You’ve probably spent the last few months dreaming about the day you’ll finally get to meet your baby, and now it’s right around the corner. Packing a hospital bag is an essential task in your third trimester, as it can help your big day go a lot smoother and prevent any last-minute scrambling. Here are some must-have items to pack in your hospital bag.
Although some hospitals may provide soap, lotion, and shampoo, you may want to use the brands that you’re most comfortable with. Be sure to include a few of your most-used personal items, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, a hairbrush, lip balm, and deodorant. You can also pack some face wash or wipes if you don’t think you’ll be up for showering right after giving birth.
A birth plan is a document that communicates your preferences for before, during, and after labor, such as how you want your medical team to manage your labor pain. Be sure to bring a few extras with you so that all the members of your team can have their own copy. Although getting your birth plan with you is essential to achieve a seamless labor experience, don’t be discouraged if not everything goes to plan. The delivery process can be unpredictable, so it’s best to stay flexible.
Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license (or another valid form of identification), insurance card, and the name and phone number of your baby’s doctor. You should also contact the hospital beforehand to see if you need to bring any additional paperwork or medical records.
Packing warm and cozy clothing is a must if you want to feel comfortable throughout the labor process. Be sure to pack a nursing bra, tank top, and loose bottoms like joggers or sweatpants. Because your feet might be swollen from IV fluids or the residual symptoms of pregnancy, it’s important to wear slip-on shoes like sandals or slides to give your feet room to breathe.
Camera or Video Camera
Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience and will become one of your most treasured memories. Therefore, you’ll probably want to capture the first moments with your baby on camera. Even if you don’t want to document your labor and delivery experience, you’ll want to take your first family portrait. If you don’t want to add extra weight to your hospital bag, a smartphone with a camera or video camera will work just fine. If you are bringing a handheld camera, however, don’t forget to pack a charger as well.
Although it’s best to get your practitioner’s opinion beforehand on whether or not you’re allowed to eat snacks during labor, be sure to have some snacks ready to go if they approve. It’s called labor for a reason, so it’s important that you give your body the fuel it needs to power you through the process. In the early stages of labor, stick with healthy snacks or meals that contain complex carbohydrates and protein, such as quinoa, yogurt, or whole-grain toast. During labor, you should switch to lighter snacks such as applesauce, dried fruit bars, or a spoonful of raw honey. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, or you can bring sugar-free lozenges to keep your mouth moist during labor.
Getting ready for your baby’s arrival can be an overwhelming time, so it’s best to streamline the process as much as possible by packing a hospital bag well in advance. Following these guidelines can give you the confidence that you have everything you need in order for the big day.
About the Author
My name is Grace Mason, and I have been working in the Home and Family industry for more than 15 years. I have always loved sharing the insights that I have discovered throughout my career with other Home and Family enthusiasts. Recently, I decided to expand my reach by contributing to expert websites like lifeasmama.com.