At 37 weeks pregnant with baby #3 on the way anytime I have packing and prepping for birth on my mind. As a Midwife, Prenatal Educator and mom of 2 (almost 3!) I get asked almost every week about what to pack for the hospital. With all of the unknowns of labour, packing can become a daunting task for an expectant parent. So let me help ease your nerves by providing you with a simple list of must haves for the big event.
Although not all of my clients deliver in hospital, everyone needs a bag packed, just in case. I suggest getting it out of the way early so you can feel prepared. Having your bag packed and ready by around 36 weeks is ideal.
It can be tempting to pack a ton of stuff to take to the hospital, but in my experience less is more. Remember, you’ll need to bring home everything you pack, plus a new baby, and you’ll be recovering from giving birth. If plans change and you need to stay at the hospital for a few extra days, friends and family can be called for extra supplies, or your partner can take a quick trip home.
Here is my go-to list of items to have packed & ready:
- Provincial Insurance Card (OHIP) & Private Medical Insurance Card (if you have one)
- Paperwork from your Midwife or Physician (if you were provided with any to bring)
- Birth plan, Prenatal Class Book, Birthing Resources etc.
- Labour Support Aids: Massagers, Heating Pad, Music, Guided Meditations, Hypnobirthing Scripts, Homeopathic Remedies, TENS Machine* etc.
- Something to Wear During Labour (if you do not want to wear the hospital gown, a nightgown with full button opening is ideal, as they are easy to take on and off with an IV in place)
- Slippers (or flip flops, rubber sole is ideal)
- Socks x2-3 pairs (labour is messy so extra socks are needed)
- Face Cloth x1
- Towel x1
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, contact supplies, glasses, hairbrush, hair ties, headband, lip balm, massage oil or lotion etc.
- Comfy Underwear x2-3 pairs (most hospitals will provide 1 pair of mesh underwear)
- Nightgown or Pajamas (for postpartum if all is well)
- Nursing bra x1 (no underwire)
- Breast pads (disposable or reusable)
- Maternity Pads** or Adult Incontinence Briefs
- Comfortable change of maternity clothes for trip home
*If you’re interested in trying a TENS Machine, they can be rented from many pharmacies
**Please Note: Avoid all maxi pads with plastic dry weave top, as it can impact healing of your perineal tissue. Natracare makes excellent natural cotton pads. Available at most local health food stores and on well.ca.
***Please Note: Many of my clients have asked about incorporating essential oils into their labours. Since most hospitals are now scent free we cannot allow scented oils to be used. Some clients choose to incorporate oils into their early labour while still at home, or for those choosing a home birth.
Support Person’s Overnight Bag:
- Cell phones & chargers
- Change & cash for snack machines and parking
- Comfortable change of clothes
- Swimwear (if you and your partner plan to incorporate water into your birth)
- Contact info for important family member
- Sleepbelt (Perfect for Bonding & Skin-to-Skin)
- Cotton Hats x2-3
- Onesies (aka undershirts) x2
- Sleepers x2
- Socks x2 (if sleepers don’t have feet)
- Light receiving blanket x2
- Warmer blanket for trip home in winter months
- Newborn Diapers (most hospitals will provide a few to start)
- Baby Wipes (unscented)
- Natural Oil or cream for baby’s skin (eg. coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, shea butter)
- Infant Car Seat (Installed correctly. Contact the OPP to make an appointment for their free car seat installation services.)
- Birth Ball (Most hospitals have them available but some people prefer to bring their own)
- Pillow x1
- Basin or bag (for being sick on car ride)
- Healthy Snacks & Drinks for mother & support people e.g. mints, gum, coconut water, juice, trail mix, fruit, veggies, sandwiches etc.
I hope this simple list helps you feel a bit more prepared for the birth of your little one. Wishing you all the best in your labour, birth & beyond! Use Promo Code: withcare for 10% off your purchase online or in store with Diaper-eez .