#1 - Bring a package of Depends. Without getting to gory, you will need them. Pads are ok but if you want coverage, protection and way less worry about leaking you will want to be wearing Depends for at least 48 hours after giving birth (and then during the night for a few weeks, depending on how much you are bleeding). They just provide better protection and you don't have to worry about throwing out your underwear because a few pairs will likely get ruined.
#2 - Do not bring your favourite clothes/underwear unless you are prepared for them to be ruined. Labour can be messy. You cannot count on things being kept in good condition. On that note - I just opted to wear the tried and true hospital gown because who cares if that gets ruined? I changed into my comfy and warm pjs after giving birth.
#3 - Bring a warm blanket. If you plan on getting an epidural, they often give you the chills. You will want to feel warm. Again, don't bring something really good that cannot get ruined. Bring one even if you are not planning on having an epidural because hospitals are often cold, AND it I know many people who were not planning on an epidural but for various reasons ended up getting one. Just bring a blanket.
#4 - Bring a small cooler full of snacks. This is key. I highly recommend juice boxes (both for you and your partner). You can also throw in some yogurt (if you have time) and non snacks. I recommend packing the cooler with non perishables well in advance and then when the time comes if you need to grab it and run you can, but if you have extra time to add some fruit and veggies great.
# 5 - Look into purchasing a hospital parking pass. OK, this is not in my checklist but I wish we had done it. Check the fees for parking at your hospital. Even if you only end up being there for 24-48 hours it may be cheaper to buy a weekly parking pass than to pay for parking as you go. This is especially true if your doctor's office is also attached to the hospital. I wish we had done this. It would have saved us a few hundred dollars as I went into preterm labour at 32 weeks and we ended up making many, many trips to the hospital.
Alright - here is the actual list:
HOSPITAL CHECKLIST FOR MOM AND BABY
FOR MOM AND DAD (or labour support person)
¨ Pillow (or two)
¨ Sleeping bag/blanket or pillow for significant other if staying in a private room
¨ Any toiletries your partner may need plus a towel and washcloth for him
¨ Depends or sanitary napkins (at least one package)
¨ Breastfeeding pillow
¨ Bra (a nursing bra, sleeping bra)
¨ Nursing pads
¨ Comfortable pajamas/clothing
¨ Warm socks! (or slippers)
¨ Bathing suit or large t-shirt if you plan on using tub/whirlpool
¨ Contact lens and solution or glasses
¨ Washcloth and towel
¨ Drinking glass/bottle/cup
¨ Snacks and juices
¨ Music (Ipod, MP3, or CDs depending on hospital)
¨ Pen and notepad
¨ Cellphone and charger (important!!)
¨ Camera (make sure battery is charged!)
¨ One book or magazine (which you might not need depending on duration of labour)
¨ Infant car seat (make sure it is properly installed)
¨ Newborn diapers and baby wipes
¨ Diaper cream
¨ Clothes and blankets to wear home
¨ Baby brush/comb