You should have your bags packed 2 weeks before your due date. Here’s an idea on what to take to the hospital.
Bear in mind, you don’t have to include everything that is listed.If you’re super nervous about when to pack hospital bag, you could even start a month out.
If you’re one to travel light, phone your maternity department beforehand and ask what they provide when upon admission. Do not worry too much about forgetting something.
You could always send your husband or ask visiting family members to bring them.
What to pack in your hospital bag for yourself :
- Your hospital or health card
- Antenatal Notes – any notes which you might’ve prepared. Never hurts to have something to refer to.
- A few pairs of socks – Thick and comfy ones to provide warmth in the cold delivery ward.
- Table clock – Place one on the table next to your bed. Pretty handy to time your contractions.
- Two pairs of slippers – New non-slip ones preferably for both you and your husband. The hospital I went to does not allow shoes to be warn in labor ward.
- Lip balm or Chapstick – To keep your lips moist and prevent chapping. I was reminded to put it in the bag but ended up not needing it. Depends on the air, the season and where you’re living I guess.
- A pack of maxi pads with wings – For after labor postpartum bleeding. Bring two dozens of maxi pads with wings, preferably as thick and absorbent as possible. Expect to change every few hours if heavy bleeding. That should be enough for 2 nights at the hospital.
- Disposable underwear – Heavy after-labor bleeding might leak and stain your underwear. So cheap and disposable panties can be used and thrown away in it happens. I used disposable panties throughout my hospital stay, just for convenience.
- Hand sanitizers – I brought this along for family members and friends to use before holding my new baby. They must be saying I’m obsessing too much about hygiene, ah well … ;P
- Maternity wear – If you’re anything like me, your tummy would still look like 3 to 4 months pregnant after delivery. Throw in a set of nice going-home clothes you intend to wear when you discharge from the hospital.
- Front-buttoned pajama blouse – You’ll be nursing in no time after delivery. Buttons give easy access when it’s time to nurse your baby. Bring your least desirable ones, as you might end up soiling or staining them from heavy bleeding. I did not bring any pyjama pants as I find the hospital gown to be more comfortable. Especially when going to the bathroom with post-natal stitches.
- Nursing bras and breast pads – For breast-feeding mothers of course.
- Jacket, sweater or house coat – Keep you warm in the hospital. Especially important for mothers who practise confinement periods, where you try not to expose yourself to cold and breezy air. Also suitable to wear on your way home.
- Shampoo and condition / Dry shampoo – A good shower and hair wash is what you’ll be looking forward to at the end of your hospital stay. If you practise confinement periods, common for Chinese mothers, where you’re advised not to shower or wash your hair for a month (shudder!) you can get slight relief by using Dry Shampoo and rub it onto your itchy scalp.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste – Unless your hospital provides four-star service, most hospitals does not provide free toothbrush and toothpaste upon admission.
- Towels – I have never used towels in hotel rooms. And I’m sure not going to use towels provided by hospitals. In fact, I didn’t recall if my hospital provided any towels at all because I didn’t ask for any.
- Food and snacks – I had an induced labor and waited nearly 24 hours before delivery. During the final few hours, I told my husband to stay with me at all times. So the crackers, cookies and bread tasted a lot better than usual.
- Your favorite pillow from home – Never underestimate how your humble pillow can make you feel at home in the delivery ward bed. Just sniffing the familiar scent takes my mind away from the cold and dreary hospital room.
- Mobile phone, reload cards and charger – You’ll be making lots of calls. Even more after delivery to share your joy with friends and family. Serves as a walkie-talkie between my husband and I, when he wandered around the hospital out of boredom.
- Tennis ball or rolling pin – Have your husband massage you to ease your back spasms.
- Camera and VideoCam – And make sure they are fully charged and ready for that once-in-a-lifetime moment. My husband wanted to bring his tripod to keep that video camera steady, I told him that’s pushing it.
- PDA or an ultra-portable notebook computer – That’s what I’m gonna bring to my delivery ward if I get pregnant again. Books, magazines or DVDs take up space in my bag. It’s a hassle to bring them to the hospital and you’ll (or your husband) be dreading the extra weight when you discharge. Double up nicely as a multimedia player too for videos and music.
what to pack in hospital bag for baby :
- Baby car seat – Not exactly something that fits in the bag but get one even if you don’t need it when you leave the hospital. It’s the most useful thing ever in the car for the next couple of months. In some countries, you won’t be allowed to leave if your car doesn’t have a baby seat.
- Baby mittens & booties – Baby booties to keep their feet warm and cozy. Baby mittens to keep their fingernails from scratching their own face. And yea, their fingernails can get pretty long and sharp.
- A nice baby outfit – For the picture taking and visits from friends and family. And it’ll be nice to leave the hospital in style. In fact, the hospital took care of clothing my newborn until the moment we discharge. So just one set of baby clothing would do nicely.
- Baby cap – If it’s really cold outside, the cap would keep your baby’s head warm. They just look darn cute in them anyway.
- Baby towel, receiving blankets – Something thick and comfy to wrap your baby in case it’s cold. Newborns love to be swaddled.
Newborn baby diapers – Although the hospital provided them, I shopped for some of the smallest and tiniest diapers I could find beforehand. My OB told me that my baby would most likely be barely 6 pounds and he was right. She needed the smallest sized diapers on the market.
If you think I’ve forgotten anything important, let me know what to pack in hospital bag for labor by leaving a comment below.