Childbirth shouldn’t be viewed as an unexpected occurrence, a birth plan, and early preparation prepare you to always anticipate for the moment. Packing your bags early with essential requirements equips you to handle the last-minute rush.
The actual due date or expected delivery date is never an assurance that the baby will come on the exact date, study shows that an approximate of 5 percent or less babies are born on the exact due delivery date. Most of the time, babies may come a week or two earlier or late.
Preparation for the day is essential, as you may not have enough time to pack everything you need during the rush and being haunted by labor pains at the same time. Mothers sometimes end up forgetting the essential requirements like the hospital card number or the insurance card.
Most babies are born between 38 weeks and 40 weeks for a normal pregnancy, so the best time to start packing for high-risk pregnancy should be at around 34 -35 weeks, and for normal, uncomplicated pregnancy should be from37-38 weeks, we anticipate that the baby may come anytime around those weeks. Packing your bag two to three weeks earlier gets you prepared for the unexpected.
A maternity bag checklist helps you to ensure that you have packed everything required, and you are ready for the unexpected at any particular time just in case.
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The ultimate Mamatoto maternity bag checklist
- ANC booklet – this is an important medical record booklet that contains information on how you have been progressing throughout the pregnancy, it has vital information that the doctor and the medical staff will need as they prepare you for childbirth.
- Hospital file number/card – this is used to trace your previous medical records if you were being attended to at that particular hospital.
- Insurance /NHIF card/ Identity card/passport- for legal purposes when you use insurance, it’s a requirement always to have the insurance card and the national ID card. The hospital will also require your ID and partner’s ID copies during birth notification of the newborn, so always make about 2 – 3 copies of the same and have them packed ready in the bag.
- 1 Maternity dress- labor ward is messy, and the labor pains can make you do weird things like rolling on the floor as you pace around, during delivery, the clothes will get soiled, and you will need to change. The hospital will provide a gown for you after delivery.
- Slippers or flip flops- you will need something comfy and easy to slip in and out for use in the shower and while moving around the hospital.
- Two pairs of socks- maternity wards can get cold sometimes, a pair of socks can come in handy.
- 1 leso – something to wrap around in case you need it
- Maternity sanitary pads- bleeding post-delivery is normal, packing a packet or two of maternity pads is essential though the hospital may provide for you pads post-delivery.
- Panties – To change frequently, and toiletries like; soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, tissue, a bathing towel, hairclip, lip balm, and body lotion
- 1 Going-home clothes – something loose but comfortable to put on when you leave the hospital with the baby.
- Nursing bras – two or three will be enough until you leave the hospital
Packing for the baby
- 2 lesos – to be used to place the baby after delivery.
- 2 baby shawl – to wrap the baby in to prevent cold during the hospital stay
- Diapers – either reusable or disposable enough to change the baby frequently, you may need up to 12 changes in a day
- Baby clothes – a few to last up to 4 days in case you go through caesarian section, 3 vests, 2 pairs socks
- Baby bathing soap and jelly cream
Additionally, you can carry; phone charge, a created playlist to keep you going through sleepless nights just in case, or a book if you are the reader type and cash.
You can always consult your gynecologist or doctor, in case of anything else you may need to carry for the stay in the hospital.
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