Third Trimester | Preparing...

If you’ve just entered your third trimester of pregnancy, you should congratulate yourself because you’re that much closer to meeting your child. You certainly have a lot to look forward to, but first you have to go through labor and delivery. Now is a time to start preparing for that magical moment, and if you’re wondering what to include in your hospital bag, you’ve come to the right place.


Preparing for the Best Day of Your Life

When it comes to labor and delivery preparation, knowing what to put in your hospital bag makes a huge difference. After all, once you get to the hospital, it’ll be too late to run out and buy what you need to make the childbirth experience a little easier. The sooner you can start packing your bag, the less likely you’ll be to forget anything important. And as a general rule, you should prepare to pack a bag for you and a bag for your partner, as well as a smaller one for the baby.

As far as basic toiletries go, the hospital will have a lot of them in the room for you, but one of the most important rules when packing for the hospital is to bring as many of your own items as you can if you want to feel comfortable and more at ease during your stay. Of course, if you forget a basic item, the hospital may be able to get one for you, but to make sure that you’ll have what you truly need, especially if you prefer items that belong to you, devising a hospital bag checklist is a great idea.


How to Get Started

Once again, the more items you bring from home, the more relaxed you’ll be when you get to the hospital, so this should be the first rule of thumb when deciding what to pack for labor and the rest of your hospital stay. Below are some general tips to remember when packing for labor and delivery.


What to Pack for Mom

Moms should always start with a bathrobe, a nightgown (one that opens in the front if you’re going to nurse), slippers, a few pairs of socks with grip on the soles, a pillow, water bottle, any prescriptions that you’re on, and any important documents, such as your insurance card, driver’s license, and any paperwork that your doctor or the hospital asked you to fill out and bring with you.

If you’re planning to breastfeed, make sure that you bring your breast pump (the hospital should have one that you can use, but if they don’t have too many and the maternity ward is full, you’ll need your own), nipple cream, breastfeeding pillow, and several nursing bras.

You’ll also want to bring along a few items for your entertainment, such as your cell phone, tablet, or a few books to read. Many women remain in labor for a very long time and you’ll need something to do while you’re dilating. Make sure that you also bring your chargers, eyeglasses or contacts, lip balm, a water bottle, and a going-home outfit, as well as a small bag or tote bag to carry home all of the informational documents and other items that they’ll send home with you.


What to Pack for Your Partner

Whether your partner is planning to be your coach or they’re just there for emotional support, they should have their own bag. A great place to start is for them to bring their own pillow and blanket, and you’ll understand this tip if you’ve ever been in a hospital or visited someone there.

Just like Mom, they’ll also need their own toiletries, medications, pajamas and slippers, something to wear when they go home, and snacks -- lots of them -- because snacks are sometimes hard to come by in the hospital.

They might also want to bring earbuds or earphones, books, a tablet, and of course, their cell phone. Once again, the more “at home” you and your partner feel, the better the entire experience will be, so if they can think of anything else that they’d like to put in that bag, they should do so.


What to Pack for the Baby

You might want to pack two or even three outfits for your newborn. If the hospital takes newborn photos, you’ll want a separate outfit just for that and you’ll want something to dress them in when you go home. If you have a C-section and end up staying for more than a day or two, you’ll need some onesies, booties, and at least one receiving blanket. You can also bring bottles, a hat, and a pacifier, although many hospitals will have those on hand for you to keep.

You should also have your pediatrician’s complete contact information and an approved car safety seat, which you’ll need to set up properly before leaving for the hospital. In most states, it’s illegal for the hospital staff to allow you to go home without the right type of car seat. When it gets close to your due date, you need to talk to your pediatrician and make sure that you get the right car seat and that it’s installed properly.



These, of course, are all suggestions, and you are certainly welcome to bring other items in addition to these. If you’re nervous about it, go ahead and make up a list of your own, and do it at the start of your third trimester to make sure that you don’t forget anything.

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