Let's Go Honey! Packing Your Delivery Bag
Even if you're early in your pregnancy, you are probably thinking about your delivery. There are many questions that you may have, particularly if this is your first delivery. It's a good idea to know what the delivery will be like, and to be prepared with your hospital bag. You certainly don't need to pack your bag the day you find out you are pregnant! However, you can have it packed a few weeks before your due date. No one wants to frantically run around trying to find their pajamas and their nursing bras during contractions!
Putting the Bag Together
Your bag should be roomy enough for everything that you want to bring. While you don't want to look like you are moving into the hospital for good, you can certainly bring items that will make you comfortable for your overnight stay. It should be a bag that you won't miss for a few weeks and that you can leave in the back of your car. If you suddenly go into labor, the bag will be ready to go and you won't have to think about where you put it. If you have last minute items that you are going to want to throw into it, you should make a list of these and make sure that your husband has it. He will be put in charge of gathering the last minute items while you are dealing with your contractions.
What's In the Bag
Different people will need different things in their bag, but there are certainly items that most people will find helpful. Include your birth plan, if you've written one, and have a few copies ready. Bring a nightgown, robe, socks, and other items that will help you to feel at home. You'll want to have shoes for the shower such as flip flops or Crocs. Include some cozy slippers if you enjoy having this type of item. Bring reading materials such as books or magazines in case you have a long labor, and for those hours when the baby is sleeping and you can't sleep. Bring an outfit to bring the baby home in and something for yourself. Remember, if you plan to nurse, that you'll need clothes that offer you access for nursing. You'll also need to have a nursing bra ready to go home in.
Aids for Labor
There are certain items that you'll want to bring along for the actual labor. Pack your TENS machine, your heating pads, your soothing music and your lollipops or popsicles. If the birthing location will allow you to drink or eat, then bring along some cold drinks and some light food. You may want to have some snacks for your partner, as the labor may take a long time and you may want to keep him by your side. Have snacks for yourself, as well, after the delivery. You never know when they will bring you your meals and you may find yourself ravenous after delivery! Keep that camera and video camera handy as well, of course, for the big moment. Make sure you've got your cell phone and that all of the numbers that you need are programmed into it.
Aids for Recovery
Consider items that will help to nurture you after the baby is born and include these in your bag. You can purchase disposable underwear from many pharmacies and you may find these helpful. If you don't want these, then make sure to pack a lot of underwear. Your bleeding may be quite heavy at the beginning and will continue for long after you've returned home. Bring sanitary napkins if you are partial to a certain brand. Pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and other grooming items. You may want lip balm, as your lips may get chapped during labor and nursing. You may consider bringing a journal so that you can record your birth experience, or other items that will nurture and help you.
This is your birthing bag. Give some thought to the things that you will want to include in it. Undoubtedly, if you forget something, your partner will be able to retrieve it at home. While the time in the hospital will be a bit harried and stressful, you can also make it more relaxing and enjoyable with the right items. Pack your bag with care and get ready for the big moment to arrive!