Everyday Miracles: Your Delivery Bag
The big day is on the horizon! The nursery is almost complete, your baby shower is in the books, you've taken those prenatal classes and in all the anticipated due date just feels so far off. But now in your third trimester, it's time to think about what needs to go with you to the hospital. Even at just 8 months it's best to have a bag packed in preparation so you don't forget anything in that rush to labor and delivery!
We've listed some items below you will need for the birth of your baby, and as well some nice to haves! And to all the Moms out there: if you have other items that have proved helpful, be sure to let us know in the comments on our Facebook page!
The big day is on the horizon: the nursery is almost complete, your baby shower is in the books, you've taken those prenatal classes and in all the anticipated due date just feels so far off. But now in your third trimester its time to think about what needs to go with you to the hospital. Even at just 8 months it's best to have a bagged packed in order to be prepared so you don't forget anything in that rush to labor and delivery!
Let's Start With The Essentials:
Driver's License, Photo ID, Insurance Card, any Hospital Paperwork you may need, and your Birth Plan.
This is especially important if you have any extenuating health concerns: Diabetes, Epilepsy, Hypertension, Rh Negative or other health concerns you would want your providers to know should you not be able to give that information yourself. If you've taken some time and worked with your provider on a birth plan, be sure to pack it in your delivery bag. Often you may think you have it down to a science, but there may be details that slip your mind at the time of labor!
Eyeglasses, Prescriptions, etc. (for both of you!)
Here's where Dad starts coming in too! Be sure to not only pack contact solution, carriers, cleaning drops, etc. but also a backup pair of glasses. Even if you don't wear your glasses very often you may not want to have your contacts in consistently while at the hospital.
Also, if your spouse needs a prescription for a health concern, be sure to pack a couple of doses of their medication in your bag. While the hospital will take care of mom and baby, technically we can't provide prescription medicines for your spouse since they aren't the patient outright. It can be all too easy to forget a small item like a pill or even an insulin dose when you are rushing for the door, and rightfully the focus is on the mother. So be sure to get ahead of that and have a couple doses on hand just in case.
Comfortable Clothes (for both of you!)
We provide hospital gowns for our moms, but you may want something a bit more comfortable. So bring a robe or nightgown (or two), slippers and socks. While choosing a robe or nightgown, aim for something that you won't mind getting dirty, but also is loose and-most importantly-comfortable! Try to keep one or two in reserve for after you deliver so you have a clean, fresh gown to wear. Try to purchase nightgowns that are sleeveless or have loose sleeves so we can get in to check your blood pressure, administer IVs, etc. Slippers and nonskid socks can also help if you want to walk during labor or if your feet have a habit of getting cold. For your spouse or birthing partner, comfort also is the name of the game: t-shirts, comfortable pants/bottoms, sneakers and shoes.
Other items that you may not think about: nursing bras, breast pads or regular bras in a slightly larger size. Even if you opt to not breastfeed, your breasts are likely going to be enlarged plus tender and swollen. The timeline of this development can last anywhere from 1-3 days. Plan a bit out for your future self and pack comfy bras so you can relax after delivery!
Special Note: In a similar effort, don't forget comfy undies such as maternity underpants. We provide mesh underwear for our patients right after delivery, but some new moms are more comfortable in their own (roomy) cotton underpants.
Cell Phone Chargers, Portable Chargers, Cameras and Backup Batteries.
While most of us carry a phone complete with photo and video capabilities as well as the capacity for instant and live social sharing, be sure to bring backup cables and wall chargers to keep those batteries charged. If you have a nice point-and-shoot or DSLR camera, be sure to pack it along with backup batteries and chargers so that you can get better photos of those first precious moments!
Toiletries (for both of you!)
Your spouse or birthing partner may have the best of intentions, planning to go home to get some rest and refreshment after the birth. But as often happens, once that baby comes, it's harder and harder to pry oneself away from the nursery. Having common toiletries around can help refresh both of you after delivery! Bring shampoos, soap, brushes/combs, shave kits (for hubs), hair dryer, hair ties, toothbrushes/toothpaste, and even makeup if you want.
Reminder: babies tend to work on their own schedule and labor may not be a quick turnaround. Freshening up both before the birth and afterwards can help both of you feel better, less grouchy and better able to greet those guests that are sure to show!
The Nice To Haves:
Snacks (for your birthing partner)
While momma is relegated to ice chips (sorry!) and our hospital has a great kitchen and cafe, it's not open round the clock. Though we do try to make sure everyone is fed and fed often, there may be times where your spouse or birthing partner needs some of their favorite snacks on hand. Plus it keeps them from getting cranky too.
Items From Home (for both of you!)
Babies are on their own schedule most of the time. And while that's great, it could mean a lot of waiting for you, in an environment that isn't home. You can bring some items like a pillow or blanket from home (best to use a brightly colored or patterned pillow case so it doesn't get mixed in with ours and also one you don't mind possibly sacrificing!), a bluetooth speaker/earbuds for music, photos or special items to help you focus, reading materials (either physically or on a tablet), and anything else you find reassuring that will helpyou pass the time in comfort. Other ideas: breastfeeding pillow, your own bath towel if you want, loofa, etc.
Pack For Baby:
While we help swaddle baby for his or her first few days, very soon that little bundle is going home… with you! So be sure to pack accordingly.
Approved Car Seat - Installed and Ready!
Making sure that when it's time to leave you can safely go is important. There are many factors to consider when choosing a good and approved car seat, but what's most important is having it installed correctly. The Wyoming Highway Patrol offers a car seat inspection complete with tips for safely driving with infants and young children. If you purchase a secondhand car seat, make sure it is not an older model and that it has never been involved in a collision. We will have a further story in the coming weeks on how to buy the best car seat!
Going Home Outfit
You are going to take so many photos of your new addition to your family. And when you leave the hospital, going home in an adorable outfit is a nice touch for your little one coming out into the world proper!
Practical Advice From Other Moms
We asked some local moms for advice on what proved to be helpful in their delivery bags. Read below to see what they had to say:
"Comfort clothes (aka baggy sweats) and cushy, brand new socks. Go have a mani-pedi a week before your due date...... When you are in that moment when all modesty is lost, you will relish in the little comforts." - Rikki Horr, Douglas, WY
"I packed a newborn-sized outfit and a size 3 month because I was expecting a large baby. I couldn't even squeeze him into the newborn size." - Sarah Witbrod, Douglas WY
"I packed a portable speaker so I could listen to my music. I packed a special book to read, my journal (I journaled all of my pregnancies) and of course, my own coffee mug." - Shea Lehnen, Douglas, WY
"Depends....more comfortable than the fish net undies and giant feminine nap they give you at hospital. My breast pump cause I knew I needed it and hand pumping was not for me, if you are bottle feeding (don't judge, fed is best) the bottle you plan to use, comfy clothes, toothbrush, snacks, hairbush and ties, chapstick, socks, my flip flops for walking to and from bathroom/shower or in the hall, I have contacts so that stuff was necessary. An open mind....things don't always go as planned. But healthy baby and mama is most important." - Sarah Tolstetd, Douglas, WY
"Granny panties... You need something to hold those large pads! Childbirth is messy and bikini underwear aren't going to cut it! These are the things no one tells you." - Mandy Horr, Douglas, WY
"From what I remember...I packed my going home outfit! Baby's was well planned out, but so was mine! Oh and I packed a prayer card too!" - Rosie Saenz, Douglas, WY