Expecting your first child is an exciting time in life but it can also be stressful. Many well-meaning friends, family members, and even strangers will tell you their stories and give you advice. Please know that everyone is an individual and to take advice with caution. Consider the advice given to you but know that everyone’s childbirth is unique. It is best to discuss health concerns and issues with your OB/GYN healthcare provider.
You may have never spent any time in a hospital before. Going to the hospital to deliver a baby can sound scary but be assured that the staff is there to help keep you and your baby safe. Preparing yourself as much as possible for labor and delivery will help you feel more comfortable. Packing a hospital bag ahead of time to get ready for your hospital visit is a good idea.
Important Documents to Bring to the Hospital
Make sure to bring your insurance card and identification to the hospital. This will make the admission process much easier. Some hospitals or doctors will give you pre-admission forms to fill out and bring to the hospital with you.
Important Items to Bring for Yourself
Having comfortable clothing is going to be very important while you are in the hospital. Even if you are a fashionista, you should bring clothing that is practical. Remember that you will have a newborn baby and your priority is going to be taking care of them and yourself. Pajamas, robes, and sweatpants are good options to consider when packing your hospital bag. Along with comfortable clothing, you should also have comfortable footwear such as slippers or flip-flops. Most hospitals have showers so make sure to bring flip-flops to wear in the shower if you prefer.
You will need to bring toiletries such as a hairbrush, toothbrush, and toothpaste. If you have specific sanitary pads that you prefer you can bring those also but remember to get the ones for heavy flow. Don’t worry if you forget these items because oftentimes hospitals can provide them if you ask. A couple of items that aren’t necessary but might be nice to have is a favorite pillow or blanket from home. Labor can sometimes be a long process so bring some form of entertainment such as reading material and cell phone.
Important Items to Bring for Your Baby
The most important item you need to bring with you when having a baby is a car seat. If possible, install the car seat before you go to the hospital. It is required by law that you have a car seat and it is properly installed before you can take your baby home. The next most important item is the outfit your baby is going to wear home. Make sure you consider what season it is and dress the baby appropriately. A few items you may want to bring with you but are not absolutely necessary are swaddling blankets, diapers, and wipes. The hospital will have these but if you prefer a certain brand, you can bring your own.
This is an exciting time in your life and you should try to enjoy it as much as possible. Consider the advice that people give you but don’t feel obligated to follow it. Preparing as much as possible could help you feel more comfortable during this new time in your life. Pack a hospital bag and have it ready to go for when you go into labor. Don’t stress out if you forget something because the hospital probably has it or you can ask a family member to pick it up for you. Use this list to help guide you while packing your hospital bag.
- Insurance Card
- Driver’s License or ID
- Comfortable clothing
- Slippers and/or flip-flops
- Sanitary pads
- Reading Material or Entertainment
- Phone charger
- Car seat
- Outfit to go home in
- Swaddling Blankets
- Diapers and wipes