The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist
Congratulations, you are finally in your third trimester, the last and final stage of pregnancy. Yay!!! As you enter the third trimester, it is time to start thinking about your hospital bag. Don't panic you still have time, but it is a good time to start thinking about what you will need for the few days you are in hospital
So here is what you have to pack in the order of importance.
If you have to be rushed into the hospital because your water just broke, the MOST important thing you will NEED is your HKID or Passport - without it, they cannot admit you. Everything else your spouse or family can bring it for you afterward.
For Public Hospitals
When I registered at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, they gave me an Obstetric card, which I carry in my wallet at all time. Why? Because with this card they can admit you straight away without queuing because they already got all your record on hand.
For Private Hospitals
Your doctor would have given you a consent form that you have both signed, a hospital pack from whichever hospital you are registered in and your deposit receipt. You will need all this when you check in and out of the hospital.
If you are going Natural
You would probably have a birth plan, so don't forget to pack that.
Depending on your insurance plan, some might cover maternity, and some might not. So best to ask your insurance broker before to find out if you can claim or not. If you can, don't forget to bring along your insurance details.
2. YOUR PHONE AND CHARGER
I know this sounds so millennial to say pack your electronics at the top of your priority list, but the last thing you want is to run out of battery when you are in the hospital. Not because you need to take selfies or video to post of social media, but you will need your phone to make important phone calls. Such as, if you are by yourself at the time when you are rushed into hospital, you will need to call your partner and family. If you are doing Cord Blood Storage, you will need to call up the company to let them know you have been admitted so they can organise someone to collect the Cord Blood sample in the next 24 hours.
Plus your phone will be your source of entertainment for the next few days that you are in hospital. So for the sake of your sanity, don't forget your phone and charger.
You don't want to be that annoying person in the room where you forgot your headphones and uses your speakers to listen to voice messages or while watching Netflix. Unless you are in a private room, please remember to bring your headphones for the consideration of others.
You will be in the hospital for a few days, so bring along your toiletries essentials: Toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, face creams, shower essentials, hair brush, hand cream, hairband and hair tie etc.
If you are going down the traditional Chinese route, then bring along some ginger powder to mix in the water to wash your hands and wipe yourself down. Bring a couple of small flannel as well to wipe yourself clean and to wipe off the sweat, if you are not planning to shower.
5. MATERNITY SANITARY PADS AND DISPOSABLE UNDERWEAR
In private hospitals, they do provide this for you, but it is best to bring some along with you too, just in case. You might need extra when you leave the hospital, you never know, and you don't want to be stuck without one when you are commuting back home.
Why disposable underwear you might ask. It can get messy, and the last thing you want to do after labor is worrying about cleaning your underwear if things spill over your maternity sanitary pad.
6. COMFORTABLE NURSING BRA
If you don't want to carry so much stuff with you, wear a nursing bra when you check in and pack a spare one in your hospital bag, so at least you have two in case one of them get dirty. If possible, pack one without underwire, as the underwire can hinder your breastmilk from kicking in because it is pressing on your lymph nodes.
For me, I didn't wear a bra throughout my hospital stay as my breast was getting engorged, so it was getting quite uncomfortable. The only time I wore a bra was when people came to visit me and when I was leaving the hospital.
7. EYE MASK AND EARPLUGS
If you are a light sleeper, then it is best to bring along eye mask and earplugs for some rest at night. You might be lucky to be in a room where no one snores, but you never know.
Bring your own slippers, because the hospital private or public will not provide them. If you have disposable slippers that you get from hotels, this is a good time to use them. You want something comfy, yet you probably don't want to take them home afterward, after all, hospitals do have more germs around.
However, if you are worry about slipping, then you can consider bringing along some plastic ones with good grip at the bottom.
10. GOING HOME CLOTHES
You would want something loose and comfy for your going home outfit. (Especially if you had a Cesarean) I would say nothing tight that would irritate your scar.
I didn't pack this in my hospital bag and just asked my husband to bring it on the day I was discharged because I didn't want it to be all crinkled.
11. BABY GOING HOME OUTFIT
During your hospital stay, the hospital will provide everything you need for the baby. Nappies, wipes, onesies etc. However, you do need to prepare one set of baby's going home outfit.
So you will need to pack: a onesie, a baby blanket to wrap him in, a hat, socks or booties, and some extra nappies. For the Baptist, they only needed a baby blanket or a swaddling cloth to wrap him. But we bought everything, just in case.
12. NIPPLE WIPES
If you are planning to be breastfeeding, then bring along nipple wipes. It is best to wipe your nipples clean before and after feeding the baby to reduce the risk of infection. You have to remember; your baby has just been born, so his immune system is low, so best to be safe than sorry.
If you want to take some beautiful photos to commemorate this special occasion, then you might want to bring some makeup with you even if it is just your basic foundation or BB cream to even out your skin tone.
SLEEPWEAR AND DRESSING GOWN
The reason why I have put this in the optional items instead of the essentials is that you are most probably going to be just wearing the hospital gown the hospital provide you with. You might have an accidental spillage, and it is just easier to wear the hospital gown and ask for a new one if you got the old on dirty. I would only bring your own if you are planning to do the first 48-hour shoot and you want something nice for the photos. Otherwise, I would say, don't bother.
A PHONE STAND
If you don't want to hold onto your phone while watching Netflix, then bring along a mobile phone stand, so you can prop it up on your table and watch your favorite show to relax.
Your breastmilk might not have kicked in yet, most people's breastmilk doesn't kick in until a few days later, sometimes even a week. So I will say if you have some at home already, bring them along, otherwise, don't worry about it.
MINI HOT WATER BOTTLE OR BREAST COOLING PADS
If you have one bring one along with you because it will really help if your breast starts to get engorged. Engorged breast is no joke; it is painful as hell, especially when it is blocked. If you have a mini hot water bottle or those breast cooling pads, they will help ease the pain.
If you want to help the blood circulation to flow better use hot water or heat up the cooling pads. If you want to soothe the pain, use cold water, or put the cooling pads in the fridge and use it after.
A GOOD CAMERA
I would only really bother if you are not using a smartphone or is really into photography. The truth is, you won't need it. I hardly took any photos in the hospital as I was so tired, all I wanted to do was rest and sleep. The baby is kept in a separate room most of the time, and you are not allowed to take photos in the breastfeeding room anyway.
You will need a padlock to lock up your valuables in the drawer next to you. Make sure the handle bit is long enough and not too thick for easy access. At the Baptist, they provide this for you, but I know if you are going down the public hospital route, you will need to bring your own.
That is all the things I would recommend you to bring along to the hospital. Do you think I have left anything out in my hospital bag must have? If so, please leave me a comment below so other mummies-to-be will know what to pack.
Sending you love & positive thoughts,