Thirteen things to bring in your hospital bag
If you are planning to have a hospital birth, then it is a good idea to start packing 4-5 weeks in advance to ensure you have plenty of time to plan your hospital bag essential items list. This will allow you to prepare everything you need without stressing out and making urgent last minute trips to the store.
Those thirteen items will make your hospital birth experience more comfortable and smooth knowing you have the things you need at hand when you need them:
- Birth plan: make sure you draft your birth plan well in advance. Keep it short and to the point. Make sure it is written clearly providing concise and specific details about your particular wishes.
- Your birthing homeopathy kit. There are a number of birthing kits available for purchase on line or you can always talk to your family homeopath for putting one together for you. My next blog entry will be dedicated to explaining the benefits of having a homeopathic kit on hand and will give list of the most common homeopathic remedies in a birthing kit. Having well trained professional medical crew available should the need arise is always a comforting idea. Having a homeopathic kit on hand will prove indispensable and will make your birthing experience tenfold easier and smoother. Arnica and Calendula are the absolute must. Make sure you use alcohol free products for topical application or if using mother tinctures, ensure those are diluted into milder solutions to avoid irritation of affected parts.
- Bring a nightgown. Make sure you pack a comfortable and soft (cotton is best) nightgown. I always find that wearing your own gown feels much better than borrowing one from the hospital. Bring an extra one if you need to change.
- Underwear and sanitary pads. You can never have enough of those. You will need them after the delivery. Most hospitals provide heavy duty sanitary pads. Those are great, but make sure you bring an extra package just in case. Some women experience bladder control issues. It might not be a bad idea to pack a few adult diapers. There is no shame in using those, but you will be grateful for adding them on your hospital bag list.
- Nursing bras and other nursing essentials. A comfortable nursing bra is going to become a big part of your everyday if you choose to breastfeed your little one, which is always the best choice for you and your baby. I will discuss more in depth the benefits nursing has for you and your newborn in a separate post. For now, all we need to focus on is making sure you have what it takes during those first few days in the hospital. Again, a comfortable nursing bra, lanolin (for sore nipples, if needed), homeopathic remedies for lactation (if needed), nursing pads and lots of patience and love will get you through those first hours with your little bundle of joy.
- Warm socks and a sweater. Hospitals can be a bit chilly as they are generally well air conditioned. Giving birth is the most natural process, but is is a big challenge and your body will experience a certain degree of shock. It is a good idea to pack an exrta pair of warm socks and a sweater in case you feel a bit chilled. Keeping warm will help you relax and get the so much needed sleep you have been craving for weeks.
- Toiletries. Those are generally one of the easiest things to pack. As long as you have your toothbrush and paste, a hair brush, some basic make up and I would add a mild veggie soap bar – that’s all you need.
- Baby outfits. Do not overpack. Bringing 2-3 outfits is probably plenty. Make sure you bring warm clothes and a blanket for the little one. Keep in mind their little bodies are still adjusting to the world outside and making sure they are warm will bring them extra comfort.
- Car seat. Hospitals today have certain safety requirements and one of them is a car seat for the little one. Make sure you bring your baby’s car seat to the hospital for the day he/she will make that first trip home.
- Camera. Bring a camera to capture those precious first moments when baby is born. You will love looking back at them from time to time. They make a lovely keepsake and preserves those unforgettable memories for generations to come.
- Ipod. Listening to music can help you relax and improve the quality of your sleep. It is a good idea to bring an audio device containing your favourite tunes. It certainly won’t harm if you do.
- Clothes for daddy. Make sure you leave some room for clothes and toiletries for your partner. He will need those if f he is staying with you at the hospital.
- Snacks. You might not feel like eating and drinking while in labour, but it is likely your appetite will come back shortly after the big feat. It is a good idea to bring some healthy snacks and refreshments for yourself and your partner.
Birthing is a challenging task, but the reward at the end of it is so much worth it! Keep calm, stay positive and focused. Seek help from your partner, family and friends. It always helps when our closest people are there for us to give us help and support and sometimes, just to tell us that everything is going to be fine…
Written by Zara Bourgeois, DIHom(pact.)