The day you get to meet your baby will be here before you know it. Getting your hospital bag prepped, packed and organized ahead of time, can make the wonderful occasion easier — saving time and making the birth experience seamless.
While hospitals provide necessary items for labor and delivery, a packed “birth bag” gives an opportunity to bring along some “nice to have” items for the event.
“Good Morning America” caught up with Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OBGYN at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and chief medical officer of Verywell Health to get some of her best recommendations.
Fellow senior reporter, Nicole Pelletiere, who leads “GMA’s” family vertical, and is also a mother of one, has pointed out a mix of several items she was lucky to have handy as well as some she wish she had during her own experience giving birth.
Below, check out some of the best products to add to your arsenal of hospital bag must-haves ahead of the arrival of your newborn.
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Shepherd advised that loose-fitting underwear are ideal after vaginal delivery or cesarean section as these areas of your body will be sore.
Tight underwear, Shepherd said, can also be a cause of irritation.
Comfy robe, PJs and slippers
To keep yourself warm and cozy, you can try swapping your hospital gown for a comfortable robe and pajamas. With medical staff and often family members, stopping by frequently during your hospital stay, these items will help you keep comfortable among the activity.
A nursing pillow offers great extra support for feeding and more. Shepherd also said a nursing pillow allows for the mother to explore different ways to hold the baby.
Nursing pillows can also be used for “tummy time” and sleeping throughout the baby’s first year.
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“Rubbing lavender oil on wrists and inhaling amid labor can help clear the mind,” said Pelletiere. Shephard also advised that anything that can calm the experience won’t hurt to have.
Going-home outfits for mom and baby
It can be easy to forget a going-home outfit. Make sure to pack something comfortable for not only the mother but also the new baby.
Shepherd said that breast size often changes after delivery. Having a comfortable nursing bra on hand is key.
Portable cellphone charger
One of the last things any mother wants to worry about during a birthing experience is a dead phone. You may want to reach loved ones, family, friends and take photos as well as videos to capture all the moments.
Pelletiere said she wishes she had a portable mobile phone charger during her delivery and afterward as outlets were across the room, and she said she had to constantly ask her partner to charge her phone.
Insulated water bottle
Mothers can avoid several unnecessary trips from the hospital bed for a sip of water by bringing an insulated water bottle. Plus, an insulated water bottle is more eco-friendly than using plastic hospital cups.
Pillow for partner
Unfortunately, there usually isn’t another bed available for the mother’s partner during the birth experience. Offer a little comfort by bringing along an extra pillow or travel-sized blanket.
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