You are almost there!
You’ve spent (nearly) nine months preparing in all kinds of ways for your little bundle to arrive and now you are nearing the end! Your birth plan may or may not be written out (here is a birth plan outline you can use in case you don’t!) and the big day is drawing closer and closer. Remember to breathe!
What else is there to be done?
Pack your baby hospital bag! If you have planned a home birth, make sure your home is stocked with everything you’ll need. Talk to your homebirth doula and/or midwife to see what you will need to buy to prepare. However, if you are planning on going to a hospital or birthing center, you will want your baby hospital bag packed and ready to grab when the moment arrives.
Once your contractions begin and early labor sets in, you do not want to scramble collecting last minute items. There are things on the list that you will be using every day until it is time to go, like your cell phone charger and purse/wallet to name a couple – so have a list for those items on your bag that your partner can double check before you walk out the door.
Quick Reminder: Have you contacted your hospital or birthing center to pre-register with all of your insurance information? You do not want to be doing this while in active labor!
What do I need to pack in my baby hospital bag?
Things to remember:
- Your belly will take some time to deflate. (It takes at least 6 weeks for your uterus to contract back down to its pre-pregnancy size.) Therefore whatever maternity pajamas you have been wearing or something in a larger size – is what we suggest to pack. Especially if you have a C-Section, you want it nice and loose around the midsection!
- Pack enough underwear and clothes for at least three days. While some moms are in and out and may only spend one night in the hospital, everyone is different. It just depends on how your labor goes and if you have a C-Section or not.
- A bathing suit! Or at least the top. Some hospitals and birthing centers have tubs to be in and while this is not a necessity – you may be more comfortable in a bathing suit versus a sports bra.
- SNACKS! Most hospitals (although this is changing more and more) do not allow meals while in labor, however, some light protein snacks make a huge difference while in labor. It’s common sense: a mother needs strength to labor and birth her baby! Suggestions:
- nuts/trail mix, coconut water, dates, protein bars, etc.
- Something quick that you can pop in your mouth to give you energy.
- If you plan on having a Doula, you most likely will not need this as she will have it in her Doula bag. However, if you don’t have a Doula, remember to pack:
- a tennis ball for your partner to massage you with,
- rice sock or heating pad,
- or anything else that will help you relax.
- Last minute things to prepare at home:
- frozen meals for when you come back home
- some self-care: haircut, nails and maybe even a nice prenatal massage before birth!
This week, on my blog, I went over some extras that I will be using in my own upcoming birth to help with comfort and support. You can read that post here.
I always recommend starting to gather items for your bag around 35 weeks so you have it ready shortly after. You just never know when your little one will be ready for their debut!
Lindsay is an author, motivational speaker, birth psychology and maternity health specialist & natural mommy blogger for Our Green House.