Preparing for Labor and Delivery: What to Pack

During the last trimester of pregnancy, expectant mothers often experience the nesting urge. This is a normal hormonal response to the impending new arrival to the family. Another important task during these final weeks is to pack a bag and collect essentials for the hospital stay. By preparing well in advance, parents-to-be can ensure that everything is in readiness for the big day.

Car Seat

While car seats cannot be packed into an overnight bag, these protective devices are essential equipment. In most cases, hospitals will not allow parents to take their baby home without a properly installed car safety seat in place.

Nightgown And Bathrobe

While a few women may feel more comfortable in the hospital gown and some hospitals insist on it, others should probably pack a nightgown or two. A bathrobe is a must as well for those trips to the bathroom or down the hall to visit the nursery.

Nursing bra and Pads

Even mothers who don’t plan to breastfeed can appreciate the added support and protection of nursing bras and protective inserts during the first few days after childbirth.

Underwear And Sanitary Pads

While the hospital generally will provide disposable underwear and pads for new mothers, most women feel more comfortable in their own clothes and their preferred brand of sanitary pads. Opt for maximum protection when choosing these items, since post-natal flow can be much heavier than normal.

Travel-Sized Toiletries

There’s no need to bring a full makeup kit, but a few select items can make any new mother feel prettier. Avoid heavy perfumes, however, as they can irritate the baby’s sensitive nose.

Newborn Outfits

It’s best to bring along several. The hospital will usually provide a one-piece or a small shirt, but an adorable outfit can make a big difference for those first pictures of the new, expanded family.

A Full Change of Clothes

Don’t forget to pack a set of clothes for the trip home. Loose-fitting, comfortable clothes are the best choices. While most women can regain their pre-pregnancy figures within a few months, maternity clothes may still fit better at this point.

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