Wondering what are the absolute essentials you should take with you to the hospital?
I was in the hospital for 18 hours of labor and 48 hours of stay in the Maternity ward with my newborn occasionally in the Nursery.
The most important lesson I had learned was that the hospital did provide some of the stuff, but when I got back and checked my insurance claim, I noticed that they had charged me for a few items I did not expect (like pacifiers and nipple shield). My insurance company paid for a part of it and I paid the rest from my pocket.
So the bottom line here is to call the hospital and the insurance company beforehand so you know how much you will end up paying. Neither of the two companies can give you an exact dollar amount (which is of course understandable, as no one knows how your labor and delivery will go and what you will end of needing or using), but do insist on getting a ballpark for various scenarios (c-section versus vaginal delivery, 48-hour maternity and newborn stay, material costs, etc. )
ABOUT THE HOSPITAL
- Most hospitals will offer a facility tour before you deliver. Call ahead and schedule a Tour to familiarize yourself with the Check-in procedures, parking, Labor & Delivery room, Maternity room, Newborn nursery, etc.
- Most hospitals also have guest Wi-Fi access, so you can make use of it fully to send out your Birth announcements, pictures, etc.
- Bring some music along if you are interested.
- You could also bring your labor assist devices like birthing balls, bath tub, etc.
HOSPITAL BAG CHECKLIST
So here’s a list of items that helped me through my 18 hours of labor and 48 hours of stay with my newborn on the maternity ward. Do plan on packing LIGHT! You will be moved a couple of times during your stay, and it would help to have everything you need in just one bag so you don’t have to make multiple trips.
Download The One-Page Printable List Here And Print It And Use It As A Checklist To Check Off Items As Your Pack Your Bag!
- A quick cheat sheet with labor positions and breathing techniques
- Lip balm (very important!)
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, lotion, deodorant, hairbrush, toothbrush, face wash, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, refreshing Aloe Vera face wipes, Headband/rubber bands.
- Sanitary napkins for extra heavy flow (hospital may provide)
- A loose-fitting Nightgown and bathrobe
- Slippers/Non-skid Socks
- Nursing bra
- Breast pads (washable or disposable)
- Underwear (several pair)
- Sugar-free candy/lozenges
- A going-home outfit
- Note Pad – to write down any useful info/tips while you are there
Good to have
- Magazines to distract yourself in between contractions. You may be there for a while.
- Any prego or baby articles that you’d like to catch up on
- Relaxing music to listen to…
- Bath towel (Hospital will provide, but you can take yours with you if you like)
- Empty duffel bag (to bring home everything you get while you’re there)
Hospital generally provide (Call and check!)
- Sitz bath
- Witch hazel pads
- Perineal Cold Packs
- Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray
- Perineal Irrigation Bottle
FOR YOUR LABOR COMPANION:
These are all Good to Have’s!
- Snacks and drinks
- Cash for vending machines
- Blankets or throws if they’re staying the night with you.
- Stopwatch, or watch with a second hand for timing contractions (or just use a Contraction Timer app on your phone!)
- Phone list of contacts to announce birth to friends and family
- Cash Money for parking
- Camera with charged batteries & extras
- Books, magazines
- A Smartphone App or paper to track all your baby’s activities – feeding, sleeping, wet and poopy diapers, vaccinations etc.
- Going home outfit – a Onesie or side-snap shirt, mittens, socks and hat
- Receiving or swaddling blanket
- Baby shampoo or head to toe wash (you may not really use this the first few days since you’d mostly be giving him sponge baths)
- Diapers – I used Pampers Size 1 as that’s what the hospital used for my baby and I had no problems with it whatsoever
- Wipes (my hospital gave me disposable thick cotton wipes that I used by dipping in water – very useful for the first few hard meconium-filled poops)
- Washcloths to give him quick sponge baths if needed
- Baby book – for foot prints
- Car seat
Good to have
- Boppy nursing pillow
ITEMS FOR HOSPITAL STAFF
- Health plan insurance card
- Hospital admissions papers
- Pregnancy medical file; over-the-counter and prescription medication information
- Birth preferences
- Your pediatrician’s name and contact information