As you enter your third and final trimester and start preparing for the arrival of your little one preparing your hospital bag is a great thing to start thinking about. While the hospital will have all the essentials for you and your new baby, there are some items you can bring from home to make your stay more comfortable.
Photo ID, insurance info, hospital forms: a lot of the time you can register online before you show up!
Your birth plan: A few printed copies of your birth plan are great to hand to your delivery team and your support person(s).
Gown: Your hospital will give you a hospital gown to change into when you are admitted, but you are also welcome to bring your own. This one is really all about personal preference, but remember whatever you are wearing is going to get messy and probably won’t be coming back home with you!
Speaker: Some couples find it nice to bring Bluetooth speakers to the hospital and play their own music during labor.
Oil diffuser: There is a strict no candle policy in hospitals, but most will allow you to bring an essential oil diffuser with you if there is a specific scent you’d like in your delivery room. Lavender is always a relaxing choice.
Cord blood banking kit: If you plan on saving baby’s cord blood you’ll need to check with the hospital ahead of time and see what groups they work with. Once you’ve set it up they’ll send you a kit you’ll need to bring to the hospital to collect your baby’s cord blood after they are born.
Snacks: You’ll be limited in what you can eat. Check with your provider ahead of time to see what, if anything, you’ll be allowed to have. You’ll want some snacks on hand for your support person(s). Labor can sometimes take a long time and you don’t want anyone getting too hangry!
Headband or ponytail holder: It’ll get sweaty! It’s nice to be able to hold your hair up.
Lip Balm: Great to have while you are pushing, especially if you have a longer labor. A necessity for your postpartum stay too!
For Your Postpartum Stay:
Toiletries: The hospital provides the essentials, but it’s nice to have your own favorites with you. A few of our favorites include face/body cleaning wipes that smell nice, moisturizer and your favorite shower gel.
Hairbrush: No explanation needed.
Dry shampoo: Trust us on this one. You probably won’t want to hop in the shower right away.
Extra-long charging cable: You’ll want to keep your devices charged and sometimes outlets can be far away from your hospital bed. A power bank is a great option too and eliminates any cords you might trip on!
Comfy clothes: Whether it’s sweats, PJs, or your favorite nightgown being out of a hospital gown will help you start to feel like yourself again. Pro-tip: you might be attached to an IV after delivery making certain clothing hard to get on and off, especially clothing with long and tight sleeves. Nursing tanks and bras are great to pack if you plan on breastfeeding!
An outfit to wear home: Think comfy and loose! It can be a shock to some moms that you’ll still look pregnant after you deliver. It’s totally normal. It just takes some time for your uterus to shrink back down to its normal size!
Eye mask: In the hospital, you’ll be sleeping whenever you can, which may be during the day.
Disposable underwear/underwear you don’t mind throwing out: The hospital will provide you with disposable mesh underwear, but if you’d like something a bit comfier bring your own! Brands like FridaMom make great disposable options specifically designed to house the ice packs and pads that you’ll use after a vaginal delivery. Remember even if you have a C-section you’ll still bleed so these are a great option either way!
Nipple balm: If you are planning to breastfeed it can be painful to start! Nipple creams and balms can help soothe the discomfort.
Nursing Pillow: This can make positioning baby much easier if you are planning on breastfeeding.
Your own pillow: Hospital pillows aren’t the best. Having one you love from home will make all the difference! Most hospitals ask you to use a pillowcase that is colorful or in a pattern that is distinguishable from hospital white.
Postpartum recovery essentials kit: The hospital will provide pads and ice packs, but FridaMom makes a postpartum recovery kit that has all the essentials you’ll need to help with your recovery. Their upside-down peri bottle helps avoid having to hunch over with the bottles the hospital provides. We carry FridaMom at the Motherhood Center!
Entertainment: Most hospital rooms have a TV, but if you want more options, bring along your iPad or a few easy to read magazines. Of course, your number one source of entertainment will be your new baby!
For Your Baby:
Going-home outfit: Make sure to bring socks and a receiving blanket if it’s going to be chilly.
Installed car seat: You’ll need to have your car seat installed and ready to go to take your baby home from the hospital. There are multiple services that will show you how to install your car seat specifically in your car. A great one in Houston is https://www.safekidsgreaterhouston.org/