Sometimes, it is not until you begin packing your hospital bag that the reality of the situation hits you – that you are about to bring a new life into the world! In your eagerness, you may find that you need 2 bags, one for before the baby is born and one for after. While you may want to put off packing your bags until later, it is recommended that you get your stuff together during the eighth month as you may be ready to go into labor at any time.
Must-haves in your hospital bag
Perhaps more important than anything else is packing comfortable clothing; whether it is a front-open nightie or loose kaftan, whichever lends itself to your free movement without any restrictions. Make sure that it is sleeveless as your blood pressure will be checked often; the blood pressure cuff may even be left on for the duration of your stay in the labor room. Fill your iPod with your favorite music, especially if you want to drown out the screams of other women in labor nearby! Your iPod will never come in handier than now. In fact, anything that can help you relax such as your favorite aromatherapy perfume or even honeymoon pictures can be brought along to distract you between contractions.
Never underestimate the importance of comfortable shoes. Your obstetrician may recommend that you walk for a few minutes between contractions; you will be kicking yourself if you wore your wedge heels to the hospital because you didn’t think your swollen feet would need shoes once you got to the hospital. Bring along your oldest and most comfy pair of shoes as you might find yourself on your feet much more than you thought.
Toiletries such as your toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant (you can bet that you will need it once your contractions get closer), your favorite soap, a hairbrush and any makeup that will help you feel like more of your old self should be brought along. A skin lotion can be helpful for a quick shoulder rub by your labor partner when you have a few minutes between contractions. Sanitary napkins are a must, although the hospital will provide you with their brand. However, bringing your own will ensure that it is the highest absorbency napkins you can find along with giving you the best coverage for your underwear.
Don’t forget to include a camera for those first few moments after your baby is born. A mobile phone camera may work but why not bring along the good stuff – can you think of a better moment to capture on film?
The going-home outfit for you and your baby may not seem important at this time but if you leave it up to your husband to pick them out after your baby is born, then you may be in for a fashion surprise! Pack a loose-fitting outfit that will accommodate your post-pregnancy belly. Especially if you have a C-section, it is important that you wear clothes that do not come in contact with your waist. As for your baby, most Indian women prefer putting on used baby clothes from a relative to ward off the evil eye, so make sure you have those handy.
If you are still wondering as to what should and shouldn’t go in your bag, here is a quick checklist for you to have everything in order.
- Checklist for Mom
- Checklist for labour Partner
- Checklist for Baby