Women expecting babies should consider having "go bags" at the ready during the ninth month of pregnancy because labor may come on very suddenly. A typical "go bag" is an emergency preparedness kit. In this case, for a mom-to-be, it should be packed up with stuff for the delivery room. Moms-to-be who aren't sure what to bring to this hospital with them will appreciate this sensible list. It's the product of research and personal experience.
While pregnant women may not feel like bringing everything on this list to the delivery room, it's sometimes smarter to pack a fair bit, rather than being without something that might come in handy later on.
A delivery room should be a comfortable place where a mom-to-be feels safe and secure. Having familiar things in the room is the key to feeling comfortable. Whether it's a music system, comfortable loungewear or favorite snacks, or anything else on today's list, the items that an expectant mom brings to the labor room should help to make the process of having a baby easier. When the "go bag" is packed and ready before labor is anticipated, a mom-to-be will have greater peace of mind.
While most new moms are in and out of the hospital quickly, there are cases when new moms need to hang around hospitals for longer. When this happens, having a "go bag" will be extremely helpful.
20 Music Player and Speakers
Portable music systems are great things to bring to delivery rooms, according to The Bump. There are different ways to play music in delivery rooms, from old-fashioned portable stereo systems that play CDs to smartphone/Bluetooth speaker combos and beyond. Music helps women in labor to relax and produce more of the hormone, oxytocin, which is needed for contractions.
Labor can be rough. So, why not use music as a distraction between each contraction? It's smart to test out a music setup before you take it to the hospital or birth center. If the system is powered by batteries, make sure that they are fresh and bring spares, just in case.
19 A Special Playlist for During Labor
Once you decide on a music system for labor, it'll be time to think about your "delivery playlist". Go for music that comforts you and keeps you in a positive frame of mind. According to Fitpregnancy, "push playlists" are all over Spotify and one OB-GYN reports that 2/3 of his patients listen to these playlists while they are in labor.
The doctor recommends adding music from a variety of genres, just to change it up. He also wants moms-to-be to know that they won't be conscious of the music while they are experiencing contractions. Inspiring songs from Coldplay are good choices, as is classical music for a soothing effect.
18 Mementos, Such as Family Photos in Frames
Special family pictures in frames are popular add-ons in delivery rooms. Women bring beloved pictures and keep them close, and then draw comfort from them while they are in labor.
Any kind of treasured memento will be a good thing to bring with you. Whatever you choose should be portable and not too precious in terms of monetary value. You may not always be in the labor room and there is always the possibility that one of your items will go missing, although it's unlikely that this will happen. According to Urban Mommies, hospitals often lack available space for the items that laboring women bring, so try to choose small mementos, rather than great big objects.
17 Cozy Socks From Home
According to the Huffington Post, it's smart to bring your own socks to the labor room. Hospital socks are probably going to be available, but they are typically not the softest, most fashionable socks around and they may not fit your feet well, either. With this in mind, put a couple of pairs of socks that you love to wear in your "go bag".
Non-skid styles are practical, as you may be walking the hospital corridors during labor. It's quite common to walk around a hospital ward during labor, as walking around helps labor to progress. When you have your own socks, rather than hospital "standard issue", you'll feel better.
16 A Maternity Nightie
You may need to wear a hospital "johnny gown" with an open back while you give birth, but you will be able to change into something cuter, which is more modest and more comfortable, after you have your baby...as long as you bring a maternity nightie along with you.
Maternity nightgowns will offer the best fit after childbirth, as post-baby bodies don't bounce back overnight. According to Life with my Littles, very cute maternity nighties are out there in the marketplace and you may have one already. Be sure to throw it in your "go bag" around week 36 of pregnancy. After labor is over, wearing your own clothes will make you feel prettier and more together.
15 A Soft and Comfy Bathrobe
According to the Wikihow, taking a bathrobe to the delivery room will be a practical decision. As we mentioned earlier, women in labor often wander the halls of hospitals. They do so because moving around (in addition to the forces of gravity) helps to move labor along.
