Packing a hospital delivery bag can be a little daunting for a new mother since she does not know what to carry with her. If it is your first time, you will probably have looked online and gotten an idea of what is required. At all times, your hospital documents should be with you. You should write down a checklist for what you might need on that special day so that you don’t forget any essentials.
Nevertheless, in several hospitals, you will be told what you are required to bring among their requirements when you are due.The hospital might be in a position to provide just one or two of some of the items due to demand. However, you might want to carry a few items with you from home. Other than the basic essentials such as toiletries and the newborn’s clothes, you may wish to bring in your own pillows or personal items to make the environment a little homely and personal. When thinking of what to carry do not forget to consider the amount of space in the ward where you will stay
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Packing two bags can be ideal. One can contain items you will require immediately after giving birth and the other for a stay in the postnatal ward. Both bags can always be somewhere easy to reach. If you are expected to leave the hospital right after delivery, you can leave the second bag at home.In the last month of your pregnancy, you should be ready to go into the labour ward any time. Before you do this, a few things are necessary before and immediately after the baby comes. These things need to be ready and packed when you are about 36 weeks pregnant. The most essential items you require when going to the labor ward include:
1. A Dressing Gown
A dressing gown is one of the items you cannot go into the labour ward without. It is what you will be required to put on during the hours before birth. You can have atleast two gowns because one will be used after the birth. In case one gets dirty, the labour ward can be really messy, you have a change of gowns. Most hospitals are also warm so carrying a lightweight gown is ideal. Due to the surrounding a dark coloured gown id preferred because it will help disguise any stains.
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2. Pair of slippers
Having the slippers is always comfortable for you. You may enter the hospital with anything you want but once you are inside the hospital you need to have a slip on slippers in which you can get it on and off. It is advisable to carry a pair of slip-ons or slippers that are easy to put on and get off, as you may still be exhausted from giving birth.
3. Nightdress or T-shirt
After the baby comes, a nightdress or a t-shirt is a much needed requirement. After delivery you might needed to stay a day or two in the hospital and this will come in handy. You don’t need new or expensive clothes to the ward, an old pair of t-shirt will do just fine. These clothes are effortless to put on and take off and since you might still be feeling the effects of the birth they are ideal. You can also bring one or two front-opening nightgowns for breastfeeding.
4. A Tube Sock and Three Tennis Balls or birth ball
Before the actual birth, you might go into prolonged and painful labour, these balls or a birth ball will help in easing the pain.You can ask your labour partner to put the balls in the sock and tie a knot in the end. Your partner can then roll it up and down your back. Tension can also be relieved by standing against a wall with the sock between your back and the wall and pressing into the balls. Some hospitals do provide birth ball but you should check if they have the perfect size for you. You can carry your own pump to inflate the birth ball.
5. Hair bands and clips
These may seem insignificant but when you are in labour you will not enjoy loose hairs around your face. It is not be ideal for you and you may not be comfortable especially if you have long hair. You many need to have all your hair pulled and tied up.
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Pillows are usually provided in all wards in the hospital. Nevertheless, for extra comfort you can carry a couple. You can also buy a nursing pillow or V-shaped pillow is perfect for breastfeeding moms.The hospital might not have enough to make you really comfortable. A V-shaped pillow can give you extra support when breastfeeding your baby.
7. Mobile phone and charge
While in hospital, you will definitely be contacted by friends and relatives who may wish to share their wishes and congratulations. Several of them would love to talk to you after delivery wanting to know the status of both the baby and yourself. Make sure you have a charger with you as the battery may run down due to numerous calls and messages coming in.You definitely will not require any with a new baby, but if you like, pack your favourite magazines and books. Hospitals have rest times for new mums so if you can’t sleep due to the adrenaline rush you get from labour, you can always relax with your favourite reading material.
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8. Digital camera
It is a special day and you need to take lot of photos and videos and record those wonderful moments with your baby. Moreover, fresh batteries, your phone and phone charger will come in handy. Have your digital cameras along with the batteries and the memory card in the same bag. This is a memorable day that you would want to have captured and stored forever.
