Towards, the end of the eighth month of your pregnancy, it is good to pack a hospital bag and keep it ready to take with you to the hospital.
That early Yes, you never know – what if your baby decides to make an early appearance? Granted, rushing to the hospital might not be as crazy and frantic as in the movies, but at the last moment, there is a possibility of forgetting to take along essential items! Here are things to pack in your hospital bag when pregnant.
Your hospital will already have several necessary items for both you and your baby to use, so check with them beforehand, so that you'll know what they don't stock, and what you should take.
Anyway, here's a quick checklist of the most important things you'll need at the hospital.
For yourself – before delivery
1. Toiletries – soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand- wash.
2. For sudden cleaning needs – dish-wash soap, clothes-wash soap.
3. Nighties or gowns, or loose shirts and pyjamas – something that is easy to slip in and out of. Preferably dark coloured to hide stains, if any
4. Comfortable slippers, that you can easily slip-on and slip-off. Ensure they are not slippery – you might be walking the hospital corridors quite a bit during labour!
5. Socks – your feet might get unexpectedly cold during labour or delivery. Hospital atmospheres are unpredictable. Similarly, sweaters or shawls are a good idea too.
6. Hair-care utilities – Hairbrush/comb. If you have long hair, or hair that falls over your face, take along a hairband, clips or scrunchies to keep your hair manageable. You don't want to keep pushing back your hair during labour!
7. Moisturizers – take along lip balm, hand lotion and moisturizers – hospitals are very dry, and you'll feel comfortable with a moistened body.
8. Don't forget your Glasses/Contact lens-case-solution.
10. Your pregnancy book.
11. Things to keep you occupied – If your labour takes a long time, you'll find books, magazines, music, tablets distracting. Choose light reading, though.
12. Pen and paper – always handy – to make lists, note down things to remember, or just doodle!
13. Comfortable pillow – In case you don't like hospital pillows!
14. Mobile phone with charger.
15. Camera/camcorder with battery charger – for the first few clicks and movies!
• Snacks – energy bars, boiled sweets to suck on.
• Tissues – for sudden spills.
• Extra plastic bags for dirty clothes.
• Newspapers to wrap/line shelves/miscellaneous uses.
16. Plastic sheets to line the car seats during the ride to hospital,in case your water breaks.
• Medical reports, lab test results, ultrasound scan reports.
• Cash, Debit/Credit Card.
• Hospital/Insurance card.
17. A kit for your partner – with change of clothes, toiletries and other essential items, reading material or gadgets to keep them engaged.
For yourself – after delivery
18. Loose, comfortable dark clothes – maternity wear, in case you plan to breastfeed. Once again, dark colours or prints are preferable, in case of stains.
19. Old underwear - you might have a lot of post-delivery bleeding, and your underwear might get stained. Take along old underwear that you feel comfortable discarding later on.
20. Maternity pads
• Nursing bras.
• Breast pads.
• Light makeup for the first few clicks with baby.
21. Something nice in which to go home in (Something that you wore for your second trimester will be right – since you'll still be a little large) Baby book for the first few notes.
For the baby
22. Though the hospital will probably supply most of the things that the baby needs initially, take along a few of the essential things a baby needs.
Some things to remember, though!
23. Don't take things that are precious to you, or of sentimental value.Avoid taking along expensive items, and jewellery. A hospital room might not be the safest place, and you don't want to lose your precious belongings!
24. As far as possible, pack only one or two bags. You wouldn't want to keep lugging around multiple bags in the hospital, and keeping track of their number in the midst of your contractions!
25. If you take two bags, it is a good idea to divide the items according to pre-delivery and post-delivery needs. That way, you'll know where everything is, especially if you are asking somebody to take something out of the bags for you.
A packed hospital bag will not only save you time and effort later on, but will also set you in the mood mentally for the upcoming big event!