So you're at the end of your third trimester.. Whether you are birthing at home or in the hospital, it is really wise to have a hospital bag packed with your essentials. Here are a few quick tips to help you pack & prepare for the big day!
If you birth at Penticton Regional Hospital (PRH), your average stay will be anywhere from 8 hours to 4 days. The hospital rooms at PRH are small, so bringing only the essentials is a good idea. Remember to pack not just for yourself, but for your partner and baby as well! We recommend seperating your gear into two bags; a labour bag, and a postpartum bag. You don't have to bring all of these items, these are just a few ideas so you can decide what is important for you. The essentials are highlighted.
Your own pillow & blanket (the hospital supplies these, but sometimes you prefer your own)
Clothing for labour (yoga pants and tank tops work well, but it could be whatever you are comfortable in). If you are comfortable in a hospital gown you are welcome to wear that.
Flip flops and/or slippers
Birth Ball (PRH has two, so we recommend bringing yours and leaving it in the car just incase both are in use)
Tools for comfort measures (massage, heat, etc..)
Tens machine (You can rent this from Okanagan Doula)
Bathing suit for you and your partner ( L&D has showers/tubs. You don't have to wear a bathing suit if you don't want to, but your husband should if he goes in with you)
Small Table Fan (highly recommended regardless of season)
Music & Speaker Dock
Charging cords for phone
Change for parking & vending machines (PRH is $5.00 for every 24 hours. Parking machines also accept credit cards)
Camera & Charger
Any medications that you may need
High energy snacks
Water bottle with straw
Postpartum Bag :
Granny panties or stretchy "full bum" underwear (PRH supplies stretchy mesh underwear for use while you are there. You aren't allowed to bring these home)
Night gown & robe (a few might be a good idea) or comfy pajamas
Comfy clothes (yoga pants, tank tops, zip-up hoodies. Shirts that will be easy for breastfeeding in)
Ipad/tablet & charger
Coconut Oil (the hospital supplies vaseline to smear on baby's bum area to help with diaper changes. Some families prefer to use coconut oil, if you do you must bring your own)
A small cooler and/or bag of snacks
Going home outfit for baby (PRH supplies everything else that you need. Some families choose to bring their own wipes as the hospital uses washable clothes, and some choose to bring their own sleepers and recieving blankets. This is a personal preference, you certainly don't need to)
Going home outfit for mom (take note of the season in which you are having your baby)
It is a good idea to make sure that your hospital bag is packed and ready by the door by the time you are about 38 weeks. If you are unable to pack some things because you use them on a daily basis, leave a list on top of your bag with the extra things you will need to add once you are in labour.