What you should prepare and pack for delivery?
The day you welcome your precious bundle is just a few weeks away. It’s excitement and anticipation all around but don’t forget to pack for your short stint in the hospital! Whether you are trying for normal delivery or have a planned caesarean section, it is always good to be prepared beforehand as you can never know what might happen in the last few weeks. Packing your bag a few weeks before will save you a lot of stress especially if labour starts.
Here is a hospital bag checklist of what you might like to prepare.
For Your Baby
- An outfit to go home with – This includes booties/socks and mittens. Bring a cap if it’s a cold day as babies tend to lose a lot of heat from their head.
- A receiving blanket or swaddle – the hospital provides blankets for your baby while you are still there, however you would need to bring your own when baby is ready for home.
- An installed car seat – The car seat should be properly installed (Isofix or seatbelt fastened) and secured ahead of time. Be sure you know how to operate the safety belt and secure your baby well.
- Your Identification Card (IC) for admission purposes as well as Medisave or insurance claims.
- Any other documents that might be required for your admission or instructed by your doctor
- A birth plan if you have discussed this with your doctor
- Spectacles if you wear them – It is not advisable to wear contact lenses in labour as it could take some time and you do not want to have to deal with them once you are in established labour
- Toiletries – Pack your personal items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, comb etc. Hospitals do provide simple amenities and bath essentials if you request them but if you have any particular preferences, it would be best if you brought your own
- A comfortable gown and footwear – Hospitals do provide gowns for your use during and after labour but if you prefer to wear your own garments, bring a loose and comfortable gown that you don’t mind getting soiled. Believe it or not, even after you have delivered, you will still look like you are 6 months pregnant.
- Anything else that makes you comfortable or helps you to relax – Be it your iPad or tablet, even a book to read while waiting for labour to progress. However, make sure you can safe keep such valuable items in a locked drawer.
For Your Partner
- How can we forget the camera/video camera? Remember to pack this in together with fully charged batteries and a memory card. You will become happy shutterbugs once you see your bundle of joy.
- Comfortable clothes and shoes if he is staying with you in the hospital
- Some cash/credit card/ATM card in case you might like to make some purchases
For After Delivery
- Comfortable nursing bras or regular bras – a good bra will help provide comfortable support especially when your milk comes in and remember your breast pads as well to absorb leaks
- Some parents bring “gifts” for their newborn to give to their older siblings – this can help prevent them from feeling left out
- An outfit to go home with – something comfortable and roomy, preferably a dress that you can easily slip into
What You Shouldn’t Bring
- Large amounts of cash and other valuables
- Medications – the hospital will provide them for you
- Diapers – the hospital also provides this for your baby for the entire stay
- Breast pump – if you need to use a breast pump, the hospital can provide this for you during your stay so leave yours at home
By Dr Claudine Tan, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, SBCC Women’s Clinic
*Update: Dr Claudine Tan is no longer practising at SBCC Women’s Clinic
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