Hospital Bag Checklist: Everything you need for Mum and Baby

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The excitement and anxiety when the water breaks and labour commence can be overwhelming. In the midst of all of this you need to remember to carry your hospital bag. Since your new-born can be delivered earlier than excepted, it is necessary to have the bag ready at least three weeks before your expected due date. Finding out what your birthing facility or hospital will provide can help avoid under or over-packing.

Mom’s bag

  1. Important documents. Your Identification Card (ID), copies of your birth plan (if you have one), clinic book, insurance card, insurance approvals, and NHIF card must be available.  As for the insurance card, it is advisable to confirm the maternity limit with your provider beforehand to ensure a smooth payment process. Having all these documents at hand will facilitate the admission process
  2. Toiletries:  Maternity pads, deodorant, hair comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, body oil, and lip balm. One can either use cotton wool or adult diapers in place of maternity pads. Labour and delivery can result in chapped lips hence the need for lip balm
  3. Sleepwear and inner clothing. You might have to carry your nightgown or pyjamas as the hospital clothes might be uncomfortable. Remember to pack a few undies in your bag, either your usual wear, maternity, or disposable panties. Also, don’t leave behind some comfortable nursing bras
  4. Towel and flip-flops or slippers.
  5. Relaxation items since you might need to be distracted while waiting for labour (or midnight breastfeeding). Carry your phone, earphones, and charger or power bank
  6. Snacks and water unless you have been instructed not to eat
  7. Comfortable clothes to wear for leaving the hospital.  A front-zipped/buttoned dress or shirt will come in handy while breastfeeding

Baby’s bag

  1. Baby’s clothing like a going home outfit (optional), onesies, mittens, hats, socks, bibs, and rompers. Ensure the baby’s clothes will ease the process of diaper changing and are responsive to the weather
  2. Diapers and wipes. Get the appropriate new-born diapers-size to avoid leaks
  3. Flannels or receiving blankets and a warm blanket
  4. Soft, absorbent towel
  5. Toiletries such as mild baby soap, baby powder, and baby oil
  6. Surgical spirit and cotton wool to clean the umbilical cord

Birth partner’s bag

  1. Identification documents such as ID and driver’s license
  2. Money to pay for parking (where charged) or snacks within the facility
  3. Extra pair of comfortable clothes to change
  4. Toiletries such as toothbrush, hair brush, body oil, and deodorant
  5. Towel
  6. Relaxation items like phone, laptop, earphones, book, and charger or power bank
  7. Socks and comfortable shoes
  8. Snacks and water to keep you fed while waiting for the baby
  9. If not provided, an extra pillow and blanket

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