When preparing to have a baby, what you pack for the hospital can make a real difference in the level of comfort and serenity that both parents experience. After all, if you are going to be stuck there for up to 72 hours under the most sleep deprived, stressful, blissful conditions, there are many things you need to be prepared for. So, it’s never too early to start planning and packing that hospital bag. But what exactly do you need on your hospital bag checklist? We got the scoop from Brooke Patmor, certified birth and postpartum doula at Natural Resources, a nonprofit parenting organization in San Francisco, and Cheryl K. Baker, a certified birth educator, founder of Los Angeles Birth Partners. They shared some suggestions, a checklist for the hospital bag and what you should actually pack and are ready to go to hospital when your baby is ready to come into the world.
1. The right bag
“Overall, it’s solid to usually have one head bag for you and your partner,” says Patmor. “A suitcase or bag is enough for that.” But remember, you are going to be in the hospital or birth center for a few days, so you will need a few different bags. “Bring a few clothes for each of you in your suitcase. And then bring one or two bags full of food on top of the main bag. ” We are a big fan of the Aviator 40-liter roller duffel of Douchebags as it comes with customizable compartments and can be hooked up 30-liter Hugger backpack. That way, all your suitcases are easily transportable and on wheels together. And for food, nothing beats a Yeti Hopper. It has soft edges, insulated, leak-proof and is comfortable to wear (which you can not say about many coolers).
2. Leave clothes for her
“Your hospital will offer a traditional gown, but if your wife is more comfortable in her own clothes, she should loosen something she is not too attached to, because things will get messy,” says Baker. She points out that for epidurals, a hospital gown with an open back may be more comfortable, although wearing an excess sweater at the back can achieve a similar effect. There are also several companies that sell stylish, comfortable gowns online.
3. Comfortable clothes for Him
“You should use every opportunity to be more comfortable when it comes to labor,” says Patmor. She also recommends packing slippers or some other form of slippers for both of you. “Bring slippers or Crocs or something,” she says. “Because there should be no bare feet in the hospital. That floor is disgusting. ” Patmor also suggests bringing a lot of layers: socks, sweatpants and cozy jackets as hospital rooms can get cold. Oh, bonus points if you pack swimwear for yourself so you can jump in the shower or birthing bath with your partner if she needs you.
4. Tools for the birth
Bring things that make birth more comfortable and more relaxing for your partner. “These are the things that can be seen as ‘extras’, but make the whole experience better for everyone,” says Patmor. “Bring a speaker with a playlist that you have already selected together. Have photos of the house you have and set around the room. Bring a birth image or a focal point on which your partner can focus and meditate during birth and a massage cream for before and after labor.
Patmor also says that many clients like to use essential oils and an aromatherapy dispenser — anything to keep any funky odors away and to create a good atmosphere in the hospital. For that we like it doTerra’s Aromatherapy Oils. Also not a bad idea – bring positive confirmation cards along so you know what to say or indicate the nurses with helpful phrases for the person giving birth. “It’s all unnecessary, but it’s nice perks that make the difference,” says Patmor.
5. Seriously, do not forget the yoga ball
Many hospitals provide a yoga ball for women in labor, but it does not hurt to come with yours, just in case. These large, inflatable devices are also called a birth ball, and can be purchased at any sporting goods store and are Baker’s best suggestion for birth equipment. “They are very useful to sit on during labor as they open the pelvis and relax the perineum,” she says. “Most women find it more comfortable to sit on them than to lie in bed.” Equally useful: The balls can be used for a gentle rocking motion, which encourages the baby’s descent. “Babies need movement to get out,” Baker says. “The more you move, the easier it gets.”
6. Hygiene products
Although hospitals are “sterile”, you will need a lot of personal hygiene products for you and your partner. “As the father, who will be in the mother of his child’s personal space at birth, you must have the toothbrush and toothpaste — duh — but also gum and mint,” warns Patmor. “It’s so important to have fresh mouth odors around the midwife – who are incredibly sensitive to odors during labor.” Pack your normal Dopp set (shower supplies, deodorant and a razor), but also pack some extras for your partner. “The hospital will have pads and underwear, but nipple cream and coconut oil are important additives to pack,” says Patmore. “Any new mom will love nipple cream.” (She recommends MotherLove Nipple Cream as a customer’s favorite).
