How is your third trimester going? For many moms-to-be, a “nesting” frenzy happens in the final weeks of pregnancy. “Nesting” is a sudden urge to clean and organize your home to prepare for your baby’s arrival. It gives that much-needed energy boost to power through your to-do list.
As you prepare for a stay away from home at the hospital, this “nesting” phase can be a huge help for pulling it all together, especially when “pregnancy brain” causes forgetfulness.
Let’s make the most of this “nesting” energy and start packing your hospital bag for delivery! Waiting until the last minute to pack means more stress you don’t need. You’ve got everything ready for baby, now get everything ready for you!
When to Prepare your Hospital Bag
Packing a hospital bag for baby around the 32nd to 35th-week mark is the rule of thumb, but with how unpredictable pregnancy is and all that surrounds it, getting started even sooner is wise.
Ready your hospital bags at the time that makes the most sense for your situation, but don’t put it off until you are close to your due date. Have everything ready to go so you can load the car quickly when it’s time to head to the hospital.
The Ultimate Hospital Bag for Delivery Checklist
Packing for the hospital is like getting ready to go on a family vacation. We pack for everyone in a hospital bag for baby. While the destination may not be a 5-star hotel, staying in a hospital is similar to that of a hotel arrangement – you pack what the family needs for the time away from home.
What Does Mom Need?
Soon it will be all about the baby, so let’s focus on you first. Despite the hospital’s efforts to be welcoming, for some, the maternity suites can be uncomfortable. A hospital bag list for mom includes what you need to be cared for and comforted after delivery.
Getting everything you need together ahead of time gives you the peace of mind that when the time comes, you’ll have all the necessities in your maternity bag.
Your obstetrician may know your medical history and birth plan, but if your doctor is not on duty at the time you go into labor, this means you end up with a different physician for delivery.
Bring with you the birth plan as well as any necessary medical history records. This may be needed for high-risk pregnancies.
Also, have insurance cards, emergency contact information (including your doctor) tucked away just in case.
As you would for a hotel stay or a camping trip, you pack personal care items for a hospital stay.
- Toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, cases for dental items like retainers, mouth guards, or clear braces.
- Contacts case, contact solutions, or glasses accessories.
- Shampoo and conditioner or dry shampoo.
- Body wash
- Brush, comb, hair ties, or hair clips.
- Personal wipes (Doctor Butler’s hemorrhoid wipes provide soothing relief for trips to the bathroom).
- Feminine hygiene pads
- Optional: make-up and hair products for photos with your new baby!
A Robe and Slippers
Hospital rooms are drafty, with the floors being cold. For extra comfort, bring a robe and slippers that are warm and fluffy.
The towels at the hospital may be too small or otherwise low-quality. Consider bringing a plush towel or two from home.
Tech and Accessories
What will you need to stay connected with friends, family, and co-workers? Bring longer phone charging cords for your smartphone. You’ll want to keep your devices charged for sharing labor updates and newborn pictures with your social media connections.
Some may wish to bring a separate camera, tablet, or laptop. However, it may be best to leave those at home. Packing too much can be a burden.
Have a favorite pillow or a pregnancy cushion you’re now fond of? Bring these along for extra comfort.
Bring Clean Clothes
Expect a stay of two nights for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. C-sections and other complicated births may mean a stay of up to four nights in the hospital.
New moms tend to stay in a nursing gown or button-up pajamas while in the maternity suite. Packing nursing bras, breast pads, and extra underwear is a must.
Lastly, have some fun and pick out an outfit for a family picture on the day you all go home.
Take care of your face with your regular cleaning and moisturizing regimen.
The skin on your belly and breasts also need some TLC. We recommend starting on or continuing stretch mark care with a concentrated cream like our postpartum stretch mark cream.
Breastfeeding can also be rough on the skin. Doctor Butler’s is always thinking about solutions to common pregnancy issues. Soon we will offer a nipple cream for effective relief of breastfeeding discomfort.
