As your delivery date draws closer, you’re probably wondering what you should pack in your hospital bag. It’s great to start thinking about this early! You never know exactly when your baby is going to come, and you don’t want to be left scrambling to assemble your hospital bag at the last minute.
Mama Glow knows how important it is for new parents to have the tools they need to stay calm, comfortable, and in control during the labor and delivery process. When it comes to packing your hospital bag, the key is to stick to the essentials. You don’t want to be stuck hauling around a heavy bag full of expensive stuff you don’t end up using! Below, we’ve listed some great budget-friendly items to include in your bag whether you’re the birthing parent or non-birthing partner.
Every parent will want to pack a few different outfits for your stay in the hospital and your ride home. Beyond this, if you’re the birthing parent, consider bringing your own delivery gown. You can purchase delivery gowns that feature all of the easy-access functionality of hospital gowns without the scratchy discomfort. You’ll also want a nursing bra and a few pairs of postpartum recovery underwear. And remember to include some comfortable clothes for sleeping in, whether it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt or a new set of nursing pajamas.
You may even want to splurge on some new clothes to make you feel beautiful and confident in photos with your new baby. After all that you’ve been through, you deserve to treat yourself!
Clothing for Your Baby
Since you’ll be coming back from the hospital with a baby in tow, remember to pack some clothes for the little one as well. Bring one or two sets of clothing for your newborn. It’s easy to save money on baby clothes when you buy used, so if you still need some clothing items for your collection, keep it budget-friendly by using hand-me-downs from friends or relatives. Your baby will outgrow these clothes faster than you think!
Entertainment isn’t essential, but for both birthing and non-birthing parents, it can improve your labor experience. If the labor lasts for many hours, it will help to have an entertaining distraction to keep your mind off your own or your partner’s pain. Bring a book, games, or a deck of cards to play with your partner. Remember to bring your phone and a charger. Pack a spare charger in your hospital bag now — there’s a good chance you’ll forget to bring one amid the chaos on the big day. You don’t want to end up purchasing these from the hospital gift shop at premium prices amidst boredom from a long wait!
While some birthing parents never touch the snacks that they bring to the hospital, it doesn’t hurt to pack a few items in case you get hungry. Some hospitals don’t allow snacking during labor, but you might want to eat something after your delivery. You just can’t rely on the quality of hospital food. To keep your snacks budget-friendly, make your own ahead of time, and pop them in the freezer. These packable, tatlike muffins, energy bites, and homemade granola bars.
A Bag for Non-Birthing Partners
Last but not least, non-birthing partners should make sure to pack a bag, too! This person should be in charge of packing and managing important documents like the birthing parent’s birth plan and your insurance papers. Creating a birth plan can help you save a lot of money at the hospital.
The non-birthing partner should also consider packing some snacks of their own so they won’t have to leave the birth parent’s side to hunt down some food. If your hospital allows partners to stay overnight, they should be sure to pack comfortable clothing and toiletries as well. They can also win some extra points by packing massage oil — a massage can help reduce pain and encourage relaxation during labor.
There’s only so much you can do to prepare for childbirth. Regardless of what you pack in your hospital bag, things may not go exactly to plan — and that’s okay! Do what you can to prepare and be ready to roll with the punches.
Are you looking for support through pregnancy and beyond? Check out our offerings at Mama Glow for education, emotional support, and guidance through prenatal care to new parenthood