If you are in the final stage of your pregnancy, it is important to have a hospital bag ready in case of early labor. Keep in mind that hospital policies vary on what you can bring in; be sure to check before packing your bag!
- Comforts from Home: You may want to pack your own pillows and possibly your favorite throw blanket to make you feel more at home. You should think about bringing items from home in any color other than white to keep them distinguishable from hospital items.
- Clothing Items: For the early stages of labor, you will need a robe or dressing gown for walking the corridors, as well as in the post partum area. You will want backless slippers to be able to slip on and off as well as a comfy pair of socks. During labor, you will probably choose to utilize a gown provided to you by the hospital as it it likely to get messy and this will protect your own items in the birth process. Do not forget to pack a going home outfit. Choose something comfortable and loose fitting.
- For Baby: Bring a going home outfit for your new little one, as well as booties and a hat and a couple of blankets. The infant blankets provided for your use in the hospital belong to the hospital and are not available for your use on your ride home. You will need a car seat for the ride home as well as a small diaper bag with a few of the essential items: newborn diapers, wipes, etc. Be sure you know how to adjust the straps on your car seat and how it is strapped into your car prior to bringing it to the hospital.
- Essentials: Health insurance card, lip balm, hairbands or clips, nursing bras, and toiletries such as toothpaste, lotion, hairbrush, etc. are all essential to your hospital stay.
- Other: Bring some things help pass the time and keep you relaxed, like an iPod packed with music, a book, or some of your favorite celeb magazines.
- For Your Birthing Partner: Your birthing partner will want to have some basics, such as a change of clothing, toiletries and larger snacks so that they don’t have to travel to the vending machine. They will also want to have a camera, their phone with all the necessary contacts, phone charger, and calling card so that you can share the news when your little one arrives. In order to help you, they will want to bring a watch with a second hand and massage oil or lotion.
Feel free to pack anything else that you feel would make your labor and delivery process the most comfortable. It is never too early to pack your emergency bag. It is recommended to do so by 38 weeks into your pregnancy – you cannot be too prepared!