Packing your hospital bag is a huge milestone during pregnancy, marking one of the last hurdles in the race to the big day. Even if you are not planning a hospital birth, you may need to go unexpectedly, so experts recommend having everything packed up by your 35th or 36th week.
We scoured the baby boards and forums – even asked some of our nurses – to find the items people felt were missing from most packing lists.
Some must-haves to remember when packing your hospital bags:
- Lip Gloss: Between labor breathing and air conditioning, your lips are going to need extra protection to avoid annoying sores and cracks.
- Flip-Flops: It’s tempting to want to get back on your feet after you give birth, but swollen feet are common after childbirth. Many women are surprised to find that swelling throughout their body actually can increase right after pregnancy. Flip-flops offer a flexible fit and even more important – added comfort.
- “Granny Panties:” Maternity pads are bulky and you may need to change every hour or so for about two days. Bringing underwear you feel comfortable in can make a huge difference.
- Music: The average length of active labor can vary from six to 12 hours. Music can cure boredom and, depending on the album, even be relaxing. Perinatal nurses recommend creating a playlist in advance – pick songs that will keep you going!
- Chargers: This may seem like a no-brainer, but hospital bags are packed in advance. Unless you have tons of chargers lying around the house, chances are you will leave the one you need attached to the wall when you’re rushing out the door. Phones keep you entertained, connected, and they probably will take the first pictures you share with friends and family. Don’t leave home without the extra juice!
If you forget something, just remember… “Baby brain” is a real thing – so let your nurse know. Extras of some items may be on hand. For the rest, ask trusted friends or family to pop in with supplies – most people will be happy to help, especially if it means an early peek at your newborn.