Some of you have asked me if I have packed my hospital bag already. We’ve done it before I reached my 37th week, and we have two separate bags: one for me while I’m in labor (to post-birth), and the other for my baby when he’s born and I’m breastfeeding.
#1: MY LABOR TO BIRTH BAG
Please take note that I’m bringing things for my plan of a natural, normal birth (for the hospital we picked, we are eyeing the LAMAZE room). Some things may no longer apply to you if you’re planning a c-section, or you are set for getting epidural early. If you have no plans of exercising during labor, you can skip some of the things, too!
It also depends if your doctor/hospital will or will not allow you to eat during your labor. This is something you need to discuss with them. I highly advise that you do a hospital tour before you give birth to familiarize yourself with your hospital (where to go, how it looks like, what their rules are, etc) and prepare ahead of time. This is just a peek into my own hospital bag, but what’s inside will really depend on the kind of birth you plan.
Thanks to our Childbirth Preparation Class (you can read about the classes I took here), we did not have a hard time preparing our bag. Now, I haven’t given birth so I don’t know which of these I’ll really be using, but anyway, I just dumped all of them in one huge overnight bag.
Not all are in the photo above, but here’s the list of everything inside:
–Chiqui Brosas‘ class manual + ballpen (Her manual has notes to time contractions. You can use an app or just any paper for this!)
-My personal notebook on my pregnancy/ labor/ birth/ breastfeeding notes
-Virgin Coconut Oil in case I’ll be needing a massage to help ease the pain
-Lip Balm (They say your lips get so dry sometimes! No flavor is the best kind.)
-Mouthwash (For your coach/ husband when they’re helping you during labor. They say you get so sensitive to smell during labor.)
-Massage Tools (rolling pin or tennis ball will do | or coach/husband’s hands)
–Birth Affirmations (learn more HERE| you can also bring photos as focal point – anything to help you focus and encourage you to keep going!)
-Washi tape for the Birth Affirmations
-2 Small towels (1 for face, 1 for body during labor – when it gets too hot!)
-A pair of socks (when it gets too cold!)
-Water bottle (to put ice chips or water)
–Alcohol & Hand Sanitizer (to disinfect hospital toilet, beddings, etc| general use)
–Hand Fan (when it gets too hot!)
–Speakers (For music while in labor) + Earphones (when I’d rather focus on my own)
-Basic Make-up (Because I have to have my eyebrows and undereyes fixed at least, haha!)
-Bath Toiletries (I’m not sure I can take a bath so I brought a NO-RINSE shampoo, then the usuals like soap, lotion, deodorant, toothbrush, comb, leave-on conditioner)
–Consumables like Tissue Rolls, Cottons, Cotton Buds, Alcohol (I learned from the class that hospitals charge you for these things at double or triple the price, so if you can, just bring them to save on money! If not, no worries, the hospitals would have these!)
–Sitz Bath Spray (They say your bottoms can hurt or feel sore like crazy after birth, and it makes sense. I’m not sure this will help, but hopefully it does! It’s a herbal spray that’s supposed to help you with the sore/pain. You can get it locally from Hatch and Latch.)
-Portable Bidet (This will definitely be easier for my sore perineal muscles after birth than toilet bidets should there be one in the rooms. You can get it locally from Sanicare!)
–Dates (Dates are supposedly helpful before and during labor! My friend who laboured for 24 hours swears by dates as one of the main things that kept her going. So I put this in my bag, too!)
–Fresh Orange Juice (Vitamin C is great especially after birth for faster healing!)
-Sanitary Napkin (1 pack)
-Adult Diaper (1 pack, available in drugstores)
-Leak/ Bed Pads (1 pack, available in drugstores)
-Pilates Ball (Although the Lamaze room has a pilates ball, my OB and I have talked about doing labor in my hospital room first until it’s time to move to the Lamaze room for delivery, so I’m bringing my own ball.)
-Yoga Mat (For all the exercises I will need during labor)
–4 sets of clothes (I don’t know how long I’ll stay but I assume 4 sets is safe for now. I brought nursing tops and bras + shorts)
–Wink Medical-grade Binder and Shapewear (helps post-baby belly shrink faster, provides strong support and helps with back pain by supporting core muscles. You can order locally though Urban Essentials Inc.)
–Birth Plan (will discuss this next time)
–Doctor’s Admission Slip (this will be given by your OB once you reach your 37th week)
–Pregnancy Folder (where I keep the birth plan and admission slip together with all my records throughout pregnancy in case they ask for it. In our class, we were told they sometimes ask for a copy of your last ultrasound.)
–IDs and Cards (Credit Cards, ATMs, Proof of Pag-IBIG/ SSS/ Insurance, etc – whatever you have!)
