I recommend packing your bags for hospital around the 36 week mark and leaving a note on the top with the things still to go in (i.e. the stuff you are still using day to day) so you can gather it up in a hurry if you have to. What should you pack for the hospital? Here is my list :
◻ Maternity pads – these will be your best friends for the next 6-8 weeks. Go to the ‘super’ section of the sanitary pad aisle…and keep going…then you will find the maternity pads. Yes, you WILL need them. I would ration 8 per day.
◻ BIG cotton underwear – to hold the maternity pads mentioned above. Buy a whole bunch of cheap ones (Kmart and Target are a great source) so you don’t mind throwing a few pairs out if you have to. Ration quota? 2-3 pairs per day of hospital stay. You don’t want to be messing around with trying to get laundry done while in hospital.
◻ Nursing bras – bring lots as there will be leakage in the beginning while getting the hang of things and once again you don’t want to worry about laundry. If you aren’t breastfeeding, still bring maternity bras as they will be more comfortable.
◻ Breast pads
◻ Bottle feeding – if you are going straight to bottle feeding check with the maternity ward re what you have to bring; some will provide the formula, sterilised bottles etc and others don’t.
◻ Any regular medications you take day to day – run these by a nurse or doctor when you check in.
◻ Comfy clothes for the days in hospital and for going home. Sorry, unless you are really genetically blessed, you will still be wearing your maternity clothes when you head home! Bring layers as hospitals are notorious for being ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’, never just right.
◻ Pyjamas– make sure they are easy access for breastfeeding. You will be walking around the ward all hours of the night, so I say treat yourself to some nice pyjamas so you look good and feel good about yourself too. I would throw in a bathrobe as well as it can get chilly at night.
◻ Socks – your feet can get cold in labour and at night.
◻ Shoes or slippers for walking around the ward.
◻ Phone, charger, contact list for the big birth announcement.
◻ Book/entertainment – you may not even touch it, but my baby took 26 hours to come out and I finished two books…now it takes me a month to finish one!!
◻ Camera – for the all-important just born, first bath etc happy snaps. If you are a budding videographer that wants to capture the big moment on film better check with the hospital first as most hospitals won’t allow video in the delivery room.
◻ Lip balm – I am addicted to Burt’s Bees. Yum.
◻ Hair ties
◻ Personal toiletries – include a shower cap because you will probably want a shower every day but a daily shampoo will not be high on the priority list! Also include a hair dryer for the days that you do want to wash your hair.
◻ Toilet paper – this isn’t a must have but for me a really nice to have. The hospital toilet paper I have experienced does NOT come from a packet with fluffy puppies on the side…as a matter of fact there may have been a picture of sandpaper on the side of the packet. Enough said!
◻ Any personal things you may want for labour – such as a birth plan, massage oil, CD’s/ i-pod if the delivery room has facilities to play them and you think that you will want music
◻ Your antenatal card
◻ Medicare card and private insurance details if applicable
◻ Going home outfit – if it is going to be cold bring a little hat for them but make sure you take it off when you get home and put them to sleep
◻ Wipes, nappies, clothes – some hospitals provide absolutely everything, others don’t. Double check with your maternity ward re what you have to provide for baby, if anything.
◻ Baby capsule installed in car – you can’t leave the hospital without one.
◻ Board shorts/swimmers for partner in case they get in shower/tub with you during labour.
Have I missed anything? Any other must haves or nice to haves you can think of?
Suzanne Murphy is the mum of a two year old and owner of Baby Butler. Baby
Butler is an organiser for busy parents to be, helping you take the
guesswork and extra expense out of preparing for your new baby. Visit Baby