Childbirth: Key Items to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

By Meida v. Baal, doula and maternity nurse

Regardless if you are planning to give birth in a hospital or at home, it is advisable to pack a hospital bag before your 37th week of pregnancy.

Baby Essentials:

*Pack two sets of clothes(size 50 or smaller)

*Two caps

*A blanket for the trip back home

*An infant car seat if you plan to go home directly after the delivery.

Note: diapers are available at the hospital

Essentials for Mother:

*A comfortable big t-shirt or nightgown to wear during labor. One with a front opening will make breastfeeding a lot easier after the delivery.

*Plastic slippers or flip-flops for walking around the halls or room

*Socks to keep your feet warm during labor

*Feeding bra, underwear and clothes for going home

*Toiletries to freshen-up, such as toothpaste, toothbrush, lip balm, shower wash and make-up

Note: sanitary napkins are available at the hospital. Also, lately, many hospitals provide mesh underwears, so you can easily dispose of them when they get dirty. 

Electronics: 

*Camera and/or phone/iPad and charger(s)

Mobile phones are great for taking pictures, listening to music and timing the contractions. There are a few apps available for free to help you time and keep track of your contractions, so do download one on your phone.

Paperwork:

*Birth plan

*Health insurance paper/card

*ID cards

*List of important telephone numbers

Do not forget to call and update your kraamzorg agency, so they can send your kraamverzorgende/maternity nurse to your house when you are ready to go home.

Snacks:

*Light snacks, such as rice crackers, biscuits, cereal bars, clear juices and dextro energy candy

Many hospitals will provide food for you and your partner, however, many ladies do not have an appetite to eat a full meal. Light snacks are all important to help keep your energy up while you are laboring.