Every hospital is going to differ in what you will need to take with you for your hospital stay, but we have a few suggestions on what to pack. In Regina, at RGH, you will spend some of your time in Labour & Birth (L&B) and then move over to the Mother Baby Unit (MBU). We suggest that you pack separate bags for during labour and early postpartum and then the mother baby portion. This way you can take less luggage up with you and have less stuff to take back down to your vehicle when it is time to go home. After all, you are leaving with more than you arrived with...
For Labour & Birth
• Prenatal sheets ("pink sheets")
• Your birth plan, if you have one
• An old nightdress or a T shirt to wear in labour. It will probably get a bit messy, so
don't buy anything special to wear in hospital.
• You might want to consider massage oil or lotion if you would like to be massaged during your labour - the hospital is quite dry.
• Lip balm - lots of mouth breathing!
• Snacks and drinks for you while you are in labour.
• Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, magazines, games, essential oils and so on.
• A headband or elastic. If you have long hair, you might want it tied up.
• Pillows. The hospital might not have enough to make you really comfortable.
• Music to listen to. Make sure your batteries are charged.
• Extension cord to be able to plug things in.
For the birth partner
• Water spray, or a hand-held fan to keep cool down the mom-to-be while she's in labour
• Comfortable shoes. You may be pacing the corridors
• A change of clothes
• Your choice of recording device whether that's your mobile phone or a camera.
• Address book or a list of phone numbers.
• Snacks and drinks. You don't want a dehydrated, hungry birth partner looking
For after the birth
• Pillow and blanket for your partner - there is a chair that turns into a bed and a sheet is provided but not pillows and blankets
• Nursing bras or easy to nurse in bras
• Breast pads
• Maxi pads if you have a preference & consider some mesh panties. The hospital will supply you with a pair or two, but soon they will be limiting supplies. Better to have more than not enough. Some people like these at home for a few days after the hospital stay. Alternately, old or cheap underwear. Don't bring your best ones.
• Nightshirt wrap or t-shirt. Front-opening shirts are useful in the early days of skin-to-skin & breastfeeding.
• Hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste.
• A going-home outfit. You'll need loose comfortable clothes to wear while you’re in the hospital and for the journey home. It will take a while for your belly to go down, so you'll be still wearing maternity clothes when
you head home - sorry!
For your baby
• An infant car seat. The hospitals won't let you leave by car without one.
• One outfit for the trip home (all-in-one stretchy outfits are easiest).
• Two or three sleepers for baby to wear while you are in hospital.
• Baby blanket. Take a warm one if the weather is cold.
• One pair of socks or booties
• Burp cloths or receiving blankets (some parents report the hospital provided blankets and gowns cause rashes on babes)
Hopefully this helps get some things ready for your stay - it seems like a lot! If you think we missed anything, comment below and we will consider adding it to the list.