Being prepared and having all of the bases covered is a must when it comes to bringing your new child into the world. It is a good idea to pack your bag three weeks in advance just in case your little one decides to make an early appearance. Here is a list of some things you will be very glad to have once you get to the hospital:
1. Absorbent Pads and Extra Undergarments
If you have a vaginal birth, you are most likely going to experience bleeding following the delivery. Although most hospitals provide pads for women who have just given birth, you may want to bring the type/brand of pads that you are most comfortable with. You may also want to consider witch hazel pads or lidocaine spray as they can help you with any pain and discomfort you may experience from tearing.
2. Toiletry Items
In most cases mothers remain in the hospital for two to four days after giving birth. Therefore it is important to pack toiletry items such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant and whatever else you can think of that you may need. Again, some hospitals have this stuff on hand but it is best to stick with the brands that you would normally use at home. Also, don’t forget that most hospitals are a bit chilly which makes the air drier so you may benefit from Chap Stick and lotion.
3. A Birth Plan
Not every woman has a birth plan, but it is something that you might find useful and helpful. There are lots of different templates available online and you can always do a little research. It is a good idea to keep it fairly simple and short. While birth plans are a good idea, remember that many aspects of labor and delivering can be unpredictable, so don’t get upset if things don’t go exactly the way you plan them
When it comes to electronics, a camera is probably first on the list. Whether it is a camera on your smartphone or a digital camera, make sure you have one so that you can capture your newborns first moments in the world. You may also want to consider bringing an iPod to play your favorite music or relaxing songs while in labor. Make sure that you remember your cell phone too (although hospitals don’t get the greatest cell phone reception). Last but not least, don’t forget to bring batteries and/or chargers to keep all of your electronics powered.
5. Nursing Bra and other Nursing Tools
A nursing bra will definitely come in handy when it is time for you to breastfeed your newborn. Nursing bras are designed specifically for protecting your nipples, so this will probably come in as a comfort to you if you haven’t nursed before or haven’t done so in a while. It can prevent them from becoming sore but also help to treat them if they do. Other things to consider bringing for nursing are nursing pads, a nursing pillow, and a slipcover.
6. A Nightgown and Warm Socks
Bring your favorite pair of socks or slippers to keep your feet warm when you are walking around on the cold hospital floors. This can give you a great boost of comfort and make things a little easier for you while trying to recover from your delivery. You may not mind the hospital gowns, but many women prefer to wear their own sleeping gowns so make sure you take this into consideration too.