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Checklist: What To Pack for the Hospital or Birth Centre

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Checklist: What To Pack for the Hospital or Birth Centre

At 8 months pregnant, you’re close to giving birth and this is when you want to organize. Small details such as getting the night bag together for the hospital or birth centre will leave you feeling much more relaxed when the time comes. Anytime after eight months, you could go into labor — so pack two small bags in preparation.

One bag should contain all you need during labor while the other should have items for after giving birth. Considerations such as what you may need in the car as you drive to the hospital should also be taken. A towel you can dispose of later (along with a garbage bag) may prevent a major mess you’ll have to clean up later. A lot of advice has been given about what you should bring but the one unanimous items was disposable underpants.

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What to Pack for Giving Birth

  1. Driver’s license or other picture ID, insurance card and any other necessary hospital paperwork
  2. Birth plan if applicable (if you’ve decided to communicate what you expect/prefer)
  3. Glasses if you wear them (instead of your contact lenses)
  4. Your own bathrobe, slippers, pillow and some music that relaxes you
  5. A picture or personal items (for reassurance)

What Your Partner or Labor Coach Should Pack

  1. A means to capture your giving birth, either a camera or video camera.
  2. Snacks and entertainment (book, personal device)
  3. Money for parking or change for vending machines
  4. A bathing suit (in the event you want to take a shower or bath during labor)

Post Delivery

  1. A pair of fresh pajamas
  2. Cell phone (to call family and friends about the news)
  3. Favorite healthy snacks that give you energy
  4. Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, a brush, hair band or barrettes
  5. Comfortable bra
  6. Breast pads (to absorb leaks)
  7. Maternity underpants
  8. Your own book on newborn care
  9. A journal with a pen (in order to track anything important — such as information from nurses or doctors, memories of the baby’s first moments, etc.)
  10. An outfit to wear for the way home

Essentials to Pack for Your Baby

  1. A pre-installed car seat. It should be rear facing and installed long beforehand. Make sure you and your partner know how to buckle the baby in properly.
  2. An outfit for your baby to go home in. It should be a full baby suit with feet; otherwise, ensure you have booties and a soft cap if it’s a cool day.
  3. A receiving blanket. The hospital will provide you a blanket but you may want to bring your own.
  4. Baby nail clippers or an emery board

Things You Should NOT Bring

  1. Valuables or excessive cash
  2. Jewelry (Keep yourself as basic as possible.)
  3. Any medications or vitamins you’ve been taking (unless the doctor feels it’s necessary during your stay)
  4. Diapers (They’re not necessary as they are provided at the hospital)
  5. A breast pump (Again, not necessary as the hospital provides this)

Mom Advice

When moms were asked what essential items they brought for giving birth, some mentioned bringing a “baby book”. While the hospital takes the footprints of your baby for the birth certificate, they can use the ink to make a print in your book. Nipple cream is one thing you’re going to need to start using on day one of breastfeeding. Wear flipflops you won’t mind throwing away, some women said they didn’t have faith in the cleanliness of the floors. It’s essential that you’re comfortable because when the baby decides to come out isn’t really in your hands  (unless you’ve scheduled a c-section, of course). If you’ve chosen to have a natural birth, you should prepare for days in the hospital.

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Your time will be much more relaxed and enjoyable if you’ve got everything you and the baby need for the big event.

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