When you go into labour, the last thing you want to think about is your hospital bag. Here’s what to include.
Once you reach the eight-month milestone, it’s a good idea to have your hospital bag packed and ready – you never know when you might go into labour. Here’s what you need to pack so that you’ll have everything you need before, during and after delivery.
Pack your ID book, medical aid card and any hospital paperwork (like pre-authorisation) you need. Some hospitals encourage you to do a pre-admission before labour, where you receive a hospital bag with basic supplies. Find out if your hospital does this and get a list of what they include so that you do not bring unnecessary items. If you’ve written a birthing plan, bring copies for the hospital staff.
Bring your cell phone and camera with their chargers or batteries. Pack a list of all the people to phone and their telephone numbers, and share this with your partner or a close family member, so you don’t have to worry about notifying anyone.
Find items that will soothe you in the event of both natural and C-section births. Things like music, your favourite snacks, a water bottle, a picture to focus on and magazines or books will help you relax during the labour process.
Pack a few gifts like games and treats if you have older children who will be meeting the new baby for the first time – these can be gifts from the baby to their new sibling.
Think of all the toiletries you will need for your hospital stay. Remember your toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, comb, hairbrush, hair band, deodorant, etc. You can pack mini versions of everything if you like, as you will only need a few days worth of toiletries.
Bring eyeglasses if you need them – even if you wear contact lenses. You may find glasses more comfortable in hospital.
You will need comfortable clothes like T-shirts, socks, slippers, pretty pyjamas and a robe. The looser and lighter the garments, the better. Also remember to pack a nursing bra and comfortable underwear. No need to look sexy for your hospital stay!
Remember to pack some clothes for going home. You will still have a belly (it doesn’t disappear overnight) so maternity wear will probably be most comfortable.
Bring nipple cream and disposable breast pads as well as sanitary pads for after the delivery.
Bring lip balm for dry lips during and after labour – it’s a small detail, but one that can make you feel a little more together.
These items will help to make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible. Is there anything else you want to pack into your hospital bag?