Patmor also suggests that you have a little witchcraft to put on the sanitary napkins after birth as it is soothing and healing.
7. Your pillow
“Sometimes it’s exaggerated, but it can be great to have one of your own pillows.” The hospital will provide it as well, and your wife may want to use those industrial options to tuck between her legs, or for lower body support, as they will get fluids on them. But for a soft headrest or a comforting accessory to push during contractions, nothing beats a pillow off the house. And do not be ashamed – bring yours too. Who knows how long you are going to wait, and having a comfortable pillow makes camping in a hospital chair a little more relaxing.
This is probably the most important thing you will bring to the hospital. Pack lots of food and make it food you actually like. “It sounds funny and superfluous, but if you do not like bananas, do not pack it,” says Patmor. “You will be picky and you need to eat regularly and be able to enjoy and keep it.” She suggests packing nuts, seeds, fruits to feast on, as they are all high in nutrients and easy to digest. What else should be in the snack? Coconut water and / or bone broth to replace electrolytes after labor. Plus, pack some real meals (that’s where the cooler comes in.) “Bring something you can warm up at the hospital that is hearty and easy to digest for after birth — like a stew or something, because often you will “I only guarantee that you will be hungry and that you will earn more than hospital food.”
9. a comforter
While you do not want to show up for the delivery like those people at the airport dragging five suitcases for a weekend in Miami, you also want your wife to be as comfortable as possible. The lower her stress, the easier the delivery. For the purpose, pack your own soft blanket or quilt. “I had a birth last Saturday where the family brought their comforter from home and the mother was very cozy,” Baker says. “The extra warmth can be nice as many women get chills during labor, and the notoriety of being wrapped in your own blanket is reassuring.”
10. Electric Candles
Now we feel like it. Electric candles are a favorite of Baker’s because they add a warm, cozy glow without the danger of fire to an otherwise cold and sterile space. “I always carry this – and many other things in my maternity bag,” she says. “I’m like Mary Poppins, minus the lamp.” LED candles or string lights can be very nice if the hospital does not have dimmers, as hospital lights tend to be loud.
11. Gemmer kou
Nausea is common during labor, but this ginger is a natural remedy known to help with nausea and motion sickness. In addition, the chewing action stimulates saliva production, which helps with another common labor complaint: Dry mouth.
If your wife has long hair, a handful of extra elastics to hold it back can come in handy during the hot and heavy minutes of pressure. She will probably want to keep it out of her face during and after labor.
13. A Battery-powered fan
Labor is hard work, and hospital rooms can get hot in a hurry. By packing a small, portable fan, you can place the fresh air directly where your wife wants it, without taking up precious property. “It gets very hot and sweaty during the birth process,” Baker says. “A battery-powered fan – or even one of those Japanese fans – is an easy way to take control of the climate.”
14. Warm Package
If it sounds weird packing for hot and cold climates, welcome to the crazy world of birth. “A lot of my moms get the chills during labor,” Baker says. “It may be 100 degrees out, but it suddenly feels like they’re freezing.” Thermacare heat encapsulated can be applied to the lower back to relieve discomfort, or your wife can squeeze it into her hands when she gets cold. You can also pack a heating pad or a hot water bottle — sometimes hospitals do not have it on hand.
15. Portable speakers
At Baker’s LA Hospital, all speakers have recently been removed from rooms, so if your wife wants to give birth to Bach’s sounds, she’ll have to plug them in herself. “I like the Beats Pill speaker – it’s nice and small, ”Baker suggests. “But really, anything that will play classical or soothing music works.” Baker’s playlist advice: Go instrumental. “I heard everything, including a couple who wanted to listen to the Grateful Dead during labor,” she says. “But most of the time, spa-like music is fun and relaxing is the way to go.”