The next thing that tops every expecting woman’s mind besides labor & delivery is – what all I need to take with me to the hospital?
Yes.. it is always good to think of, plan & prepare a checklist for what all you need to pack in your hospital bag.
One can start doing this as early as they start their third trimester.
It is ideal to keep your maternity bag stocked up with all things needed even when you are just in your 7th month of pregnancy, so that whenever an unexpected event or emergency arises, you are all set to handle it & your parents or hubby is not left to squabbling for things at the rush hour!
This post aims to help you prepare a checklist for your maternity bag.
Any maternity bag has two set of things – one for the mom & another for the newborn.
Let us see a simple checklist for each of these in this post, that is purely out of my personal experience. This is the list I prepared myself & packed in my maternity bag! 🙂
MATERNITY BAG CHECKLIST – FOR MOM
1. MEDICAL RECORDS
The most important thing of all! Keep all your pregnancy related records, previous medical history, blood test reports & allergy related information collated in one file to serve as a ready reckoner.
Everytime you come back after your regular check up in the hospital, ensure you keep it inside the maternity bag – to avoid missing it when you are in labor & rushing to the hospital.
2. FOOD/MEDICINAL SUPPLEMENTS & OTHER MEDICINES
It is ideal to carry all medicines, drugs & supplements you are taking during your pregnancy along with you in your hospital bag.
Doctors might advise you to continue some medicines until you are in active labor, like your vitamin supplements, thyoid & insulin doses if you have gestational diabetes.
3. NURSING WEAR (Gowns/Bras/Underwear)
Stock up on a good number of nursing or maternity gowns that are loose fitting. Preferably in cotton. These are not only ideal for nursing but also let your skin breath and easy to wash & maintain as well.
Nursing bras are also absolutely essential. Buy a bra that is one cup size bigger than what you are actually using now, again preferably in cotton. These help to keep your breasts in shape from sagging, at the same time offering provision to nurse the baby easily.
Pack atleast 10 panties in your bag.. with all the bleeding, other post delivery issues or baby pee-ing, you might want to change them frequently.
4. SANITARY PADS
Absolutely essential – be it normal or a c-section delivery! Buy XL or XXL sizes cause they soak more & are bigger in size as well, to offer comfort and keep you free from the tension of staining.
5. A PAIR OF SLIPPERS
Casual chappals – to walk around in the labor room or in your private room after delivery. Make sure these are not slippery and offer good comfort.
It might sound weird – but its good to carry around a pair of socks atleast, if you are one of those types who tend to catch cold easily.
7. BREAST PADS
These might come handy and save you from embarassment, when you are leaking breast milk.
Both disposable & reusable breast pads are available in the market. Choose the one that suits your requirement.
Buy a smaller pack only to keep in the hospital bag for now. You can always buy them if you need more from any local pharmacy.
8. TOWELS & NAPKINS
A bath towel for yourself and some hand towels might come handy.
These days doctors suggest you to do all activities normally, including taking a bath – in case you had a normal delivery.
9. THERMOS FLASK
Required for you to save some soups or beverages until you go into active labor & later to store hot water for the newborn.
10. MOBILE CHARGER
These days you can loiter around in the observation room casually socializing in your mobile. Don’t miss your mobile charger or you are left to get bored looking at the long curtains of the hospital.
Plus mobile phones offer a welcome distraction of not bothering too much about the pain & having a light chat & update with families & friends about your ‘maternal’ status! 😀
If you are into reading books, pack some light novels or magazines to while away time during labor. This again helps your brave the pain without having to bother much about it.
12. NIPPLE CREAM
You might need this in a day or two after you have delivered. You might find it painful of all the sucking and nibbling that’s happening to your nipples all of a sudden multiple times a day.
13. TOILETRIES POUCH
This is another essential being a woman. The toiletries pouch in itself has a mini checklist including the things below –
– Toothpaste & brush
– Mirror & hair comb
– Face wash
– Hand soap & sanitizer
– Wet wipes
– Lip balm
– Body lotion/Face cream
– Hair band/clip
MATERNITY BAG CHECKLIST – FOR NEWBORN
1. BABY RECEIVING TOWEL
You will need this as soon as the newborn is washed, to wrap it up warmly in a cozy towel.
2. BABY BLANKET
Handful of baby blankets to help keep the baby warm throughout the day & keep it protected head to toe.
3. SOCKS & MITTENS
Again to keep them warm & prevent them from scratching their face.
4. INFANT CLOTHES
Its a tradition in most Indian households to not put on brand new clothes on a just-born.
If its the case in your family. start collecting used clothes in good condition for your hospital bag from relatives and friends who have a toddler already. They would be more than happy to help you.
You can always buy new clothes for the baby, and put them on when its okay with your family.
Though most hospitals provide diapers throughout your stay in the hospital for the newborn, its good to keep your own handy.
Don’t buy them in bulk and store – some diapers may not suit the baby’s sensitive skin, so its gonna be a trial & error method with it.
6. BABY WIPES
Pack both wet & dry wipes. Buy wet wipes that are specifically created & mentioned for ‘newborn’ or ‘suitable from birth’.
Buy fragrance free wipes only, as fragrance can irritate the baby’s sensitive skin.
7. FEEDING BOTTLES
It might take some time for your body to start producing a regular supply of milk & your infant needs may not be fulfilled with just your breast milk.
You also never know how good your milk produce is going to be. It is always good to plan for exigencies and keep a couple of feeding bottles ready with you.
In case your doctor, suggests to feed infant formula for your precious one, you know how to feed it! 🙂
8. BABY PRODUCTS POUCH
Baby products are one of the most important things to go into your bag. You might need one as soon as the baby is out and taken for washing.
Would suggest to pack travel sizes only in your maternity bag – so that they don’t occupy space in your already bulging bag & also you won’t be at loss if the product didn’t suit the baby.
Products to pack for the baby include –
– Baby soap or body wash
– Baby oil
– Diaper rash cream
– Body lotion
– Detergent specific to wash infant clothes
– Liquid cleanser (to wash feeding bottle, nipple, etc.)
These are exactly what I packed in my maternity bag! Hope you find this helpful while packing yours too! 😀
– A Crappy Mom!