Do you have a few more weeks till your due date? Have you already prepared your hospital bag? Is your checklist too long to fit everything in your hospital bag? Or are you cramming or panicking because you think you don’t have enough stuff prepared?
When I became pregnant with my first child, I was so sure that my baby will reach her 38th week. I had this gut feeling that she will come out during her term. And I also had this feeling that if I were to pack my hospital bag before my 38th week, she might arrive before her term.
Although that thinking is wrong because every pregnancy is unique and babies are delivered in their own time, I say that preparing your hospital bag as early as 28 weeks is totally normal and reasonable.
So when is the right time to prepare your hospital bag?
It is best to plan for your hospital bag at the end of your 2nd trimester or on your 27th week, then start to purchase stuff during your 28th week or at the start of your 3rd trimester.
However, it will still depend on you when you should start preparing for your hospital bag. I say, listen to your gut feeling and talk to your baby. Yes, talk to your baby. Even though they are still in the womb, I believe that parents, especially moms, already have a connection with their babies at a very early age.
What should you include in your hospital bag checklist?
It is best to check with the hospital where you are delivering the baby if they have instructions on what to bring for your labor and delivery. When I started preparing for my hospital bag, I checked the hospital’s website and found out that they have the list of what I should prepare and what the hospital can provide. You may also ask your doctor or midwife about what you can include in your hospital bag.
You can also ask your midwife or doctor if labor partners are allowed in the labor and delivery room. Most hospitals allow partners but some do not. However, if it is allowed, ask how many labor partners can you bring. I was fortunate enough to have both my husband and mom during the whole labor and delivery process.
Preparing For Both C-Section and Vaginal Delivery
Every pregnant woman has this preconceived idea of what their ideal delivery would be like. During the start of my pregnancy, I was convinced that I am going to deliver the baby vaginally. However, during the last weeks of my third trimester, I found out that my baby is in breech position. Although delivering the baby vaginally was still an option, I was left with a 50-50% chance of having a C-section. Despite the circumstances, I was able to deliver the baby vaginally.
So it is better to prepare for both types of delivering the baby. Whether a C-section or a vaginal delivery. I have listed below the essential needs for your hospital bag and what you should prepare.
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Essentials for Mommas:
- Maternity health card or documents the hospital requires
- Medications that you regularly take
- Your own clothes (if you don’t plan to wear hospital gowns)
- Your going-home clothes
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, lotion, moisturizer)
- lip balm
- comfortable slippers
- incontinence pads/adult diapers (if the hospital will not provide)
- hand sanitizer
- comb and hair ties or clips
- Postpartum Belly Wrap🛒
If you plan on breastfeeding, I suggest that you bring the necessary items that will help you get started with breastfeeding. You’ll never know if you’re going to stay long or not in the hospital, so it is better to be prepared.
When I gave birth, we stayed in the hospital for 4 days. I started breastfeeding on the very first day after I gave birth. And with my baby’s very strong sucking reflex, my nipples were already cracked by day two. And, of course, it was my first time. I couldn’t breastfeed her long enough because it was too painful. I couldn’t satisfy her, so we asked for formula milk.
By day four, my milk started coming. It was painful, warm, heavy, and very uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I did not have a pump with me. Although I was still able to breastfeed my baby, my breast still felt tender and full. I waited the whole day until we got out of the hospital to buy a breast pump.
So here is my list of items you can bring to the hospital to help you get started with breastfeeding.
- Breast Pump🛒 ( I would suggest a manual breast pump if you are pumping for the first time)
- Nursing Bra🛒
- Nursing Pads🛒
- Nipple Shield🛒
- Nipple cream
- Nursing Pillow🛒
- Water bottle (hydration is necessary when breastfeeding)
Other essential items that you may bring:
- Journal (to personally document your process of giving birth)
Other things that may help you get through labor:
- Relaxing music (a portable bluetooth speaker)
- A familiar pillow you love from your own home
- Essential oil🛒 or scent that help you relax
- Items or pictures that gives you strength or courage
- Magazines and books
For your labor partner/s:
- comfortable clothes
- food or snacks
For your baby:
- Baby Car Seat🛒
- Your baby’s going home clothes
- diapers & wet wipes
- Baby Blanket🛒
- Swaddle Wrap/Muslin Blankets🛒
- cap, socks, and mittens
Watch my youtube video about what I prepared for my hospital bag. This video was taken before I gave birth to my first child.
So what have you prepared in your hospital bag that is not my list? Comment on the section below. 🙂