Pregnancy Checklist for the Hospital
A pregnancy checklist for the hospital is expansive, but it should include clothing for the delivery, as well as after the delivery, general toiletries for the mother, blankets for the baby and a car seat to transport the baby home safely. Put together a hospital bag full of all the necessities for giving birth with helpful information from a certified nurse-midwife in this free video on pregnancy.
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Well trying to pack that bag for the birth, that's always a challenge. This is Mavis Schorn, nurse midwife and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. The best suggestion I have for you is to think in categories. That's what works for me and that is think about what you need, what you need during labor and birth, what you need after birth, think about your baby, your partner, your family and then if you have any siblings that may be coming up there. So let me just for some examples for you during the labor and birth, you may want to and this may depend on if you're at birthing center or if you're at a hospital. Frequently at both places you can bring your own clothes to wear even in labor, but I will tell you that it gets really messy in labor plus you sweat, you work hard in labor so don't bring anything fancy for that. What's nice to look for is a big, loose, long t-shirt that is cheap, that if it gets messy you can toss it in the trash and not worry about it. And bring two so you have a fresh one to change if you want to somewhere along the line. So something to wear, things, some toiletries that might be particularly important in labor is something that be able to clip your hair back, or even getting your hairbrush it can be very relaxing. Toothbrush and that kind of stuff, being able to brush your teeth when you've been working hard, that feels good. Other kinds of things that you can think about like slippers or socks so that you can get up and your feet aren't on that cold floor and you can, the list can go on. But think about your comfort during labor and what you might need there. And then afterward have something fresh that you're going to wear, now you may have the fancy gown and robe that you got at your baby shower and that you want to wear that postpartum, I would suggest you might want to wait for till you get home for that or at least wait until after the first day. Remember that you do have vaginal bleeding that's a bit on the heavy side, particularly for the first day. You'd hate to mess up something new right off the bat. So you might want either use whatever gown is provided for you there or something a little older for the first day or two and then switch to something fun and nice and new. Your take home clothes, what you're going to wear when you go home, remember that you're not going to unfortunately fit into those pre-pregnancy clothes when you go home, kind of a general guide is what worked for you around six months of pregnancy somewhere around there, that's a good thing to think about for going home in. And you'll continue to, your uterus continues to shrink, you continue to lose weight and you'll get on down to that pre-pregnancy size a little later but in those first few days you'll still be wearing some of your pregnancy clothes. Now think about your baby. So most things for the immediate care of your baby are provided there at the facility wherever it is that you're going. But the things that you will need for going home, some kind of outfit for going home in, receiving blankets to be wrapped up in and most importantly is a car seat which is not only by law you need to have it in most states, it's the safe way to have a child in your car. So definitely want your car seat to be in and ready. You'll want diapers and other things for at home, probably not need those so much at the hospital. Now your partner and family, if they're going to be there with you through labor and may even stay over, think about snacks and food, change of clothes for them. If you're at a place that water birth is available or showers are available it could be that your partner wants to have a bathing suit to put on and be in with you. You may not have anything on, but they might want to like to wear something so that might even be something you throw in there. So a lot of this depends on your particular plans for your labor and your birth. If you have another child or other children that are going to be coming up, it's a nice time to have something special that either parents can give to the sibling or it can be the new baby is giving this gift to the sibling and then a gift that that sibling or those siblings are giving to the baby and do kind of a special time like that. You may want to go ahead and have that packed up if you're going to do that. Extra activities for them like crayons or books or drawing because they get bored really quick, a new baby's not too exciting for them for very long. So this will give you a start, there's lots of other places to look for other ideas on what to include.