And so the time flies - the day of the birth is getting closer and it's time to start getting the hospital bag ready!
I'm pretty sure there's very little one actually needs to pack, especially if the hospital is close enough that someone can bring you things you need but I felt that preparing a list of things I might need was fun as planning is one of my favorite activities!
I've made three lists, one for mom, one for the support person (dad/partner/other) and one for the baby. If the support person won't stay over at the hospital, they'll need less things, of course. "Mom's hospital bag" lists things that I'm planning to pack, "You might also need" consists of things I've heard people recommend but that I don't think I'll personally be needing.
Eerikki and I have matching leather bags that we'll use as our hospital bags. Remember, that there's only so much storage space at the hospital so large luggage probably wont fit...
Mom's Hospital Bag
- "Neuvola" card (if delivering in Finland) and your ID.
- Cell phone and a charger
- Letter for the midwives telling what you are hoping for from the birth (what type of pain medication, if any, and so on)
- Personal medications if you are taking any prescribed drugs
- Personal hygiene products such as a tooth brush, toothpaste, pads, deodorant, lip balm, shampoo, conditioner, make up removal and so on.
- Hair brush/comb, hair tie
- Ear plugs, the silicone ones are the best, and a sleep mask. I always sleep better in a new place when I'm wearing ear plugs and these are especially important if you are sharing a room.
- Sports drinks such as Gatorade. I thought this was a really good tip! The uterus needs energy to contract but you might be struggling to keep any proper food in. Eating is probably not allowed anyways in case there's a need to go into surgery. I asked a midwife if these contain some ingredients that you shouldn't consume while pregnant but she said that even if they did, it wouldn't matter anymore at this point when the baby is already on their way out.
- Nursing bras, bra liners, breast pump, nipple lotion etc. If you think you'll need something else for breastfeeding, if that's what you're choosing to do, then pack those as well.
- Music for the delivery room. You can bring a speaker (remember to pack a charger for that as well), headphones or even a CD. You can find some inspiration for a labor playlist here.
- Something to pass the time with such as a tablet, a laptop, books, sudoku or something else. One person told me she had watched a TV-show with her husband during contractions, she said it helped to have something to distract her. Remember to also pack the chargers for all the devices you bring.
- Comfortable clothes: underwear, socks, a robe, sweats, sleepwear, slippers... The hospital will give you clothes to wear, of course, but I prefer my own clothes.
- Clothes for coming home with. You never know what you're wearing when you end up in the hospital to give birth and it's nice to have something comfortable and clean to wear when heading back home. Choose these in a size that would've fit you around the sixth month.
- Make up. I don't know if I'll need it but just in case.
- Prunes. It's nice to have a working stomach after all that you've been through...
- Treats! A lot of food items aren't recommended while pregnant but luckily you can have this stuff again after giving birth so pack some with you to the hospital already. I'm definitely taking a lot of liquorice with me...
- Water bottle. Sure, you can drink from a hospital cup as well but this way you don't need to be refilling a glass all the time.
- Champagne and glasses. I've been told that many people bring a celebratory champagne with them to the hospital. I've been craving champagne like crazy throughout pregnancy so I'm really looking forward to this!
You Might Also Need:
- Wool socks
- Items to help you relax such as massage oil or something else the hospital might not have
- Dry shampoo
- Your own pillow
Support Person's Hospital Bag
- Especially if this is the baby's parent, it's good to pack some clothing that allows for them to keep the baby in skin contact, such as sweaters with front zippers.
- Snacks. The cafes will be closed at night time so it might be difficult to find any food.
- Energy drinks. I don't know if one can get tired in a situation like this, but just in case!
- Cell phone and a charger
- Slippers. It's nicer to walk around in slippers than in socks or shoes for days.
- Personal hygene items.
- Clothes: underwear, socks and comfortable clothes.
- Ear plugs and a sleep mask
- Something to pass the time with such as a tablet, laptop, books or something else. Don't use these while she's giving birth unless it's her wish :)
- Personal medication
- Your own pillow
Baby's Hospital Bag
- Car seat
- Foot muff
- Clothes. These should be appropriate for the season and preferably something that'll feel soft and comfortable. Clothes that you need to pull over the baby's head can be a bit difficult to put on. Remember to pack socks, a hat and mittens regardless of the weather. If you're unsure of the baby's size, pack something in sizes 44 (premature), 50 (newborn) and 56.
- Clothing. At least in Perhepesa in Helsinki the baby can wear their own clothing so pack a few extra outfits if you're hoping to get there, or to a similar place.
- A toy and a muslin. You definitely don't need to bring these but we're trying to get some of our scent in these and bring them with us just in case.
I hope you found these lists helpful and comment below if you think I forgot something!