You probably won't want to cruise the halls of the hospital wearing a "Johnny gown" with an open back. A bathrobe will give you coverage and also keep you nice and warm. You may have a favorite bathrobe already. If you don't, treat yourself to one and then add it your "emergency bag" before you head to the delivery room.
14 A Fave Pair of Slippers
You deserve total foot comfort while you're in labor. Bringing a fave pair of slippers to the delivery room, in addition to the socks that we mentioned earlier, will be a great way to feel more comfortable while you experience contractions and eventually push. Wear the slippers as you roam the hospital hallways or relax (or try to, anyway) during labor. Slippers should have non-slip soles and fit your feet well.
According to The Bump, a lot of moms-to-be buy new slippers for the delivery room. Others feel that socks with no-slip bottoms are good enough. If you're someone who loves to wear slippers at home, you should bring them along.
13 Eyeglasses, If Moms-to-be Need Them
When you go into labor, don't forget your eyeglasses. Some women don't wear glasses all of the time. For example, you may wear glasses only for reading. If this is the case, you should make sure to pack your reading glasses in your "go bag". Then, you'll be able to enjoy perfect eyesight if you want to read your birth plan, a magazine or a book during labor.
Also, if you typically wear contacts, you may want to switch to glasses for the delivery. There is always the chance that you'll need a C-section or something like that and it's better not to wear contact lenses during surgery, according to Anesthesia Myths.
12 A Birth Plan
If you've put together a birth plan, be sure to bring it in your bag when you head for the hospital. It's best to get it packed in advance, as you will want it with you while you're in labor.
If you don't have a birth plan, you may want to create one. According to Babycenter.ca, this type of plan helps a mom-to-be to communicate her wishes to hospital staff while she's preparing to give birth. The birth plan should include information about the type of labor you wish to have, as well as what you don't want to happen. Bear in mind that birth plans sometimes need to change, for medical reasons.
11 A Picture ID
According to Babycenter, it's smart to bring photo ID to the delivery. For example, make sure that you have your driver's license. If you have one, bring a health insurance card with you, too. You may need to hand your ID over while you're being registered at the hospital.
While they're probably not going to turn you away if you don't have appropriate ID, making sure that you have what you need on hand will make the process of getting admitted to the hospital so much easier. People who accompany you to the delivery room should also have a photo ID with them.
10 A Special Pillowcase & Pillow
Hospital pillows and pillowcases are ok, but they may not feel the same way that your own personal pillow/pillowcase does. Pillows vary widely in terms of firmness and pillowcases that are washed in hospital laundries may not be as silky-soft as your own. This is why it's smart to bring a personal pillow and a non-white pillowcase. It should be non-white so hospital staff don't think it's hospital property and remove it from the pillow for laundering.
According to The Non-Consumer Advocate, hospital pillows are typically not the best. When you have your own, you'll find it easier to rest between contractions and after you give birth.
9 A Camera and Camera Accessories
Childbirth is a miracle and you may want to capture at least some moments from your labor on film. When you bring along a camera with video capability, plus all of the right equipment, including a memory card and a charger, you'll be able to record your labor experience. Of course, you'll want to take pictures of your precious newborn once he or she is born.
According to Parents.com, some moms-to-be hire birth photographers. Whether hiring a pro photographer is right for you is really a personal choice. He or she will have great photographic skills, but you may not feel comfortable bringing a stranger into the delivery room.
8 Very Comfortable Shoes
Wear your most comfortable shoes to the hospital or pack a pair of supportive shoes that fit well in a corner or pocket of your "go bag". Slip-on styles are good choices, as you may not want to deal with laces or other types of fasteners when you're in labor.
According to Prevention, shoes from Vionic are known for their comfort. Another option is Birkenstocks, which have sculpted footbeds that provide superlative comfort and support, in addition to lightweight cork soles. Naturally, heels and wedges aren't good choices for this time in your life. Stick with flat shoes, as they'll minimize the risk of slips and falls.
7 A Couple Changes of Clothes
When you're putting your "go bag" together, don't forget a couple of changes of clothes. According to Babycentre.co.uk, you should choose garments that are comfy and loose, which will be appropriate for the hospital and for the day that you bring your baby home.
