Does your pre-baby checklist include packing your bag for the hospital? Putting together a suitcase filled with items for your trip to the hospital isn't just a task for the person who will be giving birth. Support people need to be prepared as well.
When I teach Lamaze Childbirth Class, I like to compare labor to a long car ride where you might not be able to make a stop for several hours. Imagine this situation when you start planning what to pack. I suggest making it a priority to pack items that will help you stay comfortable & at your best for your partner.
- Phone and Charger - Forgetting your phone is unlikely, but grab your chargers too. If you have a spare battery pack for your phone drop in your bag as well.
- Camera and Charger - If you have a camera that takes better pictures than your phone, pack that along with a battery at full charge and an empty memory card.
- Something to Read or Watch - There might be times in labor where you will want to keep yourself busy. Bring a book, iPad, laptop or anything to keep yourself occupied quietly.
- Pillow and Blanket - You might have a chance to catch a nap during labor and having your own pillow and blanket will make it that much easier. The pillow will come in handy for resting after the baby arrives as well.
- Flip Flops/Slippers or Socks - Great to have another option for your feet. And please don't walk barefoot on the hospital floor. Trust me with this one. You don't want your skin on this hospital floor.
- Toiletries - Bring everything that you would need if you were staying at a low cost motel. Assume nothing will be provided.
- Sweatshirt/Jacket/Hoodie - You likely will not have any control over the temperature and it will most likely be cold. Wearing layers is a good idea and packing a sweatshirt, jacket or hoodie is a must.
- Water Bottle - Staying hydrated is a key factor in taking care of yourself. Having your own bottle will remind you to fill it and drink up.
- Mints, Gum, Wisp Toothbrushes - Do everything in your power to avoid bad breath! This is really important if you will be drinking coffee.
- Snacks - Staying nourished is another key factor in taking care of yourself. Bring food that is easy to eat, doesn't require refrigeration or cooking and most importantly, choose food that doesn't smell.
- Cash and Cards for Parking and Snacks - You might have to use cash for parking or extra vending machine snacks.
- Cheat Sheets - Pack all items from your childbirth class(es) that have helpful information for labor. There are several cheat sheets provided in the SupportingHer online course in the Extras section that are great to have on hand for quick reference.
Download this list that you can print and check off to make packing easier. Try to complete your packing by 34 weeks so that you will be ready when your baby is ready.