You don’t know when your water is going to break and you are going to have to rush to the hospital. When your expected date of delivery is coming around, it is a good idea to have a small bag with the necessary things ready to go. If not this, then you can at least have a list of items ready to quickly throw in a bag when you have to rush to the hospital.
Most of the times, the mother isn’t the one to pack the bag on this particular day, it is usually the father or some other family member. Having a list handy will help them figure out what all needs to be delivered to the hospital.
Most couples miss out on the fact that you do not just pack for the mother, but for the baby as well, and for your partner if they are going to be keeping you company in the hospital. While no one wants to leave out essentials, it is important to remember the travel rule of packing light. It is advisable to pack a bag during the 37th or the 38th week. If, however, the mother has a high risk of pregnancy or a chance of going early into labor, then you can start packing somewhere around the 35th week.
It is important to contact your hospital and find out what all they provide. You don’t want to be under the assumption that the hospital provides a particular thing that it actually does not and then have to run around at the last moment. At the same time, you also don’t want to carry extra stuff.
While C-sections require the mother and the baby to stay in the hospital for three to four days, normal deliveries usually discharge the pair within one or two days. So, pack accordingly. For ease, let us classify the list into two parts – essential items and optional ones.
Photo ID proof, insurance documents, hospital forms, birth plans (if you have opted for any), eyeglasses (if you have power), cell phone, charger, 2-3 pairs of warm non skid socks and a pair of slippers, a warm sweater or robe, lip balm and some moisturizer, headband or rubber bands, sugar-free candy to keep your mouth moist during labor (sugar will make you feel thirsty), warm blanket, a pair of baby clothes, non-perishable snacks and a little cash, 2 maternity bras or nursing pads, toiletries and some light clothing.
Light reading material, earphones, bath towel, pillow, few pairs of disposable maternity underwear, regular prescription medicines (the hospital will take care of these anyway), breastfeeding pillow and a camera.
A major portion of the items that you need to pack in your hospital bag are covered in the above list, but do not forget to take some advice from someone who has already been through the process. They might know a thing or two that is extremely important, which most people might be prone to forgetting.