You will soon head to the hospital and return home with your long-anticipated newborn. Here’s what to bring with you – everything you’ll need before labour and after delivery, along with a few things to make your hospital stay more comfortable.
Nightgown or pajamas - If the hospital doesn’t require you to wear their gown, you may want to bring about three of your own. Lochia, postpartum vaginal discharge, may soil the first set and you will want a clean set and a spare. If you are planning to nurse your baby, bring a nightgown or pajamas that open easily down the front to accommodate this.
Hospitals tend to be chilly year-round so something to wear over your nightgown, like a cardigan, may come in handy.
Socks, slippers and a bathrobe - Socks will keep your feet warm, and slippers and a bathrobe will be needed for walking in hospital hallways.
Nursing bras and breast pads, underwear and sanitary napkins - The hospital may provide underwear and sanitary napkins or you may be more comfortable with your own. Keep in mind that postpartum vaginal discharge can be heavy and sanitary napkins can leak. You will want many spares of both just in case, and the sanitary napkins should be highly absorbent.
Toiletries - Toothbrush and toothpaste, moisturizer and lip balm, a hairbrush and hairclips and anything else you might need to make your stay comfortable.
Items from home - You may want a few items from home, such as a favourite pillow or throw, to make the environment more personal and comfortable. Check your hospital’s policy to see what they will allow, and keep in mind that storage will most likely consist of a small closet and/or bedside table.
Your birth plan - You will also want to bring anything you may need relating to it. For example, if you would like to be massaged during your labour, you may want massage oil. You may want a specific drink, for example a sports drink, to hydrate and keep your energy up during labour.
Going home clothes - Pick something loose and comfortable to wear home as you will likely not want anything too constricting, and you will still be carrying extra baby weight. Pick something for baby that will be easy to dress him in and is appropriate for the temperature. Struggling with clothing will not make either of you happy, and homecoming is a joyful event.
Diaper bag - Include everything you will need for baby in this bag, including diapers and a baby blanket.
Reading material and music - You may not have a chance to read or you may have lots of time. Bring a book, magazines and anything else small and portable that can help you pass the time if needed. Don’t forget your headphones and a charger if you are bringing music.
The bag you bring to the hospital should have room in it for everything you will leave with. For example, cards and gifts, and hospital literature on infant care. You will also need an infant car seat to bring your baby home.