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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Driscoll

What the Heck Do I Put In My Hospital Bag??

We have all been there m

amas, prepping early in case we need to get to the hospital.

But what do we pack what is actually needed? Well, ladies here a nice little list for you no need to look any further!

Let's start simply let's get real brain power lately is limited I've been there! choose a small bag. Most of the time you're only in the hospital for only 24 to 36 hours ( unless your or baby needs extra medical attention) and personal storage space is limited. Make sure your most needed items are on top so you don't have to dig when in a panic or in pain. Along with items for labor, pack your personal belongings and items for your partner and the new baby. We can't forget about them! They will be so focused on you in the heat of the moment that they most likely won't think of themselves. This list can help you plan and organize.

Hospital Bag for Mom: Labour and Delivery

ID, and Health care card. Hospitals require your ID, any medical cards, up front, so make sure you have a copy of these readily available.

Birth plan (if you have one). You might have discussed your birth plan with your doctor or midwife, but having a few copies printed and available for doctors and nurses means that everyone can refer to it in case last-minute questions arise.

Bathrobe. A soft bathrobe is useful for pacing around during labor, or afterward if you spend some time in the hospital.

Socks. Your feet may get cold during labor.

Slippers and flip-flops. You’ll want slippers that are comfortable and easy to slip in and out to wear as you walk around the hospital ward. Pack some flip-flops for using in the shower.

Lip balm. ( OH MY GOSH DID I EVER NEED THIS!) Your lips can get chapped during labor. Having some lip balm on hand will help keep your lips hydrated and comfortable.

Body lotion or massage oil. Some moms-to-be find a little massage during labor relaxing. If this could be you, pop some lotion or oil in your hospital bag.

Comfortable pillow(s). Your hospital will provide you with pillows, but they might not be the right kind for you. If you have a favorite pillow at home, then you may want to bring it along as well.

Relaxing entertainment. Pack some things to help you pass the time like a book, magazines, a tablet with a series downloaded on it (DON'T PAY FOR HOSPITALS WIFI), or a music player and headphones so you can relax.

Eye mask and earplugs. To help you get rest in a busy and bright maternity ward, an eye mask and earplugs could be just what you need during the downtimes of labor, or for your well-deserved shuteye after the delivery.

Hospital Bag for Mom: After Delivery

Nightgowns. You’ll need something comfortable to sleep in during your hospital stay, and a soft, loose nightgown is a good option. Choose a front-opening style if you plan to breastfeed.

Heavy-duty maternity pads. The hospital will provide some of these, but you may want to pack a few heavy-duty maternity pads, just in case. It’s normal to bleed a lot after the birth, and you'll need something more absorbent than standard pads. Initially, you may need to change pads every one to two hours, but within a few days, the flow will start to decrease.

Underwear. Pack several pairs of comfortable underwear that are large enough to wear over heavy-duty maternity pads.

Bras. Be prepared with a few nursing bras or other comfortable, well-fitting bras.

Toiletries. Don’t forget tissues, hairbrush, comb, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, possibly a hairdryer, hair clips, and hair ties. Pack a plastic bag to pop dirty clothes in.

Cosmetics and skin care products. If makeup is part of your usual routine, then don’t forget your cosmetics. Plus, make sure you pack some moisturizer, as your skin may feel drier than usual.

Glasses and contact lenses (if you need them). It may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s these little things that can escape your attention when packing your hospital bag. Don’t forget contact lens solution and a lens case if you use contact lenses.

Phone charger!. Unless you opt for a little digital detox during this special time, don’t forget your phone and charger. You can stay in touch with loved ones, use it to take those first few pictures, and post your special news on social media.

Clothes. Aside from your nightgown, you might choose to take some comfortable clothes to wear during your hospital stay. Pack an extra outfit to wear home. Choose something loose-fitting, with a drawstring or elastic waist.

Handouts and reference books. You might have received some handy notes from your prenatal classes or have some reference books about newborns. The doctors and nurses will be able to give you lots of personalized guidance, but you might find these resources more useful once you actually have your newborn in your arms.

Snacks and drinks. Labour can sometimes be very long, ( and let me tell you I was starving when it was over!) so you could consider packing some snacks and drinks. However, speak to your medical team about whether or not you will be allowed to eat or drink anything during labor. Also, consider packing some of your favorite snacks for after labor as you may feel like some comfort food during your hospital stay.

Hospital Bag Essentials for the Birth Partner

As a birth partner, you might also want to pack some things for your time supporting mom in the hospital. We cover the basics in our hospital bag checklist, but read more here:

Snacks and water. Labour can be thirsty work, even for supportive partners. Consider packing some snacks and water, as well as change for the hospital vending machines, Don’t forget to pack a phone to stay in contact with loved ones, and for some entertainment during downtime. The camera will come in handy to take some happy snaps. (Make sure the camera’s memory has plenty of free space on it.)

Clothes. Labour is an unpredictable process, so a change of clothes is always a good idea, as you never know how long the stay will be.

Toiletries. After a long labor, you might need to freshen up in the shower. Most hospitals are fine with this, but you can confirm this beforehand.

Spare glasses or spare contact lenses. It might be a long day, so having spares of these essentials could come in handy.

Small pillow. You might appreciate getting a bit of rest during downtime, as well.

Entertainment. Something to do: books, a tablet,( download your favorite shows to view off-line!) and a music player are all good options.

Hospital Bag for Your Baby

Sleepers or onsies!.

Socks! keep those little toes warm! Newborns can get cold easily, so take some socks, just in case. Even during skin-to-skin contact, your newborn can wear a hat and socks.

Blanket. The hospital will likely provide blankets, but a blanket of your own is always good to have on hand to use during skin-to-skin contact. It can also be used to keep your baby warm in the car seat on the way home.

Going-home outfit. Consider the weather conditions: a bodysuit, booties, and hat could be fine during the warmer months, but in winter, pack mittens and a jacket or snowsuit, as and a

car seat. This obviously isn’t for the hospital bag, but the right car seat should be installed in your car around the same time you pack your baby bag so it’s ready for the hospital.

With this list, you will be so well prepared! When its time to go you'll be ready and just need to grab your bag! Bonus tip! I left mine in hubby's car so we always had it!

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