By Ghazala Alagh
As the delivery due date approaches it is natural, especially for moms-to-be to worry about their preparedness. There may be numerous doubts floating in your minds about what you should pack in your hospital bag to be fully prepared.
Well, a little planning in advance can make you feel prepared, stress-free and confident. Remember to keep your bag ready by the 36th week of your pregnancy. You may have to stay in the hospital for about three days in case of a virginal birth and about five days if you deliver through a C-section. To pack your hospital bags right on time with all the necessary stuff, follow the checklist below.
For the mom
Documents: Keep a copy of all your updated medical records. Ensure that the particulars of your medical insurance are handy.
Gowns: Usually the hospitals provide gowns but to be safe, pack a few loose, soft, and front open gowns. You can shop online as well for comfortable and classy maternity wear.
Maternity Pads: Right after delivery, it is quite normal to bleed heavily so make sure you have maternity pads in your bag. These are better suited to absorb the heavy flow and are softer compared to the standard sanitary napkins.
Lip Balm: Your lips may get dry and chapped in air-conditioned rooms, which can be irritating. To keep lips moist, pick and put a natural lip balm in your bag.
Facial Wipes: In hospital, during the last few hours, it is not very comfortable to get up and wash your face, so keep a pack of facial wipes for instant freshness.
Footwear: Do not forget to put on a pair of comfortable and supportive footwear such as slippers or flip-flops.
Nursing Bra: Have some full-support nursing bras which are comfortable and have good fitting.
Breast pads: To save yourself from accidental spilling once the milk supply kicks in, pack a few good quality breast pads as well, which are absorbent.
Nipple Cream: Initially, while your baby is still learning to latch, you can experience painful and broken nipples. For faster healing, keep some cream in your bag.
Toiletries and skincare products: Remember to keep your basic toiletries and skincare products in a pouch for use after you are allowed to bathe. Also, have some spare hairbands and rubber bands because open hair can be irritating to manage while you are in pain.
Snacks and drinks: Stock up some light and healthy snacks like granola bars or protein bars to be used in case you have a long labour.
For the baby
Babywear: Have at least four sets of easy to wear and seasonally appropriate clothes such as rompers, bodysuits, “jhablas”, sleepsuits, etc. Be careful to choose a breathable fabric and avoid fancy, synthetic material. Keep two to three pairs of socks, mittens, booties and some caps to keep the baby protected from cold and cough.
Blanket: You hospital will provide a blanket but they may not be as clean and soft as you would prefer for your little one. So pack one in your hospital bag as it will also act as a protective layer when you travel back home.
Burp Cloths: Newborn babies throw up frequently so ensure that you have kept a few pieces of muslin or burp cloth to keep them clean.
Baby Essentials: The essentials like body wash, soap bar, shampoo, massage oil, hair oil, dusting powder, wipes, etc will be required for the baby.
We know you would not want harmful chemicals anywhere near your newborn, so while picking up stuff either for you or your baby, stick to only natural and organic items. Once you have put everything in the bag, keep it in a place which is easily accessible and get ready to bring your bundle of joy into the world.
(The writer is founder of Mamaearth.)