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Friday, April 10, 2009

Pregnant? What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag!

This list is taken from one of my favorite websites, BabyCenter.com. I adapted it to reflect the items that I felt were necessary. Everyone has different needs, so keep that in mind if you think I left anything out :)

For labor

• A couple copies of your birth plan (if you have one).

• Your license/i.d., insurance card and any hospital paperwork you need.

• Your eyeglasses, if you need any. Even if you usually wear contacts, you'll probably need or want to take them out at some point during your stay.

• Toiletries. Include items you might want during labor and your postpartum stay, such as lip balm, a toothbrush and toothpaste, body spray, deodorant, a brush and comb, and makeup, if it's important to you. Hospitals will have soap, shampoo, and lotion, but you might prefer your own brands. Don't forget a hair band and barrettes, if you think you might want them.

• A bathrobe, slippers, and a pair of socks. Hospitals provide gowns for you to use during labor and afterward, but most will allow you to wear your own clothes if you prefer. Choose something loose and comfortable that you don't mind getting ruined.

• Something light to read, if you're so inclined. (This might be especially helpful if you're heading to the hospital to be induced and might be there quite a while before you have any serious contractions to deal with.)

*I recommend trashy gossip magazines and The Modern Girls Guide To Motherhood by Jane Buckingham. It's full of tips, tricks, advice and life lessons for the modern day mama. Another good (and hysterically honest) book is Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy.

• A massage tool (tennis ball, rolling pin, etc), a fan, spray bottle for water, music, a body pillow, whatever you need to help you relax. If you do bring your own pillow, be sure to use a patterned or colorful pillowcase so it doesn't get mixed up with the hospital's.

For your partner/labor coach

• Money for parking and change for vending machines.

• A few basic toiletries, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant.

• A change of clothes.

• Some snacks and something to read during the early stages.

• A camera/video camera with memory card and batteries (or film or tape). Someone has to document the big event! (Note: Not all hospitals allow videotaping of the birth itself, but there's usually no rule against taping during labor or after the birth.)


• A sports bra/nursing bra, and breast pads.

• A going-home outfit. Bring something roomy and easy to get into (believe it or not, you'll probably still look 5 or 6 months pregnant ) — along with a pair of flat shoes. The last thing you'll be worrying about when you go home is whether your outfit is fashionable.

For your baby

• An infant car seat. You can't drive your baby home without one! In fact, you'll want to have the seat properly installed ahead of time, and you'll want to know exactly how to correctly buckle in your baby. The nurse who walks you out to your car will help you if necessary.

• A going-home outfit (one-piece stretchy outfits are easiest) and a snowsuit if it's very cold. Include a pair of socks or booties if the outfit doesn't have feet.

• Baby nail clippers or emery board. "The hospital where my son was born didn't supply clippers for fear of liability, and as a result my son gouged his face before he was 12 hours old," says Jen Morin of Vancouver, British Columbia.

• Your baby book for his/her first footprints.

*The nurse will give you a pair of mesh underwear (sexy!), plenty of pads and a peri bottle for...well, you'll find out. So don't worry about bringing any of those things.
**Your hospital will also provide you with plenty of diapers, wipes, & formula for your new baby. They will also give you pacifiers and an aspirator (bulb syringe). Make sure to take home as much "free" stuff as possible! They don't re-use those items for other patients, so if it's in your room, it's fair game! I took home 3 pacifiers, about 30 diapers and 40 oz of formula. Just don't steal any linens, pillows or blankets!