9. Snacks and drinks
You don’t want to be dehydrated soon. In addition, the birth partner you have will definitely be hungry and would love to have some snacks when staying active to look after the baby. You might not also like what the hospital has on offer or you may not have an appetite for hospital food. You can pack a few of your favourite drinks and snacks for you and your partner if you stay longer than expected.
10. A going-home outfit
When leaving the hospital, you will require loose fitting comfortable clothes. Your tummy may still be large and it might be a while before it goes down, so you do not need to get rid of your maternity clothes when you get home.Remember to these for the new born; 4 to 6 bodysuits, 4 to 6 one-pieces, 4 to 6 T-shirts, 2 to 4 pairs long pants, 2 gowns, 1to 2 sleep slacks, 1 to 2 caps and 4 to 6 pairs booties. These would be enough for the brief stay in the hospital.
11. Nursing Essentials
These should be among the first items in the hospital bag. A new born requires several things to be fed. You will need everything from nursing bras to maternity pads to breast pads and a few hand napkins. You will also require bibs and other small items to keep the baby clean.
Sometimes sweating may become a bother after deliver, so include a deodorant.Personal items such as towels, hairbrushes, toothbrushes and toothpaste are some of the things that are much needed.You need to carry lip balm because your skin will have gone through many changes as the baby was growing. The hospital will likely provide this also. When out shopping, don’t spend money on any lotions and creams out there.
Several lotions have fragrances and that may be irritable to baby’s skin or cause a rash. You will notice that even some of the ‘baby’ brands have irritants in them. Read the ingredients label. If there are strange names avoid because they could be chemicals which are not good for your baby’s skin. Cotton wool and water wipes are the best for a newborn. You might also like to use a facial wash and water, but water is best for their very sensitive, newborn skin.
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13. Extra Undies and Extra-Absorbent Pads
These are undoubtedly a must after delivery. It might also be helpful to pack lidocaine spray or witch hazel pads. This will assist in relieving pain from tearing. After the birth, things are normally messy and you might consider getting some cheap or old knickers. These will definitely be trashed because they won’t be in the state for further usage. If you went through a caesarean operation then large cotton knickers are efficient since they won’t rub the area hence aggravating the wound.
14. Baby blanket
These are mostly provided by most hospitals, you can carry extra blankets for baby since it can get really cold at night and you might be unable to go and run around asking for help.Pack one for each day. They may not get dirty at all, however when it comes to baby, it’s always better to have too many rather than too little, especially when those nappies leak, and they do leak. Muslin wraps are they best and so are the stretchy cotton ones. When wrapping a baby, the stretch factor really keeps them tightly tucked in. They are preferred to the stiffer ones which are harder to tuck in. The stiffer ones may also irritate the baby’s rather delicate skin.
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15. Baby Nappies
Some hospitals provide baby nappies to new mothers. Nevertheless, it is worth checking what your hospital provides in terms of nappies. Some provide both disposable and cloth, some provide just cloth and some provide just disposables. If you are carrying some from home make sure you have more than enough especially if you are a new mother. This is because changing a nappy for the first time can be cumbersome before you get it right. Putting on a nappy may sound easy, but if you thought ‘pregnancy brain,’ was bad, just you wait for ‘new mummy brain’.
A pack of 8 per day should be enough. If you have cloth nappies, carry a plastic bag to put the soiled nappies in. These bags are available in the market are scented, and work efficiently keeping the smell inside the bag. They are reasonably priced and can be found in retail shops and supermarkets. For the new baby, you will require a whole bundle of nappies for the newborn. The newborn emits meconium and soils itself at least 12 times a day. Therefore, a whole pack of napkins would be sufficient.
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With your hospital bag, ready, be ready for the labour. At the first signs, you will be aware of the real thing. With the bag ready it should be somewhere easily accessible. If you are going to use your own car, ensure that you always have enough fuel in the tank to get you to the hospital. It is wise to have a backup in place in case you are unable to use your car or if your driver is unavailable. New mothers always have problems since they might not know what to do, I hope this list helps you get started on your journey as a mother.