Whether you feel as ready as you can ever be, or you are apprehensive about this major event in your life, a little preparation goes a long way in making sure you have a smooth experience.
And speaking of preparation, getting your hospital bag ready is one of the top things you need to take care of.
When it’s time to go to the hospital, a packed hospital bag will make your life a lot easier. You definitely don’t want to start looking for the things you might need at the hospital after your water breaks or you are already in labour.
Hence, it is recommended that you keep your bag packed and ready to go once you are near your term.
So, without further ado, below are the list of things you need. For simplicity, we have divided the list into things needed for the mummy and for the baby.
List of things to pack for the mummy
Keep all the important documents in your hospital bag so that no critical information is missed when you go to the hospital for delivery. Also, keep a set of photocopies for all the important documents. Here’s a list of the documents you will need:
NRIC of you and your spouse
Hospital admission form
Maternity insurance form
A birth plan, if you have created one
Original marriage certificate
Your file with doctors’ assessments from all outpatient visits and reports with bills
Credit cards and cash
Note that you can get the birth registered at the hospital as well as at ICA Singapore. If you are planning to register at the hospital, you will need the proper documentation mentioned above. Do carry the list of baby names you have shortlisted, if gender is a surprise or if you haven’t decided what to name your little one yet!
You will need comfortable clothes in the hospital. Consider packing the below items of clothing.
Nursing bras - Keep a couple of clean nursing bras with you to wear after birth. The new experience of breastfeeding will be easier with an appropriate maternity nursing bra. Also, as the milk comes in, a nursing bra will help provide good support to your breasts and help you feel more comfortable. The soft fabric will also be gentle on nipples sore from early breastfeeding.
Maternity gown or bathrobe - When you are in labour, wearing a loose bathrobe or maternity gown is a good idea. Your hospital might require you to put on a hospital gown before you enter the labour room. All the same, having a loose garment of your own is a good idea.
Disposable underwear - It’s a good idea to carry disposable underwear with you. As labour progresses, you might experience spotting. Also, if your water breaks while you are at the hospital, your underwear can get soaked. Disposable underwear is a good option in this case.
Maternity underwear -Maternity underwearwith a low waistband is a must-have to wear after delivery. If you have a C-section birth, the maternity underwear waistband will lie below the incision, thus not irritating the stitches.
Comfortable nursing wear - Pack some clothes that you can rest in such as comfortable maternity nursing dresses and pyjamas. Also, carry a dress with you that you can wear when you come home from the hospital.
You can consider having the below accessories in your hospital bag.
Breast pads - As a new mother who will start lactating, your breastmilk supply will take some time to establish according to your baby’s needs and feeding schedule. To take care of leaking breasts during this time, nursing padscan be very helpful. They will also save your nursing bras from being soaked in leaked breastmilk.
Sanitary pads - You will need good-quality sanitary pads to take care of the bleeding after delivery. Many women bleed heavily after childbirth so you might want to go for heavy-duty sanitary pads.
Recovery belly binder - A recovery belly binder not only helps your stomach to regain its original shape sooner, but it also helps support your belly muscles after delivery. With a good maternity binder, you will be able to move more comfortably.
Toiletries - Carry your favourite body lotion and moisturiser and other essential toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and hairbrush. Don’t forget your lip balms and your hand cream.
Wipes and napkins - Keep some wet wipes and napkins with you. Labour can make you break into a sweat. A cool wipe will be comforting during this phase.
Socks and slippers - If your feet feel cold, you might want to put on socks. It also helps you have a pair of comfortable slippers to wear as you pace up and down during labour.
Gadgets - Keep your phone charger with you and earphones too. They will come in handy when you want to listen to some music or watch some videos while in the hospital.
Breast pump - Some mothers choose to pump milk soon after the delivery to get the milk supply established. A breast pump also comes in handy to stimulate the breasts for milk production if the baby is not actively suckling. If you're choosing this path, get yourself a breast pump and also a couple of pumping bras .
Hair ties - When you are in labour, during birth, or after that while you take care of your little one, you might need hair ties to keep your hair out of the way. It’s a small thing, but easy to miss. So, do keep a few hair ties in your hospital bag.
Eye mask - An eye mask can feel like a boon when you want to shut out the ambient or hospital lights and get some much-needed rest.
List of things to pack for the baby
1. Baby clothes
Pack some newborn clothes in your bag. Bodysuits and onesies are great options since they are easy to put on. Also, keep mittens and socks for the baby. Your newborn will also need a hat that protects her ears and keeps her warm. Depending on the weather, keep options for layering such as sweaters and jackets for the baby. You will also need baby blankets and swaddling clothes. Keep a couple of soft towels which you will need after your baby’s first and subsequent baths.
Some hospitals provide baby clothes and mittens. So, do check with your hospital before deciding what to pack in the hospital bag.
2. Diapers and nappies
Some mothers prefer disposable diapers while others prefer cloth diapers or nappies. Depending on your preference, carry enough diapers with you. Remember that a newborn will pee at least 7-8 times during a day and might soil the diaper up to 3-4 times a day. So, be prepared!
3. Baby accessories
Keep some baby wipes, diaper rash creams, baby oil, baby lotion, and baby body wash with you. Hospitals usually provide these. So, do check with the hospital what they provide and plan accordingly.
When you already have a hospital bag packed, it’s one thing less to worry about. Do remember to ask your birthing partner to also pack the essentials they might need in a separate bag. Usually, for a vaginal birth, you might be in the hospital for 2-3 days. For a C-section birth, you might be in the hospital for 3-4 days. Pack your hospital bag accordingly.
Above all, remember to relax and have fun when you pack the hospital bag. You can also keep something that comforts you such as your favourite pillow or a blanket. Just ensure that you have everything you need for a comfortable stay in the hospital. It is also a good idea to speak to your doctor about the things you might need and plan ahead.
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