Packing Your Hospital Bag
- Your passport, your insurance card, and any hospital paperwork you need
- Your birth plan, if you have one
- Your eyeglasses if you have any (Even if you usually wear contact lenses, you may not want to deal with them while you're in the hospital.
- Your toiletries: Pack the usual, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, a brush or comb, moisturizer, makeup, something to hold your hair. You may also want to pack your soap, shampoo and conditioner.
- A gown (this is optional as most hospitals provide their own), slippers, bathrobe and socks. Slippers and a bathrobe may come in handy when you're walking around during the early stages of labor.
- Socks and slippers
- Whatever will help you relax. Ideas: your iPad, iPhone, iPod etc., some Dvds, a pillow that you like, some easy reading material (think magazines). Basically, anything that you can find reassuring.
- Print off and bring our pregnancy and birth vocabulary to make sure nothing gets lost in translations [link here]
For your partner
- A camera or video camera with batteries, charger, and memory card. Make sure everything is charged and ready to go! Also, you may want to let everybody know about your preference about pictures during labor – some women like every single detail to be documented, other women prefer not to. Let your partner know what you feel comfortable with.
- Comfortable shoes and a few changes of comfortable clothes
- Snacks and something to read
- Passport, cash, credit card, copies of all the hospital documents
- A nightgown or two (make sure they are breast-feeding friendly. Most Hospitals provide gowns for you to use after giving birth but you will be eager to wear your own after some time!
- Comfortable underwear – you may be want to consider getting some disposable underwear for the first few days.
- Maternity pads for post-partum bleeding
- If you plan to breast-feed:
- Nipple cream like lanolin (although as soon as your milk comes through squeeze some of that to help the area heal)
- Breast feeding bra
- If you don't plan to nurse:
- Bring sterilized bottles
- Bring your own formula (most hospitals provide but you may want to bring your own)
- Your bathrobe
- A pair of slippers. Again most hospitals will provide you with slippers, but you may want to bring your own.
- Your phone and charger
- If this is not your first child, bring with you some gifts for your older children from your new baby
- List of family and friends you want to announce the birth of your new baby
- Leave your pre-pregnancy jeans at home for another couple of months but bring something nice to look good on the photos
For the Baby
- A receiving blanket
- A few onesies/pyjamas
- A hat
- Mittens (babies have surprisingly long nails and can often hurt themselves)
- A fleece outfit if in winter
- Most hospitals will give you diapers etc. but just in case, of if you want to use your own brand, bring a few pieces of your own
- Baby toiletries, including diaper rash cream if you prefer to use your own
- Your stroller and baby car seat to bring the baby back home