What should be in my hospital bag?
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Choosing what to put in your hospital bag and packing it ready for the maternity ward is one of the most exciting parts of late pregnancy.
It’s important to have a hospital bag readily packed by week 35 since you could go into labour at any time in the weeks before your due date. Keep your “go-bag” near the door or in the hallway ready to grab on your way out– or even in the car.
You can write a checklist for your hospital bag, working out what essentials you’ll need for yourself and your new-born, and then finally packing it all up to avoid forgetting important things you may need. Early packing will make your birth preparation easier and give you enough time to buy what is lacking. Also having your bag ready ahead of time is a good idea even if you’re having a planned C-section, because labour could start before your scheduled date.
Essentials for the mom-to-be
As well as the items on our check-list below, you will probably want to add in some personal items as per your need;
- Your birth plan and hospital notes-ANC book.
- Your Insurance and NHIF cards.
- Phone and chargers, books and magazines and perhaps a list of phone numbers for friends and family if your partner does not necessarily have all of them stored on his phone.
- Clothes – An old nightdress for labour, this will likely get messy so don’t buy anything new. Nightwear, including a dressing gown and slippers Nightwear for breastfeeding – large top or nightdress that opens at the front to make breastfeeding easier Going home clothes these should be loose fitting and comfortable.
- Nursing bras – pack two or three comfortable bras.
- Breast pads.
- Maternity pads and lots of spare panties (disposable ones are particularly helpful too).
- Toiletries and a towel – basics including toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, flannel and shower stuff, unscented body lotion.
- Hairbrush and ties/clips for long hair – this can be especially helpful during labour when you’re likely to get very hot.
- Carrier bag for dirty clothes.
- Antiseptic wipes.
What to pack if you’re having a C-section
You might want to add a few things to your packing list if you’re having a planned C-section:
- Underwear that won’t press on your C-section incision. Soft, high-waisted cotton underwear works well. Bring a size that will fit your postpartum shape (you’ll look about 6 months pregnant right after delivery).
- Clothing that will be comfortable over your incision. If you’d rather not wear the hospital-issued gown during post-op recovery, consider bringing loose, high-waisted pants or a flowy dress.
- Compression belt. This “belly binder” will hold everything in place and protect the incision. It will help you move around more easily, reduce swelling, and support your back muscles. Hospitals often provide these, but if yours doesn’t (or if you want a specific belt) you can bring your own.
- Stool softener for constipation. Constipation is common after a C-section. The hospital can provide something for you to take, but you can also bring something you know works for you. (Check with your doctor or midwife before taking anything.)
What to Pack in Your Baby’s Hospital Bag
- 2 Pairs of baby Pyjamas.
- Going Home Outfit.
- Receiving Blanket.
- 2 Extra Hats.
- 2 Pairs of Socks.
- New born Diapers
- Baby Jelly
- Cotton wool
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