Remember that you're not going to have a pre-pregnancy body right after childbirth. Your maternity clothes are therefore the most sensible options. Don't pack anything really fancy, as childbirth and the postpartum phase can be messy. Clothes may become stained. When you choose comfortable maternity wear and pack it up for the hospital, you won't have to wear the same thing the whole time that you're there.
6 Preferred Snacks from Home
Snacks sold at the hospital may cost a lot when they're purchased from cafeterias. Plus, snacks available in hospital vending machines may not suit your tastes or be the healthiest choices. With all of this in mind, be sure to pack some healthy things to eat.
You may get the munchies during labor. According to Birth Takes A Village, snacks to consider include wheat crackers, fruit, natural juices and granola bars. Trail mix is also a healthy option. When you have snacks on hand, you won't need to find food at the hospital or send your birth partner out to find snacks for you.
5 A Book Or Magazine
There may be times during labor when nothing seems to be happening and you get mentally restless. Labor can take a long time, especially for a first baby. This is why it'll be smart to bring a book or magazine along with you.
At this time in your life, you should treat yourself to a novel that you've been wanting to read, or a magazine (or a few magazines) that you typically devour from cover to cover. Another option is bringing along a treasured book that you've read many times. Reading familiar words during labor may comfort you. According to Cosmopolitan, Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward is a popular novel that women love.
4 A Swimsuit For Baths
There is the possibility that you'll want to take a bath during labor. Doing so may help to ease discomfort and keep you in a positive state of mind. This is why you should have a maternity swimsuit with you in the delivery room. There are nice styles out there to choose from. Go for a modest design. Now is not the time for racy one-pieces or bikinis. You can opt for those after you bounce back, post-labor.
According to The Bump, you can find cool styles at Asos and Target, to name just two of many retailers that offer swimsuits that fit the pregnant form.
3 Money (Cards, Cash & Vending Machine Change)
Don't forget cash, change and charge/debit cards when you head to the hospital. While having money and bank cards may be the last thing on your mind when your water breaks and chaos sets in, you may need money at the hospital, to pay for snacks and drinks. If you take a mixture of small bills, coins, and cards, you'll be prepared for anything.
If you have a birth partner, he or she may hang onto your money and cards while you're going through labor. According to Clark, birth partners often go out and get food or drink for pregnant women. They need cash to make purchases quickly and get the purchases back to the delivery room.
2 Toiletries and Maybe a Little Make-up
You should definitely bring some toiletries to the hospital. While you're probably not going to concerned with your appearance during labor, pack a little makeup, too, because you may want to put it on after you have your baby. At the least, a toiletry kit for labor should include a toothbrush, toothpaste and lip balm.
You may want to bring more with you, such as a foaming face wash, moisturizer, and tinted moisturizer. According to Healthy Families BC massage oil is also a great item to throw in a makeup bag filled with toiletries. A comb or hairbrush should also be added.
1 Nursing Bra and Other Underthings
Lastly, be sure to bring a nursing bra, as well as underpants that will fit your post-baby bod. Maternity underpants are often the most practical choices. A nursing bra will provide welcome support and make it easier for you to start breastfeeding. Maternity underpants will have enough room for a post-labor tummy. Having fresh underthings will make you feel better, but don't spend a fortune on underpants, as they may get stained. After labor, your body will go through some big adjustments. According to Babycenter, cotton underwear, one size larger than non-pregnancy size, usually works well and may be more affordable than maternity underwear.
References: Thebump.com, Fitpregnancy.com, Urbanmommies.com, Huffingtonpost.ca, Lifewithmylittles.com, Wikihow.com, Thebump.com, Anesthesiamyths.com, Babycenter.ca, Babycenter.com, Thenonconsumeradvocate.com, Parents.com, Prevention.com, Babycentre.co.uk, Birthtakesavillage.com, Cosmopolitan.com, Thebump.com, Clark.com, Healthyfamiliesbc.com, Babycenter.com