Towards the end of pregnancy, expecting mamas who plan to deliver in a hospital get to pack that hospital bag. For me, packing the bag was a much different experience for my first and second pregnancies.
During the first round, I remember consulting pregnancy books and blogs on what to pack. I even went so far as to ask my childbirth education instructor for any tips. This resulted in my bringing pretty much everything but the kitchen sink to the hospital. I used maybe 20 percent of what was in the bag.
During the second round, determined to leave the kitchen sink at home, I managed to just pack a smaller bag. With that, of course I forgot a few things.
This has led me to share this list with expecting moms:
• Documents and Identification – your drivers license or other identification, birth plan, and a health care directive if you have one.
• Camera and video camera.
• Toiletries – Everything you want for that after birth shower – shampoo, body wash, razor, toothpaste, toothbrush and lip balm. • Baby wipes – some hospitals do not provide moistened baby wipes. Be safe and throw a pack in the bag (pack them in a ziplock though as the packages can leak).
• Celebratory snack and beverage – Everything you want for that special after birth snack and toast
• Partner/coach – if your partner or coach is staying with you in the hospital, then a change of clothes for them and their overnight stuff (medicines, toiletries).
• Swimtrunks/swimsuit for coach – these come in handy if you want to get in a shower or bathtub while you are in labor.
• Going home gear – clothes for mom, baby and partner and blankets for baby
• If you have an older child(ren) – presents for them from baby and a picture of them to have in your hospital room.
• Most importantly, an open mind – regardless of your birth plans, birth has its own plan. So, make sure to have an open mind in the event this don’t go as planned.
Congratulations and happy packing!