#2: MY BREASTFEEDING + BABY’S BAG
The reason we separated it is to make it easier for my husband to find the things needed. Also, he can leave this in the car first during labor and get it once I give birth. For this one, I used Wallaby Mommy’s transitional bag. It works as a diaper-hospital-pump bag. It has a separate cooler for breastmilk storage that fits inside, but for this purpose, we took out that bag first since I don’t plan to pump milk yet while in the hospital (Also, I heard some hospitals don’t allow you to bring in your pumps – best to check with your hospital).
FOR THE BABY:
-6 clothes for Pablo (mix of onesies, a pair of pants, sleepwear)
–2 sets of swaddles
-2 baby blankets
-Baby Wipes from B Care Baby Wipes (click HERE to find out why they are the best wipes for me!)
-8 newborn diapers (We have stocked up on cloth diapers and plan to do it when we get home. For the hospital though, we decided to go with disposable diapers just to help us with the transition first.)
–Toiletries: We plan to hold giving him a bath for at least 24 hours, but should it really be needed, here are the things we have for his bath: Sacred Cleanser and Mittens to serve as scrub (we don’t plan to use mittens on the hands because we believe the baby needs the hands for movement and to stimulate for breastfeeding – so we will use them for bath time instead since we received gifts that came with pairs of mittens). To know why I chose Sacred of all the baby brands out there, read my blog about what goes into your baby’s skin HERE.
–Baby Giraffe Nail File (Newborn nails are hard to cut because their skin is so delicate! We learned it is not good to use nail cutter yet for the first few weeks. Instead, use nail files. This nail file is especially formulated for an infant’s delicate nails. It is made from genuine Czech glass that files your baby’s nails safely and effectively. You can get it locally from Mommy’s Little Boss).
–Newborn Baby Carrier (I got my K’Tan from The Nest – i’m not sure i’ll be using this, but it’s just a small pouch anyway!)
-Nipple Cream from Motherlove (In case my nipples hurt! Available at Hatch and Latch)
-Breast pads (For leaking if ever – though you’re not supposed to have a lot of milk on the first few days or week after birth because your baby does not need much yet – his stomach is just like the size of a small calamansi/cherry! Just brought a pair to be sure.)
–Medicines and Supplements (Iron and Calcium are very much needed especially after you give birth. I also put in Malunggay Pills in case I’ll be needing more milk. You can get the best Malunggay Pills from Mega Malunggay. So far, they’re the only one I know with Vitamin C and iron that will help you absorb the Malunggay even better. I have stocks of this but have not taken one yet. I’ll take it as needed.
–Cup + dropper for the baby (in case cupfeeding needs to be done)
-Nursing Pillow (I got one from Baby and Beyond Manila)
Of course, do not forget your phone (for the helpful apps, music, timer and flashlight features) and camera (fully charged). Remember to bring your powerbanks and chargers, too!
So there. Now you took a peek at my hospital bags! What did you put inside yours? Share your tips!
UPDATE: Now, that I have given birth, here are some notes:
- We should have brought more clothes. Baby P needed more changing than we thought.
- Although we originally did not want him to use mittens, they turned out to be useful in the hospital because the aircon temperature (which we cannot set on our own) was quite chilly at night. Socks would have been great, too!
- Avoid bringing yellow blankets or clothes. It can make you baby seem yellowish, which may make the hospital nurses or doctors think s/he has jaundice.
- Whatever happens, if you plan to give birth vaginally, DO NOT LEAVE the portable bidet at home. This is probably the most useful after-delivery tool I brought with me.
- I only brought a dry shampoo, but 24 hours after delivery, my body was begging for a real bath. I should have brought a real shampoo as well. Good thing my husband had one with him!
- For the consumables, it was great that we brought stuff like adult diapers, napkins, leak pads, etc. We were not charged for these because we brought our own. However, for the newborn package, they had a kit that included diapers, cottons, etc. It was part of what we paid for whether or not we also brought our own things. Check which ones are automatically included in your hospital to avoid redundancy.
- Bring pillows and a blanket for your partner. They only have a pillow for the mother, but none for the one staying with you. Load up on pillows because they greatly help in getting a comfortable position for breastfeeding, too!
- The nail file for infants was very useful. Normally, nails are not advised to be cut until after a month at least, but when he came out, his nails were too long that they really hurt everytime he used his hands to navigate my breasts. We filed a little just so they’re not sharp (they were still kept long) and it was a HUGE help. Thankful for baby-friendly nail files nowadays. They’re safe and easy to use!
- I should have brought more clothes than shorts for me. I didn’t realize how many times I’d have to be checked down there, or be given post-birth perineum care such as cold pack or heat therapy. A dress would have been much easier to use for this purpose.
FINAL NOTE: Although we brought A LOOOOT of things, I’m glad to report we were able to use most of them!