Packing for the hospital
Remember to pack these items in your hospital-bound bag:
Clothing. A nightgown or long T-shirt for labor, pajamas for sleeping, five or six pairs of panties (old ones are best, in case of blood stains), two nursing bras, several pairs of socks, slippers, a bathrobe, and an outfit to wear home (think big--even though you won't be pregnant anymore, you'll still have a fairly large belly).
Toiletries. Shampoo, conditioner, a hair dryer, soap, shower shoes, a hairbrush, a comb, lip balm, facial cleansers, body lotion, a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and several big, absorbent sanitary napkins.
Comforts. Magazines, books, a CD player, CDs, books about pregnancy and breastfeeding, and a tennis ball for labor massage.
Snacks. Portable nonperishable foods such as granola bars, crackers, cereal bars, travel-size boxes of cereal, and dried fruit.
Necessities. A cell phone or calling card, change for vending machines and telephones, identification for both you and your partner, your insurance card, and your birth plan, if you're using one.
For your baby. Three or four undershirts and one-pieces, an outfit and cap to wear home, a receiving blanket, and warm outerwear if the weather requires it.
What to leave home. Jewelry, credit cards, and other valuables.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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