Preparing for childbirth can feel overwhelming. There are a lot of things to consider. But that’s why we are here! The one thing we are often asked about by expecting parents is “What do I need to pack in my hospital bag?”
Packing your hospital bag can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! This Baby Bumps and Beyond Blog Post will walk you through when to pack your hospital bag & the essentials that you will need.
When should I pack my hospital bag?
\We suggest packing your hospital bag around 32 weeks or at the latest 4 weeks prior to your due date. Most first-time pregnancies last 40 weeks. However, some women may give birth before their due date. We want you to get to 37 weeks! This is when your baby is fully developed and ready to be born healthy. Some women may give birth before 37 weeks. This is called preterm birth. If you have any signs of labour prior to 37 weeks, you need medical attention immediately.
Please note: If you are less than 37 weeks and experiencing any signs of labour, please connect with your healthcare provider right away or go to the hospital. See link for signs and symptoms of preterm labour. Preterm Labour and Birth – Region of Durham
What type of bag should I pack?
We suggest packing a bag with wheels. The last thing you want to be doing when you are in labour is carrying a heavy bag! You can use a suitcase that is big enough to fit things for you and the baby. We suggest a medium sized suitcase so that you can fit things you and your baby will need into one bag. Your partner or support person should also pack a small sized bag for items that they will need.
If you are giving birth at home, we still suggest you have a hospital bag packed in the event that you need to be transferred to a hospital.
What should I pack in my hospital bag?
Start by making a list. When you are making your list, think about the things that you will need:
- During labour
- While giving birth
- Things you will need after the baby is born.
Some examples include: toiletries, things you will use for comfort measures to cope with labour and things you will use to keep you distracted. Consider packing items that you would need if you were going on vacation! Minus the passport, sun hat and sunscreen!
Your partner or support person should also pack a small bag with items that they will need during your hospital stay. Most hospital stays in Canada are 24 hours for a vaginal birth and up to 72 hours for a C-section. If you are under the care of a midwife and delivering in a hospital, connect with your midwife to see what you will need.
Many hospitals also have a list of items they want you to bring when in labour. Check the website for your place of birth to see if there are specific items you should pack.
When it comes to having a baby, preparing ahead is your biggest asset! Taking Childbirth Classes can help you figure out what you want to pack in your hospital bag. Most Childbirth classes will review items to pack for your birth and will cover comfort measures in labour. This will allow you to start thinking about what you will need for your journey. It is important to take Childbirth Classes like the ones we offer early in your third trimester so that you can start making a list of the items you want to pack in your hospital bag.
When you attend a Baby Bumps and Beyond Childbirth Class, we provide you with a FREE Copy of our Exclusive Hospital Bag Checklist so that you will know exactly what you will need for labour, after giving birth and for postpartum. Our Hospital Bag Checklist also covers what your partner or support person should pack and what you will need for your baby.
We also provide a FREE Copy of our Comfort Measures in Labour Checklist so that you can pack all of the items you will need to feel comfortable while giving birth.