Are you expecting a new member of your family soon, but are unsure of what to pack in the bag you take to the hospital when the time comes? It can be a stressful task. After all, you know you’re about to give birth, and you want your birthing experience to go as smoothly as possible. Every mom-to-be packs a hospital bag in advance, knowing that she’s going to need to some basics to make her time as comfortable as possible. While it totally depends on the mom, we have some of the basics every pregnant person should consider.

1. A camera

You might not be the sentimental type, and maybe you don’t want footage of yourself in horrendous pain probably not looking your best (has anyone ever looked cute pushing a baby out of their body? Literally nobody). But a year later, you may wish that your partner, family member, or friend took some photos of that day. Maybe just ask that they be selective in terms of, uh, angles. You’ll cherish these photos (or videos if you camera has the ability) forever.

2. Toiletries

All hospitals and birth centers are different when it comes to what they provide in patients‘ rooms. Some include toiletries similar to a hotel, while others don’t provide the items you are going to want for a minimum two-night stay. This might include a hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and body wash, deodorant, extra hair ties and face wipes. If you plan on taking a tour of the hospital before the big day, ask what types of toiletries (if any) are provided in the rooms.

Sometimes health insurance plans will cover different types of resources and amenities during your hospital stay. Hospital Cover is one example and it covers a large share of your in-hospital bills such as your accommodation, theater fees, medicine and doctors’ fees. You can be admitted to both private and public hospitals as a private patient with hospital cover.

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3. Comfortable clothes

Depending on whether you plan to breastfeed, nursing bras (check out this Soma one) are great for your hospital stay. They are not only comfortable, but they are easy to use if you plan on having any visitors. Be sure to pack some comfortable pants as well, such as postpartum leggings or joggers. (Honestly, the thought of wearing pants might not sound so appealing, so you may want to stick with gowns for awhile. It all depends on the mama!)

For your feet, slipper socks are always great for keeping cozy. You might also want to consider bringing flip-flops to wear in the shower.

4. Adult diapers

Hospitals usually provide patients with enough mesh underwear to wear during their stay, but it doesn’t hurt to bring extras in case they are more comfortable than the ones provided. Babylist recommends adult diapers, like Depends, because they are more comfortable and feel secure. Babylist also mentions bringing a perineal spray as well (trust us on this one). You may also want to bring some padsicles with you. They’ll cool and help soothe the area down there — they just take some prep work to create.

5. Nipple cream

If you plan on breastfeeding, your nipples will thank you for this. The first few days of breastfeeding can be rough on first-time moms especially, but thankfully nipple cream makes it a much more comfortable experience.

6. An extra long phone charger

Since you will most likely be relaxing in the bed most of the time during your hospital stay, you might not be close to an electrical outlet to charge your phone. This is where those extra long phone chargers come in handy. Trust us, your phone will probably need charged after all those hours spent scrolling through Instagram trying to escape from postpartum aches and pains.

7. Tons of drinks and your favorite snacks

Your body is going to need to recharge after you get settled into your room. The quality of hospital food is always a coin toss, so be sure to pack some of your favorite (and easily prepared) snacks to keep you nourished and satisfied. Try to pack something from each of these categories: salty (like pretzels, crackers and chips), sweet (such as candy, M&M’s or gummy bears), protein (protein bars or beef jerky) and healthy/fresh (dried fruit or carrot sticks).

Don’t forget to bring your favorite drinks and a reusable water bottle! You’ve got this!

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