Your due date’s approaching. You’ve been building a relationship with the adoptive parents you chose. You’ve agreed on how much you’ll stay in touch with them after placement. Now it’s time to pack your hospital bag. Not sure where to start?
Getting ready for the delivery of your baby can be a nervous and anxious time. But it helps to prepare a little ahead of time so that you have less to think about when your contractions start. Being well-prepared can help ease your nerves about your delivery day.
Since your baby might arrive earlier than expected, it’s worth having your hospital bag organized and packed during the eighth month of your pregnancy, just in case. It’s OK to throw some items in at the last minute, like your toothbrush, but you’ll want your bag mostly packed and easily accessible by this point in your pregnancy. Once your bag is packed, keep it handy either in your car or near the door, so you’ll be ready to go.
Check out the following advice on what to pack in your hospital bag and how to get prepared for labor.
Hospital Bag Packing List
Being ready for your labor and delivery includes having a few important items handy and preparing to pass the time as you wait for your baby to be born. Since you’ll want to be as comfortable as you can during labor and delivery, many of these items may help you relax a bit.
The hospital will require your ID, any medical cards, and insurance information upfront, so make sure you have a copy of these available.
For Labor & Delivery
- Your driver’s license or ID
- Your insurance card
- Any necessary hospital paperwork
- Lifetime Adoption’s phone number: 1-800-923-6784
- Your adoption hospital plan
- Your contacts and glasses
- Your own pillow
- Lip balm
- Eye mask
- A portable Bluetooth speaker and labor playlist
Your hospital will provide gowns and socks for you to use. However, most women prefer to wear their own. Labor can sometimes take a long time, so pack some snacks and drinks. Just ask your medical team if you’re allowed to eat or drink anything during labor.
Many find that playing music during labor can help them relax. If you create a labor playlist, add a lot of songs to it since labor can last 24-plus hours. You won’t want to listen to the same ten songs repeatedly the entire time.
For After Delivery
- A nightgown
- Charger for your cell phone and other devices
- Hair ties and clips
- Skincare products
- Face wipes
- A bath towel
- A few pairs of maternity underwear
- Heavy-duty maternity pads
- A comfy outfit to go home in
- Comfy shoes
Consider packing some of your favorite snacks to enjoy after labor, as you may feel like some comfort food during your hospital stay. After laboring for hours, you’ll probably be hungry, and you may not want to eat just hospital food. Good snacks to pack are crackers, apples, bananas, dried fruit, nuts, granola bars, or trail mix.
You’ll be well prepared for your time in the hospital with these hospital bag checklists! Read up on the signs of labor, including seeing the mucus plug discharge or your water breaking. You can also check whether you are in labor by timing your contractions. You can time them by hand or using an app. If your contractions are getting stronger, longer, and more frequent, it may be time to head to the hospital.
Contact your doctor if you notice any signs of labor. They’ll let you know when it’s time to grab your hospital bag and be on your way.
Adoption Hospital Plan
With modern, open adoption, you have many choices, such as how things go at the hospital. Your adoption hospital plan will say what role you’d like the adoptive couple to have and how you want the delivery to take place.
To get started, ask yourself these three questions:
- Do you want the adoptive family to be part of the birthing process?
- Do you want the adoptive couple to be at the hospital with you?
- Is it OK if they’re both in the delivery room? Or just the adoptive mom, or neither?
Some women choose to bring the adoptive couple into the process so that they can experience the birth themselves. For example, she might ask the adoptive father to cut the umbilical cord. Or, the birth mother could even let the adoptive mother be the first to hold the baby so they can begin bonding right away.
Other birth mothers choose to spend as much time as possible with their baby. It’s hard to say goodbye to someone if you haven’t first said hello. Taking the time to hold your baby and talk to her may help your healing process.
The choices are yours in your adoption hospital plan. To make sure you create an adoption plan that works for you, please connect with an Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime. She’ll help you work out the details until you’re truly comfortable with the plan.
How to Get Ready for Delivery
Getting ready for the delivery of your baby can be a nervous and anxious time. It can help to prepare a little ahead of time so that you have less to think about when your contractions start.
Here is a list of things you can do in advance of your delivery day:
- Tour the labor and delivery area of the hospital and ask about pre-registering at the hospital.
- Plan to take time off work. You may be eligible for pregnancy disability leave before and after your baby’s birth. Check with your doctor and your employer for the proper documents.
- Sign up for childbirth classes if this is your first baby.
- Determine your hospital preferences and write them down.
- Decide who you want to be at the hospital with you when you deliver.
- If you have children already, arrange for someone to take care of them while you are in the hospital.
- Have your bag packed and ready to go.
- Think about who can pick you up from the hospital when you are discharged.
- Rest up! Getting enough sleep in your third trimester will help you feel rested and refreshed.
- Eat healthy: fill your plate with nutrient-dense superfoods like lean meats, lentils, yogurt, wild salmon, nuts, veggies and whole grains.
- Keep moving: since labor is hard work, getting regular exercise will improve your strength and stamina.
- Practice mindfulness through meditation, yoga, stretching or deep breathing will help train your mind to stay focused and relaxed on the big day.
Lifetime is Here to Help
Did you know that Lifetime can help you with some of the essentials needed for your labor bag?
One of the ways that Lifetime helps women facing an unplanned pregnancy is by providing packed hospital bags, which we call “labor bags.” Each of our labor bags arrives packed with necessities like shampoo, conditioner, socks, pads, deodorant, mouth wash, lip balm, and washcloths.
To get your free hospital bag packed with the essentials, visit BirthmotherBlessing.com and complete the request form.
If you have questions about adoption, your hospital stay, or what to expect, just call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.
Heidi Keefer is a Content Creator for Lifetime Adoption and has 15 years of experience in the field of adoption. An author of thousands of blog posts over the years, Heidi enjoys finding new ways to educate and captivate Lifetime’s ever-growing list of subscribers.
Heidi has a keen eye for misplaced apostrophes, comma splices, and well-turned sentences, which she has put to good use as a contributor to Lifetime’s award-winning blogs. She has written and published hundreds of adoption articles which explore the various facets of domestic infant adoption today.