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Preparing for Birth

What to pack for the hospital

You’ll want to have your bag packed at about 34 weeks so as your delivery date nears, you’ll be ready. We recommend packing the following for your trip to the hospital:

  • Copy of your birth plan
  • Robe and slippers or flip flops
  • 2–3 nightgowns or comfortable lounging wear (remember to bring things that you have worn through your pregnancy since your regular clothing may not fit yet)
  • 1–2 bras (nursing bras if nursing)
  • Underwear (maternity underwear or disposables if you don’t want to wear the mesh underwear provided by the hospital)
  • Set of clothes to go home in – something comfortable and loose fitting
  • Shoes – flat and comfortable
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant, shampoo, soap
  • Makeup, brush or comb, hair dryer
  • Camera
  • Books or magazines
  • List of contacts you’ll want to notify when baby arrives
  • Cell phone charger
  • Watch
  • Snacks for after delivery

Things to bring for your baby

  • You may bring clothes for your baby to wear in the hospital if you wish
  • Car seat (must have a car seat for your baby upon discharge)
  • Clothing to wear home; undershirt, hat, 2 receiving blankets, socks or booties, bunting bag or heavy blanket (depending on weather)

How to make yourself more comfortable during labor

We will provide you with a hospital gown to wear during labor. Other items you may want to bring include:

  • Hard candies or gum
  • Lip balm
  • CD player or iPod for your favorite music
  • Any special object that you want to use as your focal point

Knowing when it's time and when it's not

As a reminder, here are a few signs that could indicate premature labor:

  • Low, dull backache
  • Contractions (your abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often
  • Change in vaginal discharge
  • Pelvis pressure – the feeling that your baby is pushing down
  • Cramps that feel like your period
  • Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea