For many pregnant women, preparing a hospital or maternity bag for delivery symbolizes the last stage of pregnancy. If you want to give birth to your baby in a hospital or a birth center, you need to know what items to put in this bag. It is also important to know what kind of bag suits your needs.
Of course, even if you are going to give birth at your own home. It is still good to prepare such a bag in advance. That way, in the case of an emergency, you will have the necessary items at hand when going to the hospital.
You can divide the contents of this bag into several parts. Your maternity hospital bag checklist should include:
- Items and supplies needed for yourself (before and after delivery).
- Items for the baby.
- Items required for your spouse/partner or anyone accompanying you to the hospital.
What is a Pregnancy Hospital Bag, and When to Prepare One?
To a large extent, your delivery type (vaginal birth or C-section) determines the size and type of the hospital bag you prepare. The second important factor is whether you will give birth at a hospital, a birth center, or at home.
Also, the duration of your stay in the hospital/ birth center or at home will vary based on your delivery type. Generally speaking, it may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. But in each of these situations, you will need some essential items for yourself and your baby.
If you are going to give birth as an outpatient, a spacious changing bag or weekender is enough. But if you will be hospitalized in the maternity ward for two or three days, consider a bigger bag like a large sport one or a suitcase.
Of course, you don't need to spend money on buying fancy maternity bags available in the market. Instead, it is better to spend your money on baby clothes like baby grows, which you will need much more.
You may wonder what to pack in a maternity hospital bag and when to do this. Regarding the best time to pack a hospital bay for mom and upcoming baby, it is better to do it at least two weeks before your due date or from the 30 weeks of pregnancy.
It is because your head will be busier as you get closer to the last weeks of pregnancy. Moreover, it is not unlikely that, contrary to the expected time for the delivery date, your child will start pushing earlier than the due date.
Surely, the last thing you might want to think about during childbirth is the stress of making a packing list of essential items and searching every corner of the house for them!
Be sure to put the bag where it is easy to find and inform your partner or the person who will accompany you on the day of delivery of its location.
Pregnancy Hospital Bag Checklist
Before giving birth
- Long and loose-fitting nightgowns/nursing shirts (preferably button-ups)
- A pair of thick socks
- A pair of comfortable trousers
- Body pillow (if you use any)
- Dress for homecoming/ home outfit
- Soap, deodorant
- lip balm
- Hair tie or hair clip (if you have long hair)
Snacks and drinks
- Biscuits, energy bars, juice, or sweets
- Cellphone, phone charger, camera, money
- Birth plan (if you have any)
- Identity card (or passport)
- Allergy passport (if available)
- Maternity passport
- Doctor's referral slip (if available)
- Health insurance card
- Documents for registering the child at the registry office (if the clinic offers this service)
Essential contact numbers
- The hospital of admittance or your midwife's phone number
- Your partner's phone number
- Books and magazines
- Essential oils (if you like to use them for stress management at delivery time)
- Doll toys
- Thin cap
- Baby bodies (long/short sleeved based on the season)
- Baby-wrap vest
- Small baby blanket
- A pair of baby socks
- Cloth for homecoming (according to the season)
- Scratch mittens
- Two to 3 swaddling and burp cloths
- Bottle-feed utensils
- Baby muslin squares
- Baby sleepsuit
- Breastfeeding bra/ nursing bra
- Nipple cream
- Comfortable trousers (e.g., maternity leggings, maternity shorts, lounge trousers)
- Extra bag for dirty laundry
- Towels and flannels
- Light sweater or cardigan
- Strong pads or sanitary towels
- Several pairs of maternity underwear or boilable briefs
Bag for your spouse/partner/companion in the hospital
- Snacks and drinks
- Comfortable cloth (in case they stay over at night)
You can ask your midwife or doctor to help find the most suitable maternity bag list. You might forget your bag when on your way to the hospital in the taxi. If you did not have a maternity bag ready for any reason, don't worry! Usually, you can find the most essential things you need in the hospital. You can also ask family members or friends who visit you to bring these items to the hospital room where you are.
Tips on Maternity Hospital Bag
In addition to preparing your maternity bag in advance, booking a tour of the hospital you have chosen to give birth at is a good idea. Visit the maternity section, talk to the staff, and ask any questions to find out what you need to bring from home and what you can get at the hospital.
Since many hospitals and baby centers have virtual tours, you can visit the maternity ward online without the burden of going there personally.
However, carrying more than one hospital bag is generally not recommended, especially considering that the maternity room is small. And multiple bags may cause you to face the problem of lack of space. It may also cause problems and inconvenience to other moms in the ward and their companions. Still, it might not be a bad idea to prepare two bags: one containing the things you need before giving birth and the other you need after giving birth.
Expectant mothers are busier than at any time near the end of their pregnancy. Preparing the baby's room and home in general for the arrival of a baby takes a lot of time and energy. In the meantime, the last thing you should do before getting admitted to a hospital for labor and delivery is to pack in your hospital bag.
If this is your first delivery, you may not know precisely what you will need or what type of bag you should choose. In fact, the size of your bag and the number of items you need is directly related to the labor type you will have and even the number of babies you have.
Usually, carrying a weekend bag is enough for those who give vaginal birth and are not going to get hospitalized for a long time, or moms who choose to give birth at home. On the other hand, for mothers who are going to give birth to their baby by scheduled C-section and spend a few days in the hospital, a C-section hospital bag is needed.