Towards the end of your pregnancy, you should start packing your ‘hospital bag’ and have it ready on standby so that anytime your baby comes, you can pick up the bag and go to the hospital. Make sure your husband knows where the hospital bag is kept. This is in case you are not going to the hospital from home and your husband has to be the one who brings the bag to the hospital for you.
What Should Be in Your Hospital Bag
You will probably be given a list of things to bring by the hospital where you will be giving birth in. The list varies slightly from hospital to hospital. By generally, here are the essentials:
For you –
- Night gowns, preferably a nursing night gown for ease of breastfeeding. You can get such night gowns from Moms in Mind. If you are giving birth in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, they provide nursing night gown so you don’t need to bring your own.
- Disposable maternity panties. Mt. Alvernia Hospital provides a kind of undies made of a stretchy, netting material which you may use instead of the disposables. Maternity disposable panties can be bought from pharmacies.
- 1 pair of socks.
- 1 pair of slippers (if you are not wearing slippers/sandals to the hospital in the first place).
- Nursing bras.
- A set of clothes to go home in. ( I actually went home in the dress I wore to the hospital ‘cos I was still rather ‘big’ after giving birth.)
- Your personal toiletries. The hospitals do provide basic toiletries like soap and shampoo, but you will still need whatever you particularly need (e.g. specific brand of soap) and your toothbrush.
- A small box of tissue. Trust me, you will find this useful.
- A sweater, in case you are cold. You can also use a bathrobe instead.
- Maternity pads. The hospitals provide the loop kind. You may want to bring the stick-on type. I have never known of anybody who can be comfortable using a loop pad.
- The important documents needed for your hospitalisation, e.g. admission form, hospital appointment card, your company’s medical card (if any), your identity card, etc.
- Small change! Have some small change in the bag so that when the big day comes and you need to take a cab to the hospital, you don’t have to hunt around for money (especially small notes) to pay the cabby.
- Your written birth plan (signed/acknowledged by your own doctor), if you have one. You will need this to remind the nurses and doctors of what you want and not want for the labour.
- Breast pads.
On top of these essentials, you may want to bring other things such as a book to read, a camera to capture the special moments, etc.
For the new baby –
- A set of clothes to bring the baby home in. Not every hospital will give it to you free. Anyway, I personally prefer to dress my baby in something not from the hospital. Bring the baby home in something that daddy and mommy bought especially for the occasion, you know.
- Receiving blanket to wrap the baby in. Some hospitals do provide this though.
- Mittens and booties.
The above is just a general list. You may wish to check with your hospital what you should bring because different hospitals provide somewhat different things for their patients.
Do not worry too much about forgetting to bring things (other than the important hospitalisation documents). Every hospital has a sundry shop. You can get things from the shop if you happened to have forgotten to bring them.