Sometimes, visits to the hospital are unexpected—but if you can prepare, you should! There are many situations where you can take the time to prepare materials for when that moment comes, and our renowned team at Women’s Health Specialists in Germantown is here to tell you exactly what to pack in your hospital bag.
What’s A Hospital Bag?
A hospital bag is a manner of suitcase or pack that you prepare in advance for overnight hospital treatment, especially when it’s a longer-term stay over a number of days or even weeks. This is a wise manner of preparation for a number of situations:
- A medical procedure
- Medical emergencies
- Other extended health conditions or treatments
The purpose of having a hospital bag is to provide comfort, convenience, and essential items for a patient—and potentially, for a newborn baby! We’re going to cover items vital for childbirth, as well as visits for children.
Packing For Childbirth
This is our area of expertise, so we want to discuss it first! If you’re already a parent, you probably know what this process looks like. You have to be ready to go when your baby is! Here are some of the many items we recommend for this life-changing experience:
- For Labor and Delivery
- Identification and hospital registration documents, as well as a list of important contacts.
- Health insurance information.
- Your birth plan (if you have one) and any necessary medical records.
- Some people prefer to bring their own gown for comfort.
- Comfort and Personal Care
- Think of any toiletries you would take on a vacation, as well as some hospital-specific items like slippers, a robe, nursing pads, or extra-absorbent maxi-pads for bleeding after delivery.
- Any prescribed medications.
- You can also bring items like a handheld fan or a cozy blanket or pillow. Aromatherapy and essential oils are an asset for some patients due to stress.
- A heating pad and pain relieving tools like a birthing ball can help you manage discomfort.
- You can’t pack a person in a bag—but be sure to consider the needs of your support person or people if present.
- Labor can be a long, exhaustive process for some. It’s a good idea to bring reading materials, headphones, smart devices for watching tv shows or movies, and all chargers for devices.
- You’ll probably want to have access to a camera!
- Snacks and Hydration
- Food like granola bars, nuts, and dried fruits can help you keep your energy up.
- Have some sort of container with a straw to make sipping water easy during your labor so that you can stay hydrated.
- Postpartum Items
- All manner of baby items, like blankets and diapers.
- An outfit for the baby to wear on the way home, as well as receiving blankets, nursing pillow and cover (if desired), and other items to help with postpartum effects.
- A car seat for the baby can already be set up in the car or can be added by a support person after the birth.
Packing For Children
If your child needs to stay at the hospital for a health condition, operation, or any other reason, it’s vital to pack items that can keep them calm, distracted, and engaged. There is some overlap in any hospital bag (i.e., snacks, medications, documents), but here are some additional options that should be considered for kids.
- Pack comfortable pajamas or sleepwear, extra changes of clothing, and non-slip socks.
- Favorite stuffed animals or soft toys.
- Blanket or security blanket.
- Pillows from home.
- A special comfort item from home—such as a favorite book or small toy.
- Coloring books, crayons, or markers.
- Handheld smart devices and chargers so that they can watch their favorite shows or videos, play games, or listen to music.
- An assortment of books if they’re old enough to read or for you to read to them.
In addition to all of this, be sure to communicate with hospital staff to ensure all requirements of restrictions are considered for the child. A hospital can be a strange place for young people, and the goal should always be to provide as much comfort as possible, especially for those who are undergoing long-term treatments requiring multiple visits. Also, be sure to consider your own health and comfort as their parent or guardian.
Preparation is Key
Part of our job as your provider for women’s health is to make sure you’re prepared, comfortable, and confident with all aspects of your medical journey. A lot of it can be unexplored territory, and it’s our responsibility to ensure you’re informed on a variety of life experiences. We offer a number of services and treatments in our celebrated Germantown office. If you’re searching for an OBGYN to come alongside you, especially if you’re family planning, you can schedule an appointment with one of our incredible doctors at 901-682-9222.