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How to pack your hospital bag

>> Tuesday, December 4, 2012

As your pregnancy nears toward the third trimester, a lot of mothers begin to think about packing their hospital bag.  While this is an extremely personal task to complete, there are several guidelines that help to cut down on some of the confusion or constant questioning in packing your bag.

1.  Check with your hospital's guidelines before you begin to pack.  Depending on your hospital, there may be some restrictions as to what items you may bring with you.  While it seems like a silly thought, it's better to be safe than sorry if they have restrictions!

2. Plan well!  Many women tend to be over-packers.  Give yourself an estimate of 3-5 days and think about the bare minimal things you will need for those days.  2-3 pairs of pajamas, an outfit for you to go home in, an outfit for baby to go home in, the car seat, toiletries, etc.  Begin with only the basics, and make sure you're not over packing those!

3. Talk to other mothers who've delivered at the same hospital.  Many/most hospitals provide you with items like underwear, feminine hygiene items, diapers for baby, etc.  Speaking with another mother who has recently delivered at the same hospital can help you know what items won't be necessary to pack.

4. Pack questionable items in a second bag that stays in the car.  Some items, while may be helpful, are not necessary.  We packed a breastfeeding pillow, but ended up leaving it in the car.  I brought a straightener and blow dryer for my hair, and didn't use either.  For my second birth, those items will be packed, but stay in a separate bag left in the car to save space in the hospital room.

5. Know yourself.  If you always wear at least a little makeup, bring a small makeup bag with the essentials. Unless you have visitors 24/7- you'll have time, even if you don't have energy.  If you aren't a TV watcher, but stay connected to the Internet, then make sure you bring your laptop or some movies.  But if at home your TV and smart phone are enough, chances are they will be enough to occupy your free time at the hospital as well.  No need to bring your laptop, a personal DVD player, your smart phone, and 10 DVDs.  There is a very small likelihood you'll use ALL of that.

6. Plan ahead on someone who can pick something up for you.  If you have a person with access to your home in advance, you'll likely pack lighter and not stress so much over packing your hospital bag.  Most times, a family member or good friend can always make a quick run to pick up something you've forgotten or didn't realize you'd need!

What are some items you plan to pack in your hospital bag?

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