… And Then Leave It By The Door
It doesn’t matter how far along in your pregnancy you are – you can never be prepared too early. Just ask all those mums who went into premature labour and I guarantee they will agree with me.
For my first baby, I had my bag packed when I hit about 35 weeks – because I was CERTAIN that she was going to come early … that bag sat by the door for weeks (according to some calculations she was 2 weeks late, by other calculations she was a week early – according to me she certainly didn’t come fast enough! Particularly when I had a 24 hour labour to deal with). With my second baby, I just knew that he was going to come early because all 2nd babies come early – don’t they?! So I packed my bag at about 39 weeks along … and he arrived 2 days later (after another 24 hour labour).
So when is the right time to pack your hospital bag? You should really have your hospital bag all packed and ready to go by the time you hit 35 weeks. Keep it in the car you’ll be taking to the hospital or at the door ready to go no matter who is driving you.
You can use whatever type of bag you like, just choose one that is easy to access and find things in.
Don’t leave it to the very last minute… the last thing you want to be doing in between those horrible contractions is running around trying to find your oldest, loosest granny panties and maternity pads!
So what should you pack?
Items to Pack for Mother-to-be
Remember, you aren’t limited to 15 items, these are just key things that you really shouldn’t overlook.
You’ll need a nightdress, a dressing gown, slipper, and don’t forget comfortable clothes to wear home.
The Other Bits
You’ll also want to include breast pads, nursing bras, underwear (consider specific maternity underwear, it fits looser so it’s more comfortable after the trauma of giving birth).
You want to make sure there’s deodorant, a towel or two, everything you need for a shower, as well as your dental hygiene. If you want makeup then pack it, too, and don’t forget your hairbrush.
- Lip balm
Labour is hard work and chapped lips are the worst, so make sure you have lubrication handy for them.
Have your ID, hospital registration papers and a birthing plan in a separate wallet in your bag so it’s easy to access.
Whether you love your own pillow or there’s something else that you can’t live without- pack it!
Create a specific playlist for labour, or just bring a streaming device with you so you can play whatever you feel like hearing. Music can be seriously calming and can provide distraction from the pain of childbirth.
You could be in for a long wait, so snacks are a must (and don’t forget to include some for your partner, too). Bottles of water are helpful, too.
We live in a modern world and you will probably want to text, play games, or watch your favourite shows while you wait. So, make sure your phone and tablet are ready for their trip to the hospital and whatever you do, don’t forget the chargers! You’ll want to keep your battery fully charged.
It should be fully charged and in the hands of someone who is capable of capturing exactly what you want to be captured, so make sure you fully brief the “photographer”. If you don’t want any intimate shots make that perfectly clear. If no one can be trusted, maybe leave the camera to one side until it’s time to take pictures of the new arrival and the family reactions.
Whether it’s books or magazines when you get bored on technology you may want to rely on the more traditional forms of entertainment.
Items to Pack for Baby
Your baby will need to be swaddled on arrival, so be sure to have swaddle blankets packed and ready to roll.
You’ll be taking your baby home, so make sure you have the first outfit all ready for that trip home.
Yes, you will need a car-seat to take the baby home in with, that’s an easy one to forget since you walk in the hospital with no baby and walk out with a brand-new human being. You should also make sure you know how to properly install it in the car, so get practicing well in advance.
Items to Pack for Your Partner
Yes, it can be helpful for you to have your partner in the shower with you when you are mid-labour. They can soothe you and offer the necessary support.