When should you start packing your hospital bag? What should you be putting into the bag? Where should you place the bag after packing it? These are many questions face by pregnant mummies whether it is your first pregnancy or not.
First of all, you might want to be done packing before Week 35 or even earlier if you have a history of early delivery. Just for a gauge, I have friends with normal pregnancies that delivered between Weeks 36 to 42 for their first babies. Although most will be about Weeks 38-40, it is really very unpredictable.
Most items are provided by the hospitals. You can double check with them by calling them up to ask. They provide for the mummy: Hospital robe, maternity pads (usually Kotex Loop), towel, toiletries, waterproof pad liners for the bed, disposable underwear, tissue paper. Most hospitals do not charge for the first round usage of these items, but if for example you need a second pack of maternity pads or tissue box,they will be chargeable. If needed, you can also loan breast pumps. These are free for some hospitals. For the daddy who is a lodger, they will provide bedsheets, blankets, towel, and daddies can share your toiletries. For the baby, they will provide the clothes which baby will need while at the hospital and swaddle as well for the hospital. Diapers will be provided (usually Huggies) and they will give you the leftover to bring home. Same thing goes for baby’s shower foam as well.
So what do you have to pack?
1. Mummy’s clothes for 2-3 days. Some will ask if should pack disposable or normal undies, it depends on your comfort level. I prefer my own cotton undies and don’t like those disposable cotton ones. One thing good about the disposable ones is you are not worried about having any stains if you are bleeding heavily. For some mummies, you will ahve to bring extra maternity pads too as those given (10pieces in a pack) might not be sufficient for you for your stay at the hospital. For my #1, My water bag burst. As such, I finished all 10 pieces they gave during labour itself. After that I had the miracle “Epikool” maternity pads (which you have to pay for and I glady did so). This Epikool (I used 6 pieces which is 2 boxes) and another about 5 pieces of maternity pads lasted me through my stay at the hospital. By the time I was home the flow was very light so I only had to use light flow sanitary pads. I stocked up 3 packets (10 pieces each) of maternity pads which I had no use for. So please don’t stock up too much of it. 🙂
2. Baby’s clothes to go home in. This would include a vest/romper and a swaddle/blanket. A beanie hat if you want. There is actually no need for mittens and booties as the baby will be swaddled but they are cute anyway so I would bring them. Beanie hat is useful also before baby is discharged as it will help keep the baby warm while in the nursery.
3. Daddy’s clothes. This is of course a need if daddy is going to bunk in with mummy. However, at least one extra set of clothes is good also in case labour is long and daddy would like to have a bath. As there are bathrooms in labour wards, daddies can have their baths there during the long wait for baby to come. It is also useful if mummy has been rushed to the hospital and daddy is rushing there directly from work, daddy might want a set of comfy clothes to change into from his work wear.
4. Documents. This includes most importantly mummy’s IC/passport and hospital admission documents. If you want to register your baby, you will need to bring your marriage cert and both parents’ IC. If you have registered with a company for cordblood banking, you will have to bring those items that they gave you as well.
5. Others. Other items include your charger and slippers and items to keep you occupied during labour. Items could be books or iPad or card games you can play with your hubby. If you are afraid your waterbag bursting might dirty the car, it would be good to put 1 piece of waterproof sheet in the car just in case.
All other items are really not necessary. If you are worried there is anything you miss out, remember you are in Singapore and any item can be easily purchased anywhere. Just send the hubby out for a while to run that errand for you. I’m sure he would be glad to.
Happy delivery! 🙂