If you are approaching your third trimester of pregnancy, it’s time to start thinking about packing a hospital bag. Even if your due date is weeks or months away, having a bag packed with your necessities a good idea for several reasons:
- There are certain items you will need to have at the hospital, and you likely won’t be able to think of everything you need during the excitement of labor.
- It will save you precious minutes if your labor is progressing quickly or if you have an emergency.
- Having your bag ready to go allows you to focus on the well-being of yourself and your baby — ithout worrying about other details — when your labor starts.
Besides your hospital bag, one of the most important items you need to have in advance is an infant car seat, properly installed in your car. You won’t be able to leave the hospital without this, and you’ll want to have it installed well in advance to make sure it’s done right.
As for your bag, there are several things you must bring with you, and a few things you shouldn’t. Here’s what you need:
- Your Driver’s License/ID
- Your health insurance card
- Hospital paperwork and/or your birth plan, if you have one
- Slippers or non-skid socks
- Toiletries, such as a contact lens case and solution, glasses, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, lip balm, and any soaps/shampoos you wish to have (although the hospital will have shampoo and soap for your use)
- Your camera
- Your cell phone and charger
- A nursing bra for breastfeeding, or a larger sized, stretchy, soft bra
- Lanolin for sore nipples, if planning to breastfeed
- An outfit for going home, including comfortable cotton underwear and weather-appropriate but loose-fitting pants and shirt (you may wish to bring maternity clothes for optimum comfort, as your belly will still be swollen when you leave the hospital)
- A weather-appropriate outfit for baby in newborn size
- A blanket for baby, especially if the weather is cool
- Your partner should also bring some toiletry essentials and a change of clothes
There are a few items you should leave at home, to avoid having them lost or damaged. They include:
- Cash/ jewelry/ valuables
- Diapers (the hospital will provide these)
Although it’s tempting to pack everything you might want if you were packing for vacation, chances are, you won’t use many of these extra, unneeded items. Think about whether you’ll really be up for applying makeup or curling your hair. Most visitors just want to see the baby and won’t expect you to look like you normally do right after giving birth. Start with the essentials and pack as lightly as possible. It will be less to tote around or worry about while you’re in the hospital.
CarePoint Health Family Birth Centers
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.