Postpartum Pain Relief
It’s common knowledge that labor is excruciating, but recovering from delivery is painful too. The hospital is likely to dispense some pain medications, but you may opt to bring your own pain relievers.
We understand childbirth afterpains, so we designed a spray for perineal pain specifically. This spray is a unique blend of gentle yet effective ingredients to ease the discomfort of a stretched or stitched perineum.
Tip: Contact the hospital you’ve registered with about a tour of the maternity suites (virtual tours may be an option these days) or a list of amenities. Find out what they have to offer for your time away from home.
What to Bring for Baby
The hospital likely has diapers and wipes covered. If you have a diaper preference, you should bring your own stocked diaper bag. Aside from nappies, what else goes in the hospital bag for baby?
Don’t Forget the Car Seat!
Important: Make sure the car seat is properly and securely installed in your car. If possible, designate a car that will be your transportation to the hospital and set up the car seat now.
You will be required to have proper safety restraints for travel with your new baby. The car seat is the last thing you want to leave behind because the hospital will not allow you to drive back home without it.
Baby’s wardrobe has been hanging in the closet for months. The hospital is your chance to finally see them worn!
For some families, the “going home” outfit picture is as big of an event as the birth itself. Be sure to pack weather-appropriate clothes for the ride home. You’ll also need gowns, onesies, socks, caps, and mittens for your little one’s time in the hospital.
Breast Pump and Bottles
If breastfeeding, you’ll be nursing every two hours, but under certain circumstances, you may need to pump and store milk. Pumping keeps your milk supply up and your breasts from becoming engorged if for some reason you can’t nurse.
If circumstances mean your baby will be away from your maternity suite, you’ll need to pack a pump, breast milk storage bags, bottles, and cleaning supplies for the pump/bottles. An ice chest and portable milk warmer might be a good idea if you plan to bottle feed the breastmilk (the hospital might offer accommodations for storing and warming breast milk).
Pediatrician Contact Info
Have you selected a pediatrician for your new baby? Include this doctor’s name and info with your other contact information.
You may wish to bring along your baby memories book and start adding to it during your hospital stay.
Birth Partner’s Essentials
Partners can usually pack for themselves, but here are some things you can suggest they take along to make their stay more comfortable.
Moms usually can’t eat or drink during labor and delivery, but their partners can. Hospital vending machines (if even available) costs add up, and places to get food (like the cafeteria) may be too far away from the maternity ward.
Packing snacks and drinks keep your partner fed while they wait for baby to arrive or during bonding time in the maternity suite.
Labor and delivery can take hours and sometimes longer than a day, then tack on a few more days of recovery time.
With a new baby and people in and out of the maternity suite, there is plenty to keep you distracted. Having some fun things to do fights off boredom and relieves stress.
Bring some headphones for digital entertainment, or books and magazines to read. Take along whatever you would for a long flight across the world because you’ll be holed up for a while.
Mom and baby will have a place to lie down, but what about the other parent? In case there’s not much for your partner to sleep on, bring a sleeping bag and pillows, or perhaps a small air mattress.
Ready, set, go make your hospital bag checklist! It feels great to everything ready to go.
Experiencing Pains “Back There” After Labor?
When it comes to post-delivery recovery, those days in the hospital are only the beginning. Pregnancy is over, but hormonal changes and pains continue.
Bearing down during labor plus all the time spent sitting down to breastfeed and rock your baby is a set of circumstances where it’s likely for women to end up with hemorrhoids.
Because hemorrhoids are an issue for many women during maternity, our products are specially formulated with new moms in mind. The ingredients are powerful enough to speed up the healing process yet safe for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Hemorrhoid wipes – Cleanse and soothe pain and irritation from hemorrhoids and other pain “down there” such as anorectal or perineal discomfort.
- Hemorrhoid cream – Prescription-strength cream packed with natural ingredients to treat the symptoms of internal or external hemorrhoids, fissures, or anorectal conditions.
Your recovery is important. Doctor Butler’s products are designed by an experienced physician who understands the pains of pregnancy and delivery. To make maternity a bit easier, we’ve created superior products that promote healing and relieve discomfort.