Ever wondered why there are so many blog posts about packing a bag for hospital?
Let me rephrase that, a pregnancy bag for hospital. Yes, this is no ordinary bag ladies, simply because it’s a major event and preparation is needed! Read my blog to work out what items are essential for you whilst other things are nice to have. Then we can all sit back in anticipation and excitement of your new baby’s arrival.
On a personal level, this is a great blog for me to write about. I gave birth to my third child Raza, back in October last year so I know how to pack a hospital pregnancy bag for sure! Find out more About Me.
Now, let’s get your bag packed…
Your Pregnancy Bag
Notice, I said ‘your’ because if we each packed our bag, some basic contents would be the same but others totally different. One thing we can agree on is that some people do have bigger pregnancy bags and that’s really OK but we do not have to take the kitchen sink! I have seen ladies with rather large trolley dolly’s when I went to the hospital for my first child and remember feeling inferior to them when actually, I ended up having exactly what I needed. I don’t remember thinking afterwords that ‘Oh I forgot this thing’ or ‘I should have brought…’. Seriously trolley dolly’s are fine. I took a small one with me. The point is that it’s not the size of the bag or the number of items but more specifically what items you personally need. Once you have that sorted, work on what items you would like to have. Let’s talk more about that next.
Packing your pregnancy bag is almost like a ritual and prepares the mind for the fact that you ARE going to give birth to this baby! It helps to prepare you for the event that will happen. It also gives a sense of satisfaction and an element of control over the situation.
Pregnancy Checklist – Items You’re Likely to Need
Items Needed v Items You May Like to Have
Here’s a list of the items that I believe that we ladies need:
- Slippers, gown, at least 2 pairs of pyjamas, socks, a towel (for baby & mum)
- Basic personal items & toiletries – deodorant, few make up items, comb, hair tie, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner.
- Medication you normally take
- Maternity record (should include your birth plan)
- Outfit for mum to go home in – loose ones please
- Outfit for baby – at least 3 baby vests, Babygro, mitts, hat, blanket / sleeper bag
- Newborn nappies, wipes
- Large sanitary pads and breast pads, underwear, nursing bra – comfy large ones please 😉
- Car seat for baby (hospitals do not allow you to take baby home in the car without one).
- Phone charger
- Spare change for the phone
- Written list of emergency contacts e.g mum, other half, sibling, friend etc – sometimes the phone runs out of charge or there isn’t a place to charge it
- Snacks e.g small cartons of juice, energy bar. Keep spare change for the vending machine.
Items You May Like to Have
Now that we have the essentials out the way, let’s list the possible wants. You can be as crazy/inventive as you want! Just check with your selected hospital and mid-wife that you are actually allowed these items or that the hospital facilitates them. I have watched some YouTube videos from Doulas based in the US that pack lamps and fairy lights for a dimmed atmosphere. Other examples are essential oils and pressure point pads. Some of these may be essentials for you in which case just add them to your list!
Here’s some other things which I view as ‘nice to have items’
- A gift for your newborn and / or their sibling
Gift / Thank You card for the nurses – they do a fabulous job and I can’t thank them enough.
- Sleeping mask, that is if you’re a lucky mum to be and manage to squeeze in some shut eye.
- Entertainment as for some ladies it’s going to be a long day!! Magazines/ books, downloaded playlist on your iPhone.
- Fan / water spray
- Your own pillow
- Your own birth ball or check if your hospital provides one
- Items for your birthing partner – e.g. they may need spare change of clothes, snacks
When to Pack
You can pack as early as you want and that’s just my view. Though its probably best to start gathering basic items at about 30 weeks plus. We all know that some babies like to surprise us and arrive early! Also, it gives you a chance to shop around in the sales for items that you’re not likely to use again. For me, in the later stages of pregnancy, it’s more difficult to shop around when carrying extra weight!
Where to Leave Your Bag
Should we discuss this? Yes, I do think its important as if I didn’t leave my bag in an obvious place, I don’t personally think my other half would ever have found it. It’s always advised to leave your bag near the door. Just in case you can’t take it yourself to hospital, leave it in an obvious accessible place.
Wishing all mums to be good luck. I hope you feel better prepared as I did.
Tiabah x x