It’s a good idea to pack your hospital bag two weeks before your due date because, frankly, you won’t really know when the baby comes.
With our baby Atticus, though, our OBGYN in Manila scheduled for me to be induced if he still hasn’t come by the 39th week to prevent him from pooping in the womb and get any infections.
We consolidated the available checklists and tips from our friends and families, and followed them to a T. We came up with two bags: one for mommy, and one for baby.
But after our three days in the hospital, there were a few things we wished we brought. It’s a good thing I was admitted to a nearby hospital, so bringing things to follow weren’t much of a problem.
Here are some of them:
Our goal has always been to have a normal delivery. Yet after hours of labor and pushing, Atticus just wouldn’t descend, so I had an emergency C-Section. Naturally, I wasn’t able to move on my own after the procedure, and by the early recovery stage, I still felt useless because of the tenderness of the incision. My OBGYN adviced me to wear a binder to help “keep everything together”. This also adds pressure to the surgery site that helps the muscles to heal.
Believe me, you want to get as much comfort as you can get. Wearing a full or high-cut underwear is best so the garter won’t press on your incision.
Three Sizes of Newborn Clothes
How big you’re carrying doesn’t always determine your baby’s size. The only way to find out is when your baby finally comes. Bring baby clothes in at least two different sizes. Atticus was small at 5.5 lbs. Upon delivery. We’re glad we brought a “just born” size.
Tip: Label your items and put a checklist inside your baby’s bag. You will be handing this over to the nurse.
And being millennials, bring an Instagram worthy outfit!
Baby bottle and formula milk
The DOH and hospitals now have a strong campaign to breastfeed, but just in case I won’t be able to nurse right away (or at all), our OBGYN gave us a small can of formula milk. I am purely breastfeeding until now, but I have not nursed Atticus until he was roomed in after one day.
As a first time mom, I had to learn how to nurse as I go. Having breastfeeding-friendly clothes were a life-saver such as button down shirts, kimono blazers, front-open robes, and nursing clothes.
Part of making yourself comfortable during labor (if that even makes sense) is to keep your hair out of the way. Bring elastics or come to the hospital with your hair already tied or cut in a bob.
Portable bed and pillows- air mattress, foldable beds or sleepers.
In our experience, the hospital room will only have one bed, one pillow, one flimsy blanket, and one tiny couch your companions can rest on. It helps to bring your own gear to survive your days in the hospital. I made a mental note of this when I saw my husband trying to get some sleep in the most uncomfortable position by the side of my bed.
Tip: bring a nursing pillow (or a normal pillow for breastfeeding) so you can rest your arm on it.
Breastfeeding makes you hungry! Not to mention, your companions will be hungry too for looking after you all-day and night. Pack on filling snacks, and good for soft-diet ones for the mommy like oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies. I didn’t get to eat solid food until the 2nd day and choices were limited to soup.
Tip: If you don’t have diet constraints, bring home-cooked meals.
For convenience, we charged the hospital bill to our credit card and was planning to withdraw the cash-basis-only fees (doctor’s PF, etc.) at the available ATM. Unfortunately, the machine had a glitch and captured our ATM Card. Bring cash!
Bonus tip: Download a pregnancy app. Ours is Baby Center and is helpful until now. I used its built-in contraction timer tool during labor and to my nurse’s astonishment, I knew I was in active labor at one minute intervals.
We have prepared a Things to Pack for the Hospital When Giving Birth. Download here.