Packing The Hospital Bag

I lived out of hotels and rental cars for a year and a half for work and I traveled to Ireland for an entire week on a vacation with only my carry-on. The hospital bag did not concern me. This would be a shorter trip of a mere 2 days, and the only thing exiting terminal V would be a single passenger.

At the hospital, meals are cooked for me, there is free WiFi, and a new life experience. Let’s do this…!

I created a “Labor Onset Checklist” and taped it to our front door. It includes items that cannot be packed until the last minute (toothbrush, etc), checking the traffic, feeding our dog, calling our friends who agreed to dog-sit, collecting the electronics and chargers, and sending our bosses an e-mail.

The goal is to help us remember the things we wanted to do and hopefully provide some guidance to avoid a good ol’ fashioned Hollywood birthin’ panic.

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Creating the labor onset list also helped eliminate a few things that seemed like really awesome ideas… until we ended up with an unruly list, and we only wanted a 1-page, 20-point font bullet list. Time to cut, cut, cut.

Here is what made it in my bag:

Non-Birthing Items

  • Two canvas shopping bags:
    — for dirty clothes
    — to carry items the hospital sends us home with
  • Health Insurance and ID Cards
  • The electronics and their chargers (camera, cell, etc)
  • Breast pump in the trunk (just in case)
  • Waterproof liner…for the car seat (just in case)
  • Small “thank you” gifts for the birth team
  • A surprise gift for my husband 🙂

Birthing Items

I added this section after our positive positioning class, where we got to try a lot of relaxation tools and techniques—and our instructor told us which tools were not available at the hospital.

  • Massage tools (tennis balls, cold can of soda, etc)
  • Heating and cooling pads
  • Bean bag chair (in car, just in case)
  • Printout of positive positions

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For Mom

On our birth center tour a nurse said that the mom and baby could forgo everything (including prescription medications and clothes) as they would be provided. I… just cannot do that.

The birth

  • Snacks (light, easy to digest, honey sticks, crackers, broth etc)
  • Sports bra/bathing suit top, robe, a birth skirt (a robe-like skirt), slippers
  • Hair ties
  • Small speakers (or our white noise maker—a last-minute decision)
    .
    Some women get super scent (etc) when pregnant and bring aromatherapy candles to soothe themselves. I got super hearing, and want to drown out noisy distractions so I can focus.

The stay

  • 2 robes (the hospital recommended an outfit that was “easy access” and that is basically the definition of a robe)
  • Socks, loose pajama bottoms
  • A [nursing] bra… ya I’m wearing a bra… mah boobies are no joke.

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  • Flip flops, comfortable shoes
  • My fuzzy blanket

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  • Basic makeup (foundation, mascara, lip balm)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush/paste, deodorant, brush, prescription/OTC medications, eye care, lotions, showering and hair care products)

The road home

  • Two or three pads, granny panties
  • Comfortable, publicly-appropriate outfit
    ❤ maternity pants/skirt + a baggy shirt = one hot postpartum mess ❤

For Appa (Dad)

While our hospital feeds the support person, they were pretty blunt that the health/comfort of the support person was not exactly a top priority. Which makes sense I suppose, but is a good indication that the support person needs to be remembered when putting together the hospital bag!

The birth

  • Snacks (protein, favorites, etc)
  • Swimming trucks/flip flops (even for non-tub births, showers or a tub can be used for comfort during labor)
  • (Ideally will be in a comfortable outfit when going to the hospital)

The stay

  • Normal pillow and a blanket (the hospitals accommodation for the support person is lacking)
  • Bed clothes, light jacket/sweater, socks and underwear
  • Change of clothes
  • Toiletries (toothbrush/paste, deodorant, brush, prescription/OTC medications, eye care, lotions, showering and hair care products)

For Baby

Baby will get everything from the hospital, while you are there.

The road home

  • Cute “going-home” outfit ❤
  • Filled diaper bag (diapers, wipes, changing pad, plastic disposable bags, extra onesies, blanket, swaddling blanket, hat, mittens)
  • Inspected, installed car seat
  • Full belly
Suggestions I found in a booklet that was given during a class:
  • Address book with phone numbers
  • Calling Card
  • Telephone Credit Card
  • a Tub
  • Camera and film

670px-A-1_frame_counter_332If you know what this is, your doctor may have also recommended prenatal screening due to your advanced maternal age—like me 😛

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