The Modern Mom’s Hospital Bag - What Should Be In Yours?

The final step of pregnancy can be a nervous time for mothers and especially if it’s the first time. Preparation is key, and highlights the hospital bag as one of the most important steps in the journey - and something that should come together as early as 34 weeks. Of course, what you’d take into the hospital today is completely different to how it might have been even a couple of decades ago. For the modern mom, there are a few key ideas to make the bag the perfect company for the hospital and be a big help towards a happy and healthy newborn baby.

Key components

The hospital bag should contain essentials; of these, identification and documentation are the most crucial. As US News highlights, it’s important to bring everything to help the hospital provide the best possible care, as well as bring any financial or identification information to cross-check with insurance. There is also a security element- many hospitals issue matching wristbands to the baby and the mother. You can keep a digital copy as well as a paper - having both available, especially the birthing plan can be really helpful once the hectic nature of giving birth starts to get going. This will get you equipped as best you can and ensures that the medical professionals are equipped, too.

Equipped for comfort

Hospitals will do their utmost to keep you comfortable, but they’ll have no qualms with you bringing in your own aids, too. With the huge range of pillows, blankets and pajamas on range today - pillows, in particular, having several ‘smart’ varieties that can really enhance comfort - it’s a great opportunity to ensure that your stay is as comfortable as possible. With some hospital stays extended up to and past four days, especially if a c-section is involved, the extra comfort you can bring yourself really is invaluable. Many women also present with cold feet during the labor process - comfy socks are a must-have in that case. Also, consider toiletries - mints can bring a sense of comfort, especially if nausea is on the way, as can just a little perfume.

Preparing for boredom

While the actual process of going into labor can often be traumatic, it remains that there are long portions of the hospital stay which can be flat-out boring. That’s especially the case if the partner or other family are busy at work and unable to attend the hospital for the full duration. Bringing entertainment is important, and it’s a good idea to bring a good range. It can be easy to doom scroll on the phone, endlessly reading social media and consuming content - but, as The Guardian highlights, that can be challenging for mental and physical health. Broadening your horizons as much as possible, bringing in a tablet to watch media on; a kindle, or physical book to read; and loading your phone with music; can all be beneficial.

Experiencing the moment

Every family will be different, but, for many, there are a huge amount of memories to be made through the family and camera. Ensure you’ve got plenty of batteries packed for any videotaping or pictures you’ll be taking, or for any devices that will capture the journey. Some families prefer a more low-key birth, too - so why not bring along a journal? Just ensure you have the right supplies for that, too, whether it be a set of pens and pencils to help give full description to the events, or, once again if it’s a digital tool, the chargers, and accessories that are needed.

The journey home

The end stage of any mother’s experience of the hospital is, of course, the much anticipated day when you and the baby can go home. While all of your supplies will be ready to go in the house, consider what the baby might need before you reach that final stop. 

Clothing is one thing - keeping the load light and finding something that can work from swaddling and into outerwear is a great idea. Consider also what you need to keep the baby clean and healthy with ease, too. The American Pregnancy Association highlights the important need for sensitive skin wipes in that regard - remember how fragile the little one will be.

Making the hospital trip to give birth as comfortable as possible is the goal of the well-prepared night bag. Emerging from the stay as well rested as possible, and with mental and physical health in place, can be aided with the right items.