As your due date approaches, packing your hospital bag should be a top priority. You want to make sure you will have everything you need, not only for your baby but also the things you will need to make your labor and recovery as comfortable as possible.
It is a good idea to start gathering your things to pack for your hospital bag a few weeks before your due date and to have your bag packed at 36 weeks pregnant. This will ensure you are prepared for the chance that your little one decided to make an early arrival.
We’ve put together the ultimate hospital bag checklist for moms to help you keep track of all the stuff you will need for your big day!
Documents and Identification
While this may seem like a no-brainer, if you do go into labor early or unexpectedly, it is easy to forget even the most simple items on your rush out the door to the hospital. Having important papers and information that you will need prepared ahead of time will help you focus on your delivery and alleviate some stress.
When making your hospital bag checklist, be sure to include the following items:
- Your photo ID
- Your insurance card is applicable
- Your birth plan (make multiple copies)
- A list of all your current medications and doses
- Credit cards and some cash
You can choose to put these items together in a folder or large envelope to keep your important documents together and organized.
During your stay at the hospital, you are going to be so focused on delivering your new baby and caring for them once they are born that it can be easy to lose sight of what you may need to care for yourself after labor and delivery.
Make sure to include these essentials when considering things to pack in your hospital bag.
- Your Regular Medications: If you are taking prescription medication daily or daily supplements, it is a good idea to bring them with you. While the hospital may be able to provide them for you, it is always easier and more affordable to have them on hand. It will also prevent any lapse in doses.
- Prescription Eyewear: If you wear contacts or prescription glasses, make sure to bring them with you and any solutions
- Toiletries: Don’t forget to pack your deodorant, toothbrush, hairbrush, dry shampoo, hair ties, face wipes, and face wash, lip balm, lotion, and any other hygiene care essentials.
- Your Pillow and a Blanket: You will want to make sure you can rest as comfortably as possible after you deliver your baby. You’ll be grateful for these items from home when you are trying to rest at the hospital.
- Chargers and Batteries for Electronics: If you have or can order an extra-long charging cable, that is even better. You will want to be able to take as many pictures as possible of your new baby and reach out to family and friends.
- Entertainment: You can’t anticipate how long you may be waiting during your delivery or while at the hospital. Consider bringing a book or some magazines, even a playlist of music or podcasts that calm and distract you.
- Comfortable Clothes: You might decide to keep your hospital gown on during your stay. However, you might want to also pack some loose comfortable clothing to change into as you start to feel better.
Postpartum Must Haves
Some of the most important items to include on a hospital checklist for mom are items that will help you heal and transition into postpartum recovery as well as help with your experience as a new mother.
Some things you will need for your role as a new mother, and other items will be an essential part of your postpartum recovery.
What to Put in Your Hospital Bag for Motherhood
Once you deliver your baby, you will have to quickly transition into your role as a mother. Your baby and you will need a few things while still at the hospital that should be included on your hospital bag checklist.
- A Carseat- Technically, you can not put a car seat in your hospital bag, Regardless, you will need a safe and properly installed infant car seat in order to bring your baby home with you.
- Breast Pump and Breastfeeding Supplies- While you are at the hospital, you will have access to their pumps and supplies. But if you are planning on pumping once you get home, bringing yours with you gives you time to learn how to use it with the help of the staff at the hospital.
- Swaddling Blankets- You will quickly learn how critical the swaddle is during the first few months of your baby’s life. Bringing your blankets with you will help you practice as well as be able to change them for your baby regularly during your stay.
- A Going Home Outfit- It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of welcoming your new baby to the world. Don’t forget that they will come into the world in their birthday suit , but you will both need clothes to go home in!
What to Put In Your Hospital Bag for Postpartum Recovery
Whether you deliver your baby vaginally or a cesarean section, how you care for yourself after delivery can impact your postpartum recovery. Including these items can help you heal comfortably and quickly.
- Underwear- After delivery, you will experience postpartum bleeding. The hospital will supply you with disposable mesh underwear. However, they can be uncomfortable while wearing a pad after a day or two. Bringing your own, comfortable, cotton underwear can help you feel more comfortable and your pads more secure. You should also be prepared in case you end up delivering your baby by cesarean section. Be sure to bring underwear that will cover your incision completely.
- Pads- At the hospital, your only option for pads to wear for your postpartum bleeding will be very large. If you have a preference for thinner or other style pads, make sure to toss a pack of them into your hospital bag.
- Nipple Cream and Soothing Nipple Pads- If you are planning on breastfeeding your new baby, it is very common for your nipples to be sensitive and uncomfortable as you and your baby learn to latch properly and successfully breastfeed. These first aid items will help keep your nipples from cracking, chafing, and bleeding.
- A Supportive Bra- If you are breastfeeding, a supportive nursing bra is a must-have. However, even if you have made the decision not to breastfeed, your body will still begin breast milk production and you will have to go through the process of drying up your milk supply. A supportive bra will help keep you comfortable during the process.
- Compression Socks- Compression socks are a game-changer for new moms during their recovery. One of the most common postpartum symptoms is postpartum edema. Postpartum swelling is generally found in the legs and ankles and can be very uncomfortable. It may also lead to other health problems including varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. High-quality postpartum compression socks have been proven to significantly reduce postpartum edema when worn within the first 24 hours after delivery.
At Pear Compression, we have designed the highest quality compression socks specifically for pregnant women and new mothers. Our compression socks help to facilitate postpartum recovery by increasing the blood flow to your lower extremities and moving excess fluids up into your kidneys, making it easier for your body to eliminate them naturally.
Pear compression socks help you boost your postpartum recovery without sacrificing comfort or style. Our compression socks feature a seamless 360-degree technology and graduated compression that reduces swelling, improves circulation, and increases energy for gentle yet effective support.