9 things your hospital bag checklist must have while preparing for labor

So you’ve started packing for the D-Day! It’s your 34th week and you expect to pop anytime soon. You can’t wait to get done with this now! All that glow-show is not keeping you that perky anymore. You start preparing your hospital bag checklist, and so, need to start shopping.

Your shopping list contains a new set of clothes for baby, a new set of booties for baby, feeding bottle, and the list goes on…The mother sees the list and gasps!!! We NEVER buy clothes and things for the baby before the child is born – it’s a bad sign.

And feeding bottle? Whatever are your boobs for?! If you are going to buy things for your infant now, then ensure you wash the new clothes to get rid of all the starch and dust it has gathered so far. Pack them away neatly and tell your spouse or the family member on hospital duty, so they bring the clothes along at the right juncture.

If you are sensitive and prefer not to buy prior to the baby being born, identify what you would like to have from the shop, with your spouse in tow, so that he can buy them after the arrival. Also, get a pair or two of used baby clothes from a close friend or relative that your child can wear.

The other essentials you may want to consider to obtain for your infant baby are swaddling sheets, warm blankets, mittens, warm caps, a barricaded bed, sheets for the mattress, a baby pillow, nail trimmers, and some baby Oils, Creams, Shampoo, Body Wash and bathing tub.

Do keep in mind that you choose wisely since your baby’s skin is very delicate and not all products may suit the tender skin. Also, a few things have different models – choose what suits your style of usage. E.g. a nail cutter vs nail scissors.

And so, you start crossing off items from the list… but hey, now there is almost nothing left on your list.

After having two of them now, here are some real practical tips. You can do all the planning you want, but when the baby decides to come, the only thing you can feel or remember is the pain.

After the baby is out, the only thing you are trying to handle is the stitches, umpteen visits into your room by nurses, doctors and friends and above all, getting your baby to latch on and get going the supply-demand story of milk. If you can get a few minutes off from gazing in awestruck wonder at your baby’s face, then you will definitely be napping.

Let’s make a list for you since your needs are more predictable.

First things first:

What you need while you are in labour:

  1. Your Doctor loves you and has been very closely engaged with you throughout your pregnancy. But let’s face it, your Doctor has had at least 10 deliveries in the past 3 days, and in all possibility, will need to refresh his/her memory. Keep in handy all hospital paperwork, reports of tests of yourself and baby.
  2. Are you using your insurance? If yes, ensure you have your insurance details ready. The last thing you need to do is have a discussion at the door of your delivery room whether or not you can be wheeled in!
  3. Are you storing your child’s stem cells? If yes, the box given to you when you signed up needs to be ready. If you have forgotten – don’t panic! Just call your stem cell storage company rep and ask them to be there with an extra box. Oh yes, of course – don’t forget to give this person’s number to your doctor and have it on speed dial too. When you get your labour pains, you need to call two people straight away — your doctor and the stem cell person.
  4. Now — taking pictures and video recording the whole event is what spouses generally do — but make sure you have told him NEVER to ask you to smile when you are in labour!! Mine did! And when I saw the video later, it looked more like I was constipated! So, keep in handy your camera or phone to record — and oh yes. Make sure the batteries are fully charged, and carry along the chargers. You never know how long you are going to take to finally pop!
  5. After you have had your baby, but yet in the hospital
  6. Although most hospitals provide feeding gowns for as long as you are there, once you get home, you won’t have the time to shop. So definitely buy something comfortable, yet presentable, like loose shirts or blouses (open all the way in the front) or loose t-shirts. If you are going to wear anything lower than your hips, make sure it has a really long front opening. I personally found that those nightgowns with the zippers on two sides were very unreasonable.
  7. And very comfortable nursing bras…Get a cup size bigger than your current cup size to allow for the milk glands filling up.
  8. When I went into labour, I ensured my hospital was so far off that I didn’t have anyone wanting to visit me! Instead, the hospital staff were very kind to arrange a nice pedicure for me. However, if you are one of those who expects to see a bunch of relatives and friends pop in with gifts, please warn them not to bring flowers. Carry enough large bags along to fill with the gifts they bring.
  9. Comfortable slippers to wear in your room, your favourite music with a soft portable speaker, some nice non-allergic cream, your toiletries, eyeglasses (if you wear them) and yes – lip balm! Try out the Body Cream, Shampoo, Massage oil from MamaEarth. It says it’s for babies, but works wonders for you too – trust me! The best thing is, they are all non-toxic and safe for you during this delicate period.
  10. Keep some cash in your bag – but not too much – just in case you need to get something urgently.
  11. So there you go, follow this list while packing for your hospital stay; and you can’t go wrong, because as they say “(S)he who is well-prepared, has won half the battle!”. For the other half of the battle — don’t fret, there’s a lovely bundle of joy waiting on the other side

Image credits: Marie Charlotte,  Copyright info (c) Marie Charlotte Yao/Macha.Me

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