As your due date approaches, it is time to start thinking about your hospital bag. Not sure where to start? An obstetrician at The Iowa Clinic gives tips on what to include in your bag for the big day.
by Featured Provider Amy McEntaffer on Thursday, February 9, 2023
Preparing for delivery is a big task. You probably have the nursery done, baby gear ready, and car seat installed, but have you packed the hospital bag? Obstetrician Amy McEntaffer, MD shares her recommendations on hospital bag essentials.
The last thing you want is to go into labor with nothing packed — so timing is important. Full-term is 37-weeks, so Dr. McEntaffer advises anything after that is fair game. While your due date can give you a rough estimate of when baby will arrive, you may labor before or after your due date. You want to have your bag ready to go whenever baby is. Peace of mind goes a long way.
There are a few essentials that you should include in your bag — and then a few optional items suggested for enhanced comfort.
The hospital will provide a few items, like a gown, disposable underwear, and basic toiletries. On average, moms should plan to stay in the hospital for one to three days, but circumstances may vary — a C-Section vs vaginal delivery, for example. Dr. McEntaffer advises to keep it limited to the essentials:
- Pajamas or robe
- Slippers or fuzzy socks
- Cell phone charger
- Favorite water bottle
- Toiletries and personal items
- Light reading materials
- One or two pairs of maternity pants and bras
- An eyemask or earplugs — if light or noise makes it challenging for you to sleep.
Keep it simple for your baby. The most important items to include for baby are:
- Approved infant car seat
- A coming-home outfit and hat
- Warm blanket
- Optional: Matching hat, swaddle set, and monogrammed blanket for baby’s first photo!
Once your bag is packed, it’s time to wait! Dr. McEntaffer recommends putting your bag somewhere easily accessible — like the hallway or trunk of your car — in case the moment suddenly arises.
No matter what stage of pregnancy, The Iowa Clinic OB/GYN providers are here for it all. Visit our website or call 515.875.9290 to learn more.