The 9 months leading up to the day when your child says HELLO (DITO NA ME!! ) is your time to prepare. The crib, the diaper bags, the clothes, the toys, the strollers, the bottles, the monthly check-ups and weigh-ins all lead to that one day when you finally go to the hospital to finally meet the little cutie who’s been kicking and moving inside you.
One of the last things that I prepared was the hospital bag. My mom was bugging me to prepare one when I was on my 7th month but I thought that it was too early and honestly, I didn’t know what to pack. With all the resources and parenting forums out there, the list can get too long and complicated and the helpful pieces of advice can be too overwhelming. So on my eight month when I finally got around to packing, I did what any first time mom probably did— I overpacked.
It is true what they say “buti ng sobra kesa kulang” (better to go over than be lacking) but it’s also true that hindsight is 20/20. My bag thefore had stuff that I never used and did not have those that I wish I brought.
So fellow parents, here’s my own checklist based on my own experience. It’s always better to check with your hospital’s nursery and your OB what you need to pack. I was surprised at the list my OB gave me, it only had five items. Syempre di ko sinunod haha 😛
This list (found after the cut) is based on my stay at St. Luke’s hospital. If you have any more to add to the list, please post them at the comments section including why you think they’re musts! I would love to hear from you!
The ManilaMommy Hospital Bag Checklist
|Cotton Robe||It would be easy to just put this over your hospital gown when you have to receive visitors or you need to go to nursery for feeding (if you're not rooming in)||One is enough|
|House Dress/Cotton Nightgown||I chucked my hospital gown when I was well enough to change. We were receiving visitors all throughout our stay at the hospital and I was going out of my room to go to the nursery for feeding. Wearing this made me feel comfy and "presentable"||Two|
|Breast Pump and Breast Pads||I wasn't able to breastfeed DW and so the pump came in handy when I was trying to express milk.|
The breastpads will be there to protect...your clothes haha
|Underpads||Underpads will protect your hospital bed from accidental stains and spills. I used only one during my stay at the hospital because I was just so paranoid that my "flow" will overflow!||One pack is enough. Mercury sells a variety of them. The one I bought came with 4 underpads.|
|Adult Diapers/Maternity Pads||I brought maternity pads with me but I woke up after labor wearing adult diapers. When I changed, I tried using the maternity pads but they were such a hassle to use and they stained my undies. I bought adult diapers instead and used them up until my flow has gotten "manageable".||One pack is enough. I have also heard that the overnight pads of Whisper can be used for this purpose as well. At least may wings, really helpful for the sideleaks.|
|Undies and Socks||Socks will keep toes warm and toasty in the freezing hospital.||A pair of socks is enough. Five undies should be your minimum (think, 2-3 changes a day)|
|Glasses/Contact Lenses/Contact Lens Solution||I use disposable contact lenses so I just packed a pair in my toiletry kit plus a travel sized contact lens solution and container.|
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Shower gel or soap
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste
- Hair clips
- A light scented cologne/perfume
|Bring your favorite toiletries and favorite scents. A good hot shower can definitely lift your spirits so bring whatever it is you need to feel fresh and clean. |
A lip balm would keep the chapped lips at bay. I had major chapping at the hospital and unfortunately my cherry chapstick could not cut it.
|Betadine Feminine Wash||Moms (and future moms). You know what would happen down there right? This will keep our nether regions clean...very clean until we heal.||A small bottle is enough. A penny-sized drop should be diluted in a palmful of water.|
|Going Home Clothes||A dress would be preferable, it would be easy to just slip it over your head. Pants or shorts will require you to lift your legs and may not be as comfy when you're still sore down there.||Keep in mind that you could be going back and forth from your room to the nursery (checking on the baby, giving the nurses your baby's clothes, signing off papers) so comfort is key here.|
A Checklist for Dad and Mom
|Contact List||Emergency contacts, your OB's number, and people to call to announce the good news|
|Birth Plan||A birth plan is a document that would let everyone involved in your birthing process your preferences for labor and delivery.
This plan should be discussed by you and your OB beforehand.
In my experience, our birth plan focused on the reasons why I could undergo a Cesarean section. Agreeing to this beforehand and discussing all your options with your OB helped reduce my anxiety and the uncertainty of the whole birthing process.
|Hospital Documents||From my OB I got, Admission Orders and Consent to Transfusion|
|Government Documents |
- Philhealth contributions (to be provided by employer)
- Philhealth Form 1 and 2 (to be provided by the hospital)
- Marriage Contract
- At least 1 Government ID for Mom and Dad
|Better bring everything that you need that would help you process your payments.
Make sure that your Philhealth papers are duly signed by your office's higher ups as well. Just make sure to leave the
"Date Signed" portion blank so that it can be filled in when you need to pay the hospital bills.
For good measure, we brought all the legal documents we have, even our marriage certificate. You just need a long brown envelope to keep them organized anyway. Imagine the hassle if you forget to bring a piece of paper...
|Cash/ATM Card / Credit Card/||Bring cash to pay for the downpayment for the delivery room. St. Luke's charges Php20,000.
ATM Card and the rest will be to settle the rest of the bills.
|Ballpen/s||Ay, with all the stuff you need to sign and sign off, you need to have this at the ready.
I kept one in the envelope with all the documents.
A Checklist for Dad
|Camera||Better leave the SLR If Dad or the birth partner won't be in the delivery room to take the pics. Your point and shoot will do just fine. Cameraphones also provide good quality pics too nowadays. In fact DW's "premiere" was all captured via iphone!||Make sure to bring the charger and the memory card has enough space to take pics of the baby, the mom, the family and the visitors.|
|Pillow and Comforter||The hospital could only provide one pillow and a blanket at least. Since Dad would be sleeping on the couch anyway or a small bed, best if he brings a pillow or comforter to make sure he's comfy.|
- same stuff as what mom should bring + a shaving kit
|...so that dad won't have a five o' clock shadow when all those pics are taken 🙂|
|A Change of Clothes and Sleepwear|
|Something to Keep Him Busy||The wait could take long so he better have something to keep him preoccupied||PSP, DS, Blackberry, A laptop (so that e could tweet live updates on your labor! LOL!)|
|Phone Chargers||one for every phone you plan on using to tell all your contacts the great news!|
So there we go, the things to pack for the big day for yourself, your partner and the baby. These lists are by no means complete and is just based on my experience during my stay at St. Luke’s. Did I miss anything? What other “musts” should any parent bring to the hospital for the big day?