For your labour:
Gather some essentials to make yourself more comfortable during labour and recovery and to help you prepare for your homecoming. It is best to pack a few weeks before your due date, in case you go into labour early. Here are some things you should include:
- Your health insurance card and proof of any additional benefits you may have
- Multiple copies of your birth plan. Check out our tips for creating your Birth Plan
- Labour kit containing items recommended in your childbirth classes
- Warm socks (to wear in the delivery room)
- Nightgown for recovery (one that opens in front if you’re breastfeeding), slippers and housecoat
- 2 or more bras (breastfeeding or good support bra)
- 5 or more pairs of underwear
- Highly absorbent sanitary napkins
- Loose-fitting clothing for the trip home (something that would fit when you were 5-6 months pregnant)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
- Body lotion or massage oil (unscented)
- Camera and/or a video camera plus extra batteries
- Snacks and drinks or coins for vending machines
- Cosmetics. You will be immortalized on film, so pack your comb and brush and your makeup kit. You might get a chance to use them on the big day, and you’ll probably want to spruce up before visitors arrive
For your baby:
- Baby outfits: 2-3 sleepers/t-shirts (pre-washed)
- A receiving blanket
- Diapers & wipes
- A going home outfit, including warm outer clothes, hat and a blanket for cool weather
- Cans or bottles of infant formula if you intend to bottle-feed so your baby can start with the brand of your choice
Reminders for your labour coach:
You can’t remember everything, and that’s where your labour coach comes in. He or she should be able to pick up where you leave off, and help you out with things you just can’t do on your own. Here are a few suggestions:
- Pack a few snacks or a sandwich to sustain you during labour without having to leave your partner’s bedside. Also, bring money for parking, the vending machines and payphone while at the hospital (check with hospital staff to find out where cell phone use is permitted).
- Bring a book to read, board or card games to play with, or music player and speakers for your partner to listen to while she’s in labour to help her relax.
- Make sure you have fresh batteries.
- Bring the phone numbers of family members to call once the baby arrives.
- Install the car seat for the trip home (best if this is done a few weeks prior to delivery). Read more about the importance of properly installing your car seat here.
- Don’t forget the flowers!
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