It is important that you pack ahead of time. The ideal time to pack your maternity bag is around three weeks to a month before your baby’s expected day of arrival.
Studies show that only 5% of babies are born on their actual due date. Packing early gives you enough time to prepare for the unexpected. Although the hospital will provide you the essential supplies for you and your newborn during labor and post-delivery, you may want to bring things that would make you feel more at home or comfortable with your surroundings.
The hospital will provide mothers with gowns, socks, pads, panties, ice packs, pericare supplies and standard pillows and blankets during your hospital stay. The Nest at Baptist Health System will provide diapers, wipes, blankets, hats and bathing supplies while you and your baby are in the hospital.
What Should I Put in My Hospital Bag?
The checklists below may serve as a guide to help you get organized for your baby’s arrival:
- Photo ID and insurance cards
- Focal point (meaningful small object or picture to focus on during labor)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Lotion or massage oil
- Chapstick or lip balm for dry lips
- Tennis ball or back massager (for back labor)
- Relaxing music
- Hairbrush, hair clips or hair ties to hold long hair away from neck and face
- Comfortable pillows
- Colored pillowcases so they aren’t confused with the hospital’s standard white pillowcases
- Childbirth class handbook
- Phone, camera, charger and extra batteries (some procedures or actual birth may not be photographed/filmed)
- Pen and paper
- Nursing gowns or nursing shirts and comfortable pants
- Bathrobe and nonskid slippers
- Nursing pillow and 1-2 nursing bras
- Breast pads
- Several pairs of socks
- Several pairs of underwear
- Loose-fitting clothes to change into
- Compression wrap for added postpartum belly support
- Breast pump and other nursing supplies
- Glasses and/or contact lenses
What Are the Baby Items to Buy Before Delivery?
- Baby book for loved ones’ signatures and for baby’s footprints
- Outfit for baby to wear in baby photos taken at the hospital
- Clothes and blanket for baby to wear home
- Car seat (must be properly installed in your car before you leave the hospital)
- Baby socks
- Mittens, booties and hat (for cold weather season)
What Your Support Person Can Bring
- Comfortable clothing
- Comfortable shoes
- Glasses or contacts
- Phone and charger
- Pillow and blanket
- Water bottle
- Book or magazine
Other Important Items You May Need for Your Hospital Stay
- Hospital admissions papers
- Pregnancy medical file including over-the-counter prescription medicine information
- Birth preferences
- Contact information of the healthcare provider who will be caring for your baby so the hospital can let the office know your baby has arrived
- Money for parking
- Small items that comfort or soothe you
What Should You Not Pack in Your Hospital Bag?
As a general rule, do not bring anything that you’d miss if you accidentally lost it. The list below includes some recommendations of things to leave at home.
- Valuables like wedding rings and other expensive jewelry
- Checkbooks or large amounts of cash
- Electronics, such as TVs, radios, laptops and tablets
Be sure to contact your medical healthcare provider before you arrive with any questions about what is and what isn’t provided. If packing for your delivery weeks ahead is causing you undue stress, remember that the hospital will likely provide most of your basic needs.
Additionally, The Nest at Baptist Health System’s birth centers in San Antonio provides mommy-to-be tours so patients and their families can learn more about what to expect during their big day. We want to work with you to ensure you’re confident and comfortable throughout your pregnancy.
At The Nest at Baptist Health System in San Antonio, we know that anticipating for your little one can be both exciting and overwhelming. We know that you want your first days with your newborn to be comfortable and well prepared as much as possible.
When it comes to your pregnancy, we have the expertise, technical skill and clinical judgment that are vital for a positive experience for you and your baby. In addition to our experienced and compassionate staff and physicians available 24/7 in each of our birth centers, The Nest at Baptist Health System offers the following maternity services:
- Online pre-registration
- Pre-admission testing
- Concierge navigator (“Great Expectations” Program) – registered nurses who help you with the registration process, schedule obstetric classes, facilitate NICU consultations when necessary and address any other concerns that may arise. This program is offered at North Central Baptist Hospital in Stone Oak and St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital in the Medical Center in San Antonio
- Childbirth education classes
- Mommy-to-be tours
- Dedicated operating rooms
- Private labor and delivery suites
- Private postpartum suites
- Specialized high-risk antepartum care
- Breastfeeding support and lactation center services – include lactation consultations, breast pumps for rent in the hospital gift shop, breast pump parts and accessories, weight checks, bra fittings, telephone assistance and bank collection site
- Family-centered care and resources
- Level IV neonatal intensive care units (NICU) – for babies who require special care due to complications, such as premature delivery or congenital disabilities
- Guest accommodations for your support person
- Midwifery services – midwives work in collaboration with physicians to help manage primary care issues, such as family planning, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum period and care of newborns