Amid the excitement and expectancy to welcome the new member into the family, a pandemic is definitely a killjoy. It is quite understandable to feel apprehensive about your and the baby’s security.
Medical experts around the world assure that there is no fear if you are careful about the safety measures. At this time, stay in touch with your gynaecologist and pack your hospital bag with extra care.
Packing your hospital bag for labour
You must prepare for the hospital trip with a meticulous plan. Start with making a checklist to pack your hospital bag. Here’s what you would need.
- Related documents – photo ID, insurance info, hospital forms and birth plan.
- Cell phone, charger with a long cable and power bank.
- Eyeglasses, if you wear them.
- A warm robe or sweater.
- Two-three pairs of non-skid socks.
- A headband or ponytail holder.
- Toiletries – Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and contact lens case and solution, if you use them.
- High moisture lip balm
- At least two maternity bras and nursing pads.
- Sugar-free candy to use during labour.
- Dry or non-perishable snacks
- Comfortable pyjamas or sleepwear of choice.
- A pair of maternity underwear
- Entertainment – reading material or music with EarPods.
- Prescription medicine, if any.
You may choose to go back home in the same clothes you came into the hospital. Otherwise, pack a loose set. Don’t forget a pair of comfortable flat shoes.
If you need, take a comfortable pillow from home. Consider taking a small towel and a feeding pillow.
Essentials for baby’s needs
Most of the initial needs of the new-born will be taken care of by the hospital. You will only need to prepare for the baby’s journey home. Keep these things ready.
- An outfit for baby to wear while coming home.
- Warm blankets to cover during the journey home.
- Infant car seat. Get an approved one from a reputed company.
- Items in Dad’s Hospital Bag
- Your partner or whoever is going to stay with you will need some essentials too. Pack a separate hospital bag for them. Depending on the type of delivery – vaginal or C-section – the number of days in the hospital will vary from two to four. So, pack accordingly.
- Phone and charger.
- Change of clothes and undergarments.
- Toiletries and shaving kit.
- Snacks – enough, so that you don’t have to share.
- Entertainment material.
- Prescription medicine, if any.
Some extra precautions for Covid-19
Keeping the current pandemic in mind, some changes have come in hospital policies. These will depend on the individual hospitals. Most hospitals will allow only one supporting member with you.
Also, once both of you are in the hospital, you will only come out when you are discharged. This means that your partner will not be able to leave or go out for those days.
Therefore, pack essentials judiciously for both of you. Remember that the hospital may not be providing essentials to him. So, towel, pillow or blanket may be needed.
Ask your hospital about what they provide. Pack enough snacks and drinks, if the hospital allows. Keep both your and partner’s prescription files handy, in case of emergency. You may prepare as you would for a long holiday.
UNICEF has advised patients against carrying too many items. If you recover quickly, your hospital may allow you to go home ahead of the usual time. Talk to your caregiver about your condition to get the real picture.
The pandemic calls for some necessary items.
- Hand sanitiser – the hospital will provide, but you must have yours.
- Face cover – many hospitals are not providing masks for asymptomatic patients. Carry scarves or bandanas to keep your face covered whenever needed.
- Phone tripod – consider this if you plan to communicate with your doula, friends and family from your labour room.
There are some things you would not need such as cleaning supplies or gloves.
Don’t burden yourself with too much of non-essentials. Have a clear idea about your procedure, what the hospital provides and how much more you both might need.
Pandemic or not, the main aim is to safely get your baby home.
For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.
This article was first published in theAsianparent.