Pregnancy can feel like a bit of a minefield at times. There are so many things to remember and to buy, and the list just seems to get longer no matter how many items you manage to tick off.
One thing you don’t want to get wrong is the contents of your hospital bag. You don’t want to open your bag during labor or shortly after birth to find you’ve forgotten something important!
You’re unlikely to forget things like clothes or diapers for your baby, but some things aren’t so easy to remember. If you’re preparing for a hospital birth, here is a list of nine things you don’t want to forget to pack in your hospital bag when you’re expecting a baby.
1. Cash or Card
Money is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re about to make the trip to hospital to have your baby, but it’s always a good idea to pack both cash and a credit or debit card in your hospital bag. You might need cash for parking, or if you have a longer hospital stay, you may want to buy a magazine or snack from the hospital shop.
2. Phone Charger
Mobile phones are a big part of modern day lives. Before, during and after birth, you’ll want to keep in touch with your loved ones and take lots of photographs. At such a critical time in your life, the low battery warning is the last thing you want to see!
3. Birth Outfit
For your birth outfit, choose something lightweight and loose, like a nightdress or a baggy t-shirt. If you plan to breastfeed, you might also want to consider choosing an outfit that can easily be pulled down or unfastened to feed your baby straight after birth.
4. Snacks & Drinks
Labor is tiring, so it’s worth taking some snacks and drinks to the hospital with you. High energy snacks like cereal bars and dried fruit are great for eating during labor. Isotonic drinks can also help to replace some of the energy that you are using and keep you hydrated throughout your birth.
Hospital food can sometimes be a hit or miss, so you may be grateful for a few snacks in your bag after birth too!
5. Breast Pads
However you plan to feed your baby, you’ll need a few packs of good quality breast pads. These might not seem so important for the first couple of days, but when your milk comes in (usually between the second and fifth day after birth), you’ll be thankful for some decent breast pads.
6. Larger Sized Undies
This one might sound a little odd, but keep reading. If you’re having a planned caesarean section, or if things don’t go to plan with your labor and you end up needing an emergency caesarean, your scar is likely to be right where your underwear sit. The last thing you want is your underwear rubbing on your wound.
Big undies (think granny pants!) might not be your usual style, but you’ll be thankful for the higher waistband for at least a couple of weeks.
7. Maternity Pads
This one might sound obvious, but it’s definitely one thing you don’t want to forget. Good quality maternity pads not only absorb that postpartum bleeding, but they also provide good cushioning for any tears or bruising you may have suffered. You’ll probably need to take a couple packets of these, as they’ll need to be changed regularly in the first few days.
8. Things to Help Pass the Time
If you need to be induced, or you have to stay in the hospital after having your baby, you may be grateful for some books, magazines or music to help you to pass the time. The hospital can be a boring place when nothing is happening, especially outside of visiting time.
Music can also be a great tool in labor. Consider creating a playlist of your favorite songs, as well as songs that help you to relax.
It’s important to remember your toiletries when you pack your hospital bag. During labor, you might like hair ties to keep your hair off your face, as well as lip balm in case your lips dry out — it happens frequently.
After labor, you’ll want to freshen up. Pack items such as a toothbrush, deodorant, body wash and a hairbrush in your bag so you’re ready for your first postpartum shower and for the pictures you’ll cherish for life.