Already having been through the birthing process, you may already be familiar with what to expect during delivery and your hospital stay. It should be no surprise that comfort is key during labor and it is crucial to take the time to pack a hospital bag with items that will put you at ease during your stay.
Need a refresher on hospital bag essentials? We put together a list of items that will bring you the most comfort and relief when it comes time for delivery:
Copies of Personal Information Documents
It is a good idea to keep copies of your personal information—a copy of your driver’s license, insurance card, birth certificate, social security card, etc.—in your hospital bag.
It only takes a few minutes to make copies and they will be a huge relief to have in the event that you leave the hard copies behind during a mad dash to the delivery room.
Birth Plan and Surrogacy Documents
The hospital will most likely be informed and prepared for the surrogacy delivery, but it's never a bad idea to pack and prepare as if they are not. Having a copy of your birth plan will ensure things proceed as you have requested during labor.
The hospital will almost certainly have the pre-birth order, or other legally binding documents to ensure the IPs parentage. However, if you feel most at ease when thoroughly prepared, you will want to ensure that your own copies of all documents are safely packed in your hospital bag.
It's a good idea to include some comfortable socks, slippers with gripping, large comfortable underwear, a robe, a fresh pair of clothes, and some extra nightgowns in your hospital bag.
During labor, you will most likely be expected to wear a hospital gown, but you may spend time walking around the hospital floors before the big push. Having your own socks, gripped bottom slippers and robe can bring a little extra comfort at that time. Additionally, hospital socks are not exceptionally comfortable, and women commonly experience cold feet during labor, so a nice fuzzy pair of socks will be a great comfort during your stay.
Most importantly, don't forget a fresh set of clothes. After labor, you will want to be comfortable and feel refreshed before returning home. After the newborn has arrived and you are ready to go home, you will thank yourself for bringing a fresh, cozy pair of clothes to exit the hospital in.
We all have those items in our home that are of great comfort to have. These items can be soothing, hygienic, or provide other miscellaneous comforts. For example, if you have a specific pillow from home that has helped during put you at ease previous deliveries, plan to pack it in your hospital bag.
Any massage items, essential oils, or music that will put you at ease and help to comfort you during labor should be packed as well. Toiletries will also be essential to have. After the delivery, you will want to feel refreshed and clean with a shower. While the hospital will have soaps and other cleaning items on hand, you may prefer your own shampoos, body washes, maxi pads, or lotions from home to feel a sense of familiarity and comfort after labor.
Let's face it—snacks are always a good idea, labor or not. Yes, the hospital will provide meals, but you may want snacks in between, or snacks that will fulfill a particular craving. Be proactive and bring them with you... your taste buds will thank you.
Also, to ward off a dry mouth during labor, be sure to bring along some sugar-free candies or lollipops.
You may find you have some time on your hands before being discharged where the limited television available in the room just does not meet your entertainment needs. Be prepared by packing your go-to entertainment distractions. Whether it’s a game on your smartphone or tablet, a knitting project, Sudoku puzzle books, a novel, or gossip magazines, be sure to pack something that will help you pass the time before being discharged.