The Hospital Bag...top picks for your newborn delivery bag.
One of the moments you can never really "plan" is the arrival of your baby. Once your baby is ready to arrive, the first thought is grab your bag and head to the hospital. You can reach out to your Doctor and discuss what your hospitals provides for moms during your stay. There is no need to pack unnecessary items. I delivered both times at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. My nurses did an excellent job at mom care, but there were still those items from home that just add that extra touch. I suggest having your bag packed around 30 week marker. Some might say that is too late, some might say it's too early. If you packed your bag ahead of time, you don't blink about what is in the bag, you just grab it and go. Here are some ideas from my moms, and myself that we found helpful.
Document, document document! I mean did you expect me to have anything else as the top choice. Yes, you can use your phone, but if high quality images is your choice, grab your camera and don't forget the battery charger and memory cards.
2. An Extension Cord.
Unless you can find an extra long phone charger, just grab a small extension cord. Usually the hospitals has strange way of arranging the bed the furthest away from the outlets. Don't forget to toss in your phone charger!!! I mean it is the main reason for needing the cord. You want the phone charged so you can snap away all the photos, and you will, of your beautiful new baby.
3. Your Hospital Stay Clothing.
I was much more comfortable the second time around in a delivery gown as to compared to the hospital gown. I liked that they were more comfortable and more covering than the hospital gown. Bonus points... they are made for easy nursing as well. A nice pair of motherhood pyjamas are always a nice add or a nursing tank. If you are going to have visitors in and out of the room, a robe might be a good idea. Don't make either of these something you would mind getting messy or even leaving at the hospital. Some mamas love having a good nursing bra with them. Something comfy, skip the underwire.
Don't forget some flip flops or slippers... nice cozy and non slip ones. Hospital floors are cold, and sometimes slippery.
There is something comfy to me to have scents from home to add a touch of comfort to your stay. I know the nurses will bring you extra soaps or shampoos if needed, but having your own items that you use at home just add that touch. . I brought small travel size of my favorite shampoo and conditioner and body wash. Pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipes (always good to have) hairbrush, hair ties, and make up if you so wish. I did bring lip balm. I also suggest face cream, something about the hospital rooms and air... it always seems to dry me out. So pack that body lotion and face cream for that extra moisturiser. During labor this was a huge comfort to me. OH.... bring a big bath towel.... always more comfortable than the small hospital bath towels.
I should mention water water water!!! It's so important to drink water after childbirth. So pack those large bottles of water, the nurse will gladly bring you ice, and a cup to refill. But water is crucial! Don't forget your favourite snacks. You can not eat before or during labor, some hospitals allow you to order out after delivering. It is a good idea to pack some snacks for Dad to have during labor. It might be a long day for him. Hospital snacks are not always the bet for dads, and he might not want to wonder the hallways. I gave birth at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. My first immediate desire was to order Sushi after I gave birth both times. The hospital allowed me to order. But having extra snacks on hand while you wait, can helpful. Even to have snacks for down time.
6. Headed Home Outfits for Mom and Baby
Taking your little one home for the first car seat ride can be a little stressful for some. Keep in mind, that the straps must fit on baby snug. Do not dress your little one in something bulky, keep it simple and comfortable for them as well. If you give birth during the winter months, and it is cold, a blanket or a carrier cover is nice to have.
If you are planning on breast feeding, reach out to your insurance company early. Many insurance companies offer a free breast pump as health care for moms. It is a good idea to bring it with you. Keep in mind, mom's milk does not come in for up to 5 days after birth. But you can support your body by pumping colostrum.
8. Glasses/contact lens
If you need these, I suggest you pack them in your bag. Just go ahead a plan ahead with a pair of extra contacts. That hospital room can be on the dryer side so add a travel size bottle of moisturizing eye drops.
Some moms find bringing the nursing pillow helpful as they begin the journey of breast feeding. I remember struggling in the hospital with my first born. How do I hold the baby? What is most comfortable for baby? or me? With my second baby, I packed the nursing pillow and found so much more comfort with it. If you have an extra comfy sleeping pillow at home, I suggest packing that as well. Sometimes hospital pillows are thin, and not so comfy. If you need a nice fluffy pillow perhaps to hold during contractions or just to get some good sleep, just add it to the bag.
10. The Paper Work
Finally, don't forget to bring your paperwork: ID card, insurance cards, along with any documents that are important to you. Your birth plan,
For mom, I suggest something comfortable. to go home in. Keep it simple and easy to dress into. If you had a C-Section consider not having something rubbing on your belly where your incisions are.
Now that your bag is set, leave it by the door for easy grab and go or you can leave it in the car. I hope you found my list of items to pack in your hospital bag helpful. They are based on my experience as a mother, and some advice from amazing mothers in my Philadelphia tribe.
Your next item to cross off is to schedule your portrait session. Are you doing maternity portraits or just newborn portraits? Many photographers offer packages for both. As your local Philadelphia Maternity and Newborn Photographer I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.