One of the number one hand outs we are asked for is a list of what to pack for the hospital when you are getting ready to give birth! You want to know what will be most helpful or useful, and what you can leave at home.
Your doulas are happy to discuss what to pack with you more in-depth based on what your goals, and needs, as well as give you customized advice based on where in Cincinnati or Dayton you are giving birth. To get you started, though, you can find a printable PDF version by clicking the image below!
Along with the list, here are a few other tips to help make the packing easier:
Have your partner do the packing.
This way, they know where everything is in the bags, and you aren't having to give directions while trying to cope with labor. Trust us, you will appreciate this when the time comes!
Pack separate bags.
You won't need everythin at once, so we suggest dividing your list up into the things you will need during labor, and the things that you will want after the baby is born. While some of the local hospitals you will stay in the same room for your entire stay, most have a separate postpartum wing where you will be transferred around 2-3 hours after the birth. This is a great moment for your partner or other support person to step out and grab the other bag from the car to bring in.
If you are unsure what your hospital policy is, your doula will know. You can also ask your doula for help in dividing our packing list up into what you might need before and after the birth.
Set aside a "going to the hospital" snack.
In the final weeks of pregnancy, we suggest keeping a full water bottle (or even better, an electrolyte drink), handy in the fridge, along with an easy to grab-and-go snack. We suggest picking food that is high in protein and complex carbs: think cheese cubes and nuts, or peanut butter and whole grain crackers. Have this ready to grab and eat on your way to the hospital as your last snack, and boost of energy and hydration! Be sure to set something aside for your partner too- they will need the energy as well!
Consider packing around 36-38 weeks.
While many women will go to or even past their due date, it's a good idea to be prepared a little bit earlier just in case baby decides to make their debut a little ahead of schedule. Keep everything in an easily accessible place, and consider writing a little note to put on the top of the bags with reminders for last minute items that you cannot pack until you go (think: phones and wallets especially). You can also write on this list any last minute leaving the house instructions so that even if you have to leave quickly, or it's 2am and you are groggy, you won't forget to do what is important!
Don't forget the carseat install.
This is also a good time to make sure that you have learned and practiced installing your carseat correctly. Call your local fire department to set up a free meeting with a certified carseat safety technician, who can walk you through installation and also give you some valuable tips and information on keeping your new baby safe in the carseat. The hospital will require you to have a proper carseat before discharging baby.
And while you are installing the carseat, consider putting the boppy or other breastfeeding pillow in the car too for mom! Sitting on a boppy for the car ride during labor can help to absorb the bumps as you are laboring.
If you forget it, don't sweat it.
Almost everything you could want to take, you can make it without, and can get later. Often friends and family are more than willing to help you out by grabbing needed but forgotten items later.
Is there anything you would add to this list of tips? Anything you would add to the packing list? If you have any questions about why certain items made the list, let us know! We would be happy to answer your questions.