The moment has arrived… The contractions have started, the sweating has begun, the little human that has been growing inside of you for the past nine months is ready to come out into the world. You scramble to get to the car, breathing in and out just as your lamaze instructor taught you, and stash that oh-so-important hospital bag in the back seat. Then you start panicking to yourself…

Am I prepared for this? Did I pack everything I need? Did I bring too much?

Don’t worry! As long as you listen to these important women’s health tips, straight from a leading Fort Lauderdale obstetrician regarding everything you need for your hospital stay, you’ll be all set.

Creating a checklist can help ease any anxiety about the process of packing. Make the list early on in your pregnancy so there is no last-minute rush to do so. Keep it handy so you can check things off, add, and subtract anything from the list when necessary. Important documents to have with you include photo ID, all insurance information and hospital paperwork, as well as your birth plan if you have made one. Don’t forget essentials like your cell phone and charger, glasses or contacts if you wear them, and toiletries such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, bath towels, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, face wash, and moisturizer. You may be rolling your eyes, but you can never be too sure — pregnancy brain is really a thing!

Packing the correct clothing will help keep you comfortable. You’ll feel much better wearing your own things than those provided by the hospital.

  • A couple pairs of warm, non-skid socks or slippers for those times you’ll be walking around the hospital halls,
  • Nightgown and/or robe.
  • Maternity bras and underwear
  • Nursing pads, even if you don’t plan to nurse, as they provide good support and leak protection.
  • Unless you plan to wear the same clothes you came into the hospital upon leaving, make sure to also pack something comfortable to go home in.
  • Flat shoes.
  • Whatever clothing you do bring, make sure it’s not something brand new or important to you, as it’s likely it could get stained or ruined.

Being in the hospital can sometimes be stressful and boring, so it’s also a good idea to bring things that will help you relax and stay occupied.

  • Essential oils
  • Pillow from home with a pillowcase to help differentiate it from other hospital pillows
  • iPad for watching movies, listening to music or playing games
  • Books or magazines

If you have long hair, don’t forget a hair tie to keep it out of your eyes while you are in labor, and also lip balm, as hospitals can be very dry, and labor can sometimes cause chapped lips. Snacks are crucial to have on hand for your significant other, and for after you’ve given birth. Pack sugarless candy to help keep your mouth moist without causing you to become thirsty, sports drinks with electrolytes to keep you hydrated, and plain crackers or other things to munch on that are easy on the digestive system  

These are the main things to remember when packing your hospital bag. Don’t go crazy — this isn’t a vacation where you need to bring a whole suitcase. Local mom of two (one two-year-old and one newborn), Anika Ginzler, shares her best advice: don’t overpack. “The hospital pretty much provides everything you need for the baby and postpartum care for mom. You’ll be happy not to lug home tons of luggage that you didn’t need!”

Planning for the birth of a child, especially if it’s your first, is not always easy. Having a female obgyn to guide you along the way can be extra helpful. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghea, an obgyn in Plantation, contact Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 to meet with a Plantation obgyn that will assist in easing the process, making this memorable occasion one you are sure to never forget.

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