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Melbourne Midwifery

a woman calls her midwife "I think I'm in labour" innately she knows the time is right for when the sun goes down beyond the horizon it is safe - her labour will establish


Packing For Your Birth

When you give birth in a hospital or birth center, you can expect to be there at least overnight, perhaps longer if there are complications or you have a cesarean delivery.  The hospital will supply many of the things you need for your stay, but to make your stay as comfortable as possible, here are some things you will want to take with you.

  • Documents
    • Birth plan – Hopefully your doctor is on board with your plan, but you’ll want to go over it with your nurses.
    • Insurance and ID
    • Pre-registration documents – If you have copies of pre-registration documents, bring them with you so you don’t have to fill them out again.
    • File folder or large envelope – You will be given a lot of paperwork and other information.  Even if this isn’t your first child, it’s still good to keep it all together.
    • Notepad and pen – Use to take notes, jot down questions or thoughts, or keep track of nursing sessions and diaper changes.
    • Baby book – Fill out what you can now, it’ll be a while before you get another chance.
    • Newborn care book or other reference materials.
  • Clothes – Things you don’t mind throwing away, they may get covered in blood.
    • Nightgown – If you don’t want to wear a hospital gown.
    • Change of clothes – Go with something that fit when you were about six months, as you probably won’t be able to wear your prepregnancy clothes just yet.
    • Undies and absorbent pads – The hospital will provide them, but you may prefer your own brand.
    • Breast pads and bra – Nursing bra if you plan to breastfeed, otherwise pack a sports bra to help relieve discomfort when milk comes in.  Breast pads will absorb leaking milk, regardless of your feeding choice.
    • Warm socks – Hospitals are cold, and you won’t want to put on your shoes every time you need to go to the bathroom or if you are walking the halls during labor.
    • Change of clothes for your labor partner
  • Comfort items
    • Toiletries, including lip balm, lotion, and blow dryer
    • Hair band
    • Family photos or other focus items
    • Glasses, spare contacts, medications, or anything else you may need – The hospital may be able to provide your medication, but taking your own can simplify matters.
    • Massage oils, tube sock with tennis balls, homemade ice/hot pack, or other relaxing items
    • Something to focus on during contractions, especially if you’re not planning an epidural.
    • Mints or lollipops – Many hospitals restrict eating and drinking during labor, but these can help ease nausea and keep your mouth moist.
    • Nursing pillow – Even if you don’t breastfeed, it makes holding baby more comfortable.
    • Pillows, washcloths, etc. – The hospital will provide just about everything you need for your stay, but if you are particular about any of these things, bring your own.  Just make sure things like pillows are in a distinct pattern.
    • Reading material or another way to pass the time – You’ll be focused on your baby, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be totally preoccupied.  Don’t forget something for your labor partner.
    • Snacks – You’ll be really hungry after delivery, and if baby decides to show up after hours, your options may be limited.
  • For Baby
    • Carseat
    • Weather appropriate outfit
    • Diapers and wipes
    • Baby nail clippers or mittens
  • Gadgets – If you have a smartphone and your hospital allows you to use it, you can substitute the appropriate apps for most of these.  Don’t forget the charging cords.
    • Music player
    • Camera
    • Watch
    • Phone numbers

Don’t take anything valuable or anything else that you would be worried about losing.  Don’t forget to pack some items for your labor partner.  You’ll want to have this prepared by about week 37, sooner if you start having contractions or start dilating, even if you aren’t actually in labor.

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