You’ve probably heard about ‘the bag’ that everybody has when heading to the hospital when labour starts, but what’s in it? Here’s the lowdown of what you require, and why you need it.
Your bag should be something like a holdall or small suitcase; something that is easy to carry, and fits everything in, with plenty of room left over for extras. Keep it in your bedroom, in the hallway, or in the car, so you can just get up and go when you need to, and you know it’s there and ready to serve. You should pack this bag two to three weeks before your due date.
The bag will comprise of items for both you and your baby. Keep all of your hospital records and notes in here for the hospital staff to look over. This should also include your birthing plan if you have one. Keep these items on top so the staff can access them easily. Towels are also a must-have for any clean up en route to the hospital. Pack two or three, and make sure they aren’t towels you’ll miss if they get ruined!
For you, you’ll want to have clothes that are comfortable for your stay in the hospital. This is loose clothing and large, comfortable underwear for breastfeeding and post-labour care. Take sanitary towels and breast pads as well as several changes of underwear. You may not have access to a shower immediately, so wet wipes, a toothbrush, and toothpaste is a good idea to keep you feeling fresh. It’s also wise to take things to pass the time, like books or magazines, and some healthy snacks for those long waits.
For the baby, you’ll want clothes, a few nappies, muslin cloths, and a blanket or two. Don’t forget to have the car seat fixed in place a couple of weeks beforehand, which can be easier said than done.