their gowns. Most likely you are able to bring a gown or pyjamas from home. If you are planning to breastfeed, be sure to bring pyjamas that open down the front. Pack a pair of pyjamas or a gown that you don't mind ruining just after birth (as bleeding begins to slow down). It's a good idea to bring at least three gowns or pairs of pjs in case you have a longer stay than expected.
Slippers and socks – Some hospitals can be rather cold so bring a pair of slippers and socks for walking around your room or through the hospital.
Bathrobe – You may find yourself walking through the hospital at some point during your stay and wearing a comfortable robe will make it more convenient and comfortable to wear in public.
Nursing bra, pads, and tops – These items are helpful and practical for when you are breastfeeding. Even if you have decided not to breastfeed, nursing bras will give extra protection and support.
Underwear – You may want to wear the underwear provided by the hospital since the bleeding can sometimes be rather heavy after delivery and pads often do leak. You may choose to wear some soft, old undies from home. Either way, bring a few pairs with you.
Sanitary napkins / Pads – Most likely the hospital will provide napkins / pads to you, but you may want to bring your favorite brand. You'll need comfortable, absorbent pads with plenty of coverage for your underwear.
Toiletries – Don't forget the most basic of all needs, your toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, deodorant and a hair brush. You may even want to bring some lotion and shampoo and conditioner. Lip balm is a good thing to bring for dry sore lips.
The going-home outfit – It is advisable to wear something lose, fitting and comfortable. You need to remember that your body will probably still look pregnant as it takes some time for your body to shrink back to pre-pregnancy size. It's also advisable to wear comfortable, low flat shoes.
Baby clothes – You would most likely want to bring some baby clothes (onesies, booties, beanies, mittens etc) and something special for your new arrival to wear on their first day out into the world. It's important to consider the weather when you choose an outfit for your newborn. If it's cold outside, you'll need to bundle up your baby! Be sure to bring a baby cap for your baby's head.
Baby Blankets & Wraps - It's a good idea to take some blankets and wraps to keep you little one warm while at the hospital.
Diaper bag – Time to start toting the bag! Bring a few nappies and some gentle baby wipes. The bag will also be handy to carry home all the extras you may get at the hospital such as reading materials etc.
Car seat – This is a must. Your baby won't be allowed to ride home without a car seat!
Items for father to be – If your husband / partner is likely to spend their time at the hospital with you, it is a good idea to pack some items for them. These can include: a few changes of clothes (such as tops, jeans, t-shirts, underwear) and some basic toiletries (such as toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving set, shampoo, conditioner and soap).
Camera – Why not get the first pictures of newborn baby, as they enter the world. A camera will enable you to preserve the memories of those first moments you become a parent and the arrival of your baby into this life.
Snacks – Even though you may be admitted into hospital, you could be waiting hours to be fully dilated. So, it's advisable to take some healthy snacks along with you to munch on and besides, hospital food isn't that great. It's also easier for your partner to have a few snacks whenever needed than spending time away from you searching for a snack machine.
Baby book or journal – You may want to write down some details in a Baby's book while everything is still fresh in your mind. You can write your experiences during the birth, how you are feeling, your baby's weight and height. A baby book is a great keepsake to have to pass on to your little one when they are all grown up! Don't forget to see if the baby book has a place for newborn footprints—you can even ask to have your baby's footprints to be done at the hospital.
Well that's all the essentials you need to take with you to the hospital when having a baby. It seems like you will probably need to be packing a suitcase instead of a hospital bag... Just remember to keep this “pregnancy bag” in an easy to find place, so when the time comes it's easy to find! Good Luck...relax and enjoy this wonderful experience of birth.