As American writer Eda LeShan recognized, “A new baby is like the beginning of all things—wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.” Are you ready for the beginning of the next chapter of your life to arrive?
If you’re an expectant mother currently getting into childbirth checklist mode, use this brief guide on what to bring along so you can welcome your baby into the world safely and comfortably. Read on for a hospital bag checklist outlining what moms-to-be should pack for the big event.
Essential Medical and Identification Documents
When the time comes for the main event, nobody should be running around the house to find important documents. Be sure to have any necessary paperwork completed and organized in a folder in your bag. You should double-check with the hospital or birth center to determine if you need to bring additional documents or medical records along. Have your personal IDs and insurance cards close by or at the ready as your due date draws near.
Do you have a written out birth plan? If so, be sure to keep the document with your other paperwork. Better yet, make multiple copies for your chart, care provider, and birth team, with the critical components highlighted for reference.
Personal and Practical Must-Haves
Personal items are next up on the hospital bag checklist of what moms-to-be should pack for labor, delivery, and postpartum care. Think practically about necessary self-care, beauty, and hygiene products, including the following:
- Hair ties
- Face wipes
- Eye masks
- Ear plugs
Don’t forget about entertainment. Time crawls, even during labor. Besides your cell phone and a reliable charger, consider what else you may need electronic-wise. Packing a tablet, pair of headphones, or portable speaker can come in handy during long labor or extended time spent awake. Books and magazines are great alternatives to electronics. Don’t forget your favorite energizing snack!
Comfy Clothing and Apparel Items
Your choice of birthing apparel depends on your chosen location and care provider. Hospitals and birth centers traditionally provide gowns and socks to wear, but some moms-to-be bring their own. Clothing options also differ if you opt for soothing water-centered labor and delivery. If you would prefer a nightgown, choose one that’s loose, comfortable, and with short sleeves or no sleeves at all.
Don’t forget extra pairs of underwear and a good nursing bra. To feel comfortable and at home after the baby arrives, pack a bathrobe, pair of slippers, extra layers, and several outfits you can change in or out of easily. While moms-to-be can’t control or plan every detail of labor and delivery, the right items can make all the difference in comfort and security.