Top 10 Hospital Bag Must-Haves for Expectant Moms
Before it is time to head to the hospital to have a baby, knowing what to pack in your hospital bag is essential. It can be a bit confusing since you often hear so many different things. Do you bring everything you own or only a specific list of items?
While both of my pregnancies were different, so was the preparing and packing of my hospital bag. The first time around, while I remembered most things, I felt that I forgot a lot. For example, I didn’t think to pack a warm pair of socks, slippers and music. Thankfully, my wonderful Mom brought a bag of goodies with everything that I had forgotten and then some.
We also failed to remember to pack for Darasak too. I know that I didn’t want him to leave my side so, having things he needed would have been so helpful the first time. The second time around, I knew what I needed to pack and what I could leave at home.
I know that simply “packing a bag” shouldn’t be a BIG deal. But when you’re packing a bag that’s going to help you do something as miraculous as childbirth, it becomes more of a big deal than you’d think.
With that in mind, here are some things you should know about getting your hospital bag ready. Call me a worrywart but, I always believed that you can’t be too prepared when it comes to being prepared. So, for the first-time moms or the mom who has had multiple kids, here are some hospital must-haves for expectant moms.
1. Birth Plan and Important Paperwork
One thing you’ll need that won’t keep you comfortable, but will help with the process is all your important paperwork. Small items like your driver’s license, insurance card, and pediatrician information. In the case that for some reason your OB cannot attend the birth and you have an attending doctor, having a copy of your birth plan is helpful so that all of your choices are respected. Labouring is not the time when you want to be explaining your birth plan. Unless you change your mind, packing the birth plan helps the staff to help you!
2. The Comforts of Home
Unless your hospital is up to date on comfort trends, bring your own clothes with you. I like to bring my own nightgown and comfy pants. Nothing feels better than slipping into something comfy after having a baby.
If you can’t sleep without your own pillow, bring it. I know the hospital has a ton of pillows, but I’m all about the comfort. Bringing my own pillow has always helped me to sleep better and prop myself up better. If your partner will be camping out with you in the same room, a blanket and pillow for them would be a great idea too. A pair of slippers for your partner will be much welcomed. Believe me, it is much better than being in shoes for a couple of days.
3. Poise Pads
After having babies, you will find that your body changes in so many ways. I have experienced changes after having kids, including a noticeable difference in my urgency. Packing Poise pads in your hospital bag can be a big help if you feel the need to void or if you notice a bit of loss of control.
Poise pads are designed for light bladder leakage. They have a much higher absorbent capacity than other feminine hygiene brands since they are specifically designed for leaks. They provide 3-in-1 protection for all the dryness, comfort, and odour control you need.
Post baby bladder leakage is a real thing. Some of us deal with periodic bladder leakage and others deal with LBL (light bladder leaks) so it’s NICE to know there is something out there to help us all. There’s no reason to be shy about bladder leaks, especially as so many of us experience them as a result of carrying a child to term.
One thing I use every day is Poise micro-liners. I use them for freshness and to have the confidence to do everything I need to do, not only as a Mom but, a business woman too. They give me self-confidence, a sense of security and I no longer worry about sneezing or lifting and leaking. You’ll discover that incredible difference when you use the products that support you and make you more self-assured.
With Poise, you don’t have to worry about light bladder leakage and whether you’re a veteran mom or new mom, you can regain that confidence by counting on products that are made specifically for LBL.
4. Toiletries That You Love
I packed all the personal toiletries that I know that I wanted to use like face wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, body lotion, lanolin (nipple cream if you are breastfeeding), hairbrush and make-up wipes for a fresh face. Since I knew that I wanted to take a shower before I left the hospital, I brought a pair of flip flops, shampoo and conditioner and a pair of comfortable clothes to go home in. I also brought the same for Darasak. That way, he was able to be comfortable, fresh and happy, too.
I brought a bit of makeup to freshen up for pictures. I only brought blush, lip balm and mascara. But, bring as little or as much as you want. This is your baby’s birth and there is no shame in wearing make-up if it makes you feel more like YOU.
5. Snacks for the New Parents
Hospitals are generally strict about when breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served. After labour, if you’re hungry in between meals, having snacks ready can save the day. Also, having plenty of drinks and snacks for your partner will keep them energized. Plus, they can bring what they like and not have to compromise with what they offer at the hospital.
6. Electronics and Chargers
While these will probably be more used by your partner, it is great to bring a camera to document all of the special moments. Bring music to listen to and a pair of headphones if you want to focus. I always enjoyed listening to music through labour and after birth. I guess it depends on your preferences, but this has always made me feel more comfortable. Darasak and I were keen to text and take pictures of the baby after birth. However, you’ll need to make sure you can charge your phone for that. For some reason, hospitals suck the battery life out of phones. So, don’t forget the chargers and having a small and portable battery cell pack will be a lifesaver too.
7. A Journal
Journaling is one of my favourite things to do. I always enjoyed writing things down so I don’t forget it and can look back on it. When I brought a journal, I could write down parts of my birth story that I didn’t want to forget. Whether it was in those quiet moments, when it was no one else but you, baby and your partner in the room and you wanted to write down what you were feeling right then and there. Maybe your partner wants to write something down that they are feeling too.
8. Gear You Prefer
Again, you will want to be as comfortable as possible in the hospital. I found a pair of cozy socks kept me warm and helped me to feel even more comfortable. While the hospital gives you disposable bottoms, you can opt to wear your own maternity undies. If you plan to breastfeed, bring a nursing bra to give you support and have the breast ready. If you think it will help, bring a nursing pillow. I used one for both of my girls and it can be a great aid in getting used to different breastfeeding positions.
9. Less Clutter
Just remember the hospital will have a lot of what you need. You don’t need to pack everything you own. Pack the things that will make you the most comfortable and leave the rest to them.
10. Outfit for Baby
Don’t forget the star of the show! Bring an outfit that you want to take baby home in, I brought one in two sizes in case one didn’t fit. I also made sure to pack a blanket to cover them in their car seats. Of course, this depends on the weather but, it was chilly for ours.
Now You’re Ready!
There you have it, here’s everything that helped me during labour. Hopefully, it will help you too! Another thing to remember is that most hospitals charge for parking. Make sure you have cash on hand so bringing baby home is a breeze and you’re not searching for an ATM.
Don’t forget to transfer your hospital bag from your home to the trunk of your car, one week prior to your expected due date. That way, it’s in the car when you need it!
For information on Poise products and to find a fit that’s right for you, visit www.Poise.com.
What did you pack in your hospital bag?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.