Preparing For Your Hospital Stay
It's a good idea to have everything ready to go when you're 8 months pregnant, since you could go into labor at any time in the weeks before your due date. We recommend using a small, rolling suitcase.
Here’s a list of nearly everything you will need:
- A picture ID (driver's license or other ID), your insurance card and any other necessary paperwork.
- Your birth plan
- If you wear eyeglasses, bring them. If you wear contact lenses, bring your glasses and a spare set of contacts and contact solution
- A bathrobe, a nightgown or two, slippers, and socks. We provide gowns and socks for you to use during labor and afterward, but some women prefer to wear their own. Choose a loose, comfortable gown that you don't mind getting dirty. It should be either sleeveless or have short, loose sleeves so your blood pressure can be checked easily. Slippers and a robe may come in handy if you want to walk the halls during labor.
- Bring something to help you to relax. Here are some possibilities: Your own pillow (use a patterned or colorful pillowcase so it doesn't get mixed up with the hospital pillows), music and something to play it on, a picture of someone or something you love, anything else you find reassuring. If you're going to be induced, think about bringing something to read or watch because it may be a while before labor is underway.
- Toiletries Pack a few personal items, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant, a brush and comb, makeup, and a hair band or clip. We provide soap, shampoo, lotion and sanitary napkins, but some patients may prefer to use their own. Remember to pack for your partner if your partner plans to remain with you overnight.
- Cell Phone and charger
- Comfortable shoes
- Something to read or watch
After you deliver
- A fresh nightgown, if you prefer to wear your own
- Snacks! After many hours of labor, you're likely to be pretty hungry. We provide snacks, such as grapes, cheese, crackers, graham crackers and peanut butter, but if you think of something else you may enjoy, you may bring it along. Remember to bring snacks for your partner, as well.
- Comfortable nursing bras or regular bras. Whether or not you choose to breastfeed, your breasts are likely to be tender and swollen when your milk comes in, which can happen anytime during the first several days after delivery. A good bra can provide some comfort, and breast pads can be added to help absorb leaks.
- Several pairs of maternity underpants. We provide disposable underwear. Some women love them, but others don't. You may bring along roomy, cotton underwear if you prefer. The hospital will provide sanitary pads, because you'll bleed after delivery. If you prefer, you may bring your own. Make sure you have a supply of heavy-duty pads waiting at home.
- You may want to bring photos or gifts for your other children. It may help them to accept their new sibling.
- A notepad or journal and pen or pencil. Track your baby's feeding sessions, write down questions you have for the nurse, note what the pediatrician tells you and jot down memories of your baby's first day. You may also want to bring your baby book so you can record the details of his or her birth.
- A going-home outfit. Bring something roomy and easy to get into. You will still look 5 to 6 months pregnant when you leave the hospital.
For the Baby
- An installed car seat. Have a rear-facing car seat properly installed ahead of time and know how to buckle your baby in correctly. Contact your local police department or sheriff’s office for assistance in properly installing the car seat or for a car seat inspection.
- A going-home outfit. Be sure to dress your baby with something with legs so you can properly secure the car seat strap. You may need booties and a cap, depending on the weather.
- A receiving blanket. We provide blankets for swaddling your baby while you're with us, but you may want to bring your own to tuck around your baby in the car seat for the ride home.
- We provide diapers and wipes during your baby’s stay.