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And as an expectant mother, you probably are anxious about giving birth in a hospital during this period. Hey! I was troubled too when it was time for my baby’s immunization.
The good thing is that hospitals have included new policies to protect health workers and expectant mothers. So you can still enjoy a smooth experience as you bring your precious baby into the world.
Some of the new guidelines depend on where you live. Therefore it is important to have all the necessary information to be prepared for when your baby arrives. Things like, what you will be expected to bring along with you for the birth? Or what you need in terms of physical and emotional support?
Now is the time to make sure your hospital bag checklist is ready, so you don’t get any surprises if your little one decides to show up earlier than scheduled.
Not to worry, I have a few suggestions below of things to pack in your hospital bag for your comfort and safety in these pandemic times:
RELATED ARTICLE: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Your hospital bag checklist
Bring your “most prepared” support person
I usually say with a baby, you can’t be too prepared. So you definitely need some support.
Of course, they can’t fit into your bag, oh no! You need a person for the times when you want to hear comforting words, a hand to squeeze, or someone who will dash off to get you a “must-have” from the vending machine.
They could be your partner, a doula, parents, or friends you can count on, come rain or shine.
Last year, when I had my daughter I craved ice cream, and hubby definitely came to my rescue. It felt great!
Back to the current situation, most hospitals will allow only one person to go along with you. Also, there may be strict rules regarding what they can do while they are there.
Your support person should be healthy, showing no signs of temperature, or cough. These are very strange times. A seemingly innocent cough will definitely be met with some weird stares.
There may also be limits placed on movements within the hospital. Even the number of times they can leave the premises and come back, if at all. They will also need to follow all sanitizing procedures at the entry points.
The situation will be similar for you, you will likely be restricted to your room and its attached toilet for the entire time you are in hospital. And if you and your baby are healthy, you may be discharged early.
All these mean your support person needs to be as prepared as you for your hospital birth, if not more so.
RELATED READ: 51 things to get done before your baby is born
Preparing for labor and delivery, must-haves in your hospital bag.
Thankfully, most of the items you will need are still the same as pre-COVID. For your admission, you will need your insurance card, pregnancy records, birth plan, and any necessary identification.
You should pack your labor and postpartum items in separate sections in your bag where possible. It just makes things easier to find.
I almost went crazy searching for my Maxi pads once. I forgot I had packed them with baby’s diapers. They looked pretty much the same. I blamed it on my pregnancy brain. Yea! There is such a thing as a pregnancy brain, did you know?
For a quick review, you can carry along:
- A shirt or nightgown
- A pair of socks or slippers
- Hair Bands
- A birthing ball (if allowed)
- Your prescribed medicine
Also, for comfort take along
- Your special pillow in a pattern to tell it apart from hospital linen. I couldn’t get over how uncomfortable I felt with the pillows provided by my hospital.
Don’t forget to pack items for your support person, such as prescribed drugs, snacks, and more.
You’ll need the following:
- A robe
- 2-3 nightgowns or pajamas
- Flip flops for the shower
- A change of clothing for going home
- Toiletries and personal care items
It’s easy to forget small things like your lip balm but don’t. Also, pack the following items if the hospital will not provide them:
- Maxi pads (don’t forget to separate them from your baby’s diapers, laughs!)
- Nursing bras
- Breast pads
- Nipple cream
- Comfortable panties or disposable ones
For a more in-depth at your hospital bag checklist, pandemic or not, see the list below.
RELATED READ: The complete postpartum care checklist
There’s a pandemic, stay protected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone should wear face coverings like a scarf or bandana in public. Because some hospitals may not provide masks for their patients, you and your support person must have one each, at the very least.
There will be plenty of hand sanitizers at entry points throughout the hospital. Yet, it still would be sensible to keep a small bottle of your own with you at all times, for your peace of mind.
You do not need to bring any extra cleaning supplies. Hospitals have efficient protocols for keeping surfaces clean.
Bring along your cell phone, tablet, and a charger with an extra-long charging cord. Don’t forget your earphones! A small tripod to prop them up may be a good idea for hands-free video chats to family and friends. It would be good to know beforehand your hospital’s policies around taking videos during labor so you can prepare.
Take care of the munchies.
A good reminder once again that movements within the hospital or out of it will be restricted. So it might not be possible to dash off for a snack. It’s best to come well prepared with the drinks and munchies you need. A refillable water bottle might be a good idea too.
In general, mothers overdo it with baby items. And since hospitals want to discharge a healthy mom and her little one early after an uncomplicated delivery, it’s best to pack less. For a vaginal birth, you are likely looking at the day or after and 3 days for a C-section. The essentials are:
- 4-6 baby onesies and bibs (baby clothes are so soft and cute)
- 1-2 hats
- 4-6 muslin blankets
- 1 pack of 24 newborn diapers
- Baby wipes
- Nappy cream
- 1 roll of cotton wool, or a pack of cotton balls
- A going home attire for you little one
- A car seat
RELATED READ: What to pack in your hospital bag for labor
Feel in control with a little preparation
Don’t get caught off guard should your baby decide to come sooner than expected. You should have your hospital bag packed and ready, usually around your 35th week of pregnancy or week 37 at the latest. I had mine packed at week 30, I just loved the feel of baby outfits.
Plus, an empty sleeve or tote bag would be fabulous for all the paperwork and care instructions you’ll receive from the hospital.
Finally, you’ll need to make arrangements for your other children and pets. Especially if your partner is going to be your support person and can’t leave the hospital. Cheers! to exceptional delivery experience.