The suitcase I leave for the hospital: the midwife’s advice

The bag is a typically feminine object and when it’s the end of the nine months of pregnancy, it’s even more important.

By coming into contact with mothers every day, thanks to their birth bags and my peek inside them, we can draw up a list that is as complete and useful as possible.

Things to bring

  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste, personal care items for you and your partner who will often be with you on those days and maybe a little something he would like to have available too.
  • Your favorite music , find out because surely in the delivery room they have the possibility to broadcast music and play those songs that accompanied you and your baby during pregnancy, it will surely bring you beautiful emotions and make you feel in a less sterile environment.
  • Snacks and drinks for yourself and your partner. We know how important it is to stay hydrated and eat energetic foods during your labor and delivery, but don’t forget that even in the following days, during your hospitalization, you can have excellent delicacies brought to you, prepared with love for you. A sweet way to feel the affection of your loved ones in those days.
  • Slippers for the ward and pool/sea slippers for the times you get into the shower.
  • A garment for your labor and delivery. This can be a simple nightgown or a soft T-shirt. In the delivery room, a warm and intimate environment, you can also be simply in panties and top or naked. In the days of hospitalization in the ward, remember to wear pajamas that can be easily opened on the chest to make skin skin with your child and not stressed on the legs, private parts, to let any sutures, laceration or hemorrhoids breathe.
  • Change of clothes for husband/partner such as a shirt and some socks to put in the delivery room.
  • Nursing bras . Many mothers have found themselves comfortable using normal bras (in elastic fabric).
  • Pictures of your family, pets, or something that makes you smile during labor. They can be placed in the delivery room or just under your pillow.
  • Simple dress that makes you feel beautiful, to wear on the day you return home. You have done a very great and important job and you must celebrate yourselves.
  • Two tennis balls . They can be useful for massaging, rubbing, those points that create tension and pain during labor.
  • Your favorite body lotion , such as a cold-pressed almond oil with a few drops of lavender essential oil in it. Excellent for labor massages but also as a pampering and hydration of your skin in the days of hospitalization. Lavender relaxes, softens contractures, promotes sleep.
  • Extra pillows
  • Headband and/or hair clip
  • Hot water bottle. The hospital usually provides one, but you may prefer to have your own. The heat will help you during labor but also in view of the milky whipped.
  • The nursing pillow .
  • Sanitary pads : some hospitals provide them. Otherwise you can take simple microfibre or cotton night pads, cheaper than postpartum ones, they simply have to be changed more often.
  • For the breast: nothing is needed! Creams such as lanolin, clemulin, bea oil are not needed. To prevent fissures, the correct attachment of the newborn is needed.

For the baby

  • Several diapers
  • Bodysuits and rompers
  • Cap and socks
  • A blanket (depending on the season)
  • baby carrier . Very useful from the very first hours to always keep your child with you and make skin to skin constant. Mother and baby are naked from the waist up and covered in the fabric of the sling.
  • Car seat : It is recommended to install the car seat before arriving at the hospital, be familiar with the way it works before using it.
  • Milk, containment, love: you are its most important accessory.

In addition to preparing the suitcase, there is also a preparation to be done at home , in the days imminent to the birth:

  • A disposable towel, such as those to be placed on the changing table, to cover one’s side of the bed in case of rupture of the amniotic membranes. A waterproof tarp will keep your mattress protected.
  • Absorbent pads to put in your bag, for when you’re out and about, in case of significant leucorrhoea, bag rupture, loss of mucous plug.
  • In the car, in the dashboard, put the same waterproof sheet that you put on the mattress and a garbage bag in case of nausea on the way home to hospital.

The most important thing is certainly to equip yourself with a lot of patience, calm, the ability to be present to yourself and to what will happen, and obviously a lot of love.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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