When you reach the end of your pregnancy, it includes packing your hospital bags with baby's essentials and your stuff that you'll need after the delivery.
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Essential items to pack in your hospital bag
Your delivery is just round the corner and you are so stressed that you keep forgetting what to keep for the D-Day. So here's a quick check list for you to organize yourself and enjoy your less chaotic days. Smartphone and Charger It's true that today you just can't be without your phone. Since you may be messaging, calling or replying a lot, before and after the delivery, keep your chargers handy, too. Important Documents A picture ID, health insurance information, and hospital registration forms. Even if you've already registered at the hospital, some hospitals need to confirm your records before they can admit you. Toiletries Deodorant, body wash, shampoo, facial cleansing wipes, toothpaste, and a toothbrush are necessities. Don’t forget the lip balm and moisturizer – hospitals rooms may make your skin dry, so keep all your personal stuff ready. Hair Care Products Head bands, shampoo, conditoner, dry shampoo, oil, and hair brush. Cash and Change Hospital food for your partner and tips to the staff at the end of your stay will make you run out of change. So stuff your wallets.Homecoming Outfit for Baby Pack a newborn-size kimono-style shirt, with footed pants so you don't have to bring socks. You'll likely get a receiving blanket and hat in the hospital, so skip those unless you've got your heart set on a specific style. Extra Outfit for You Here's a hint: You'll probably still look about 5 months pregnant, so skip your non-maternity skinnies and pack your favorite maternity dress or leggings and a tunic. (Trust us: Not fitting into your going-home outfit is a bummer!) Sleepwear and Underwear A cotton nightie will be much more comfortable than a hospital gown, and a robe will come in handy for walking the hallways. Several pairs of undies are also a must for any hospital bag checklist (briefs, maternity, or disposables like Depends) if you don't want to wear the mesh underwear the hospital gives you after delivery.Flip-Flops Bring flip-flops for the shower or to wear home if your feet are swollen. Slippers and/or Heavy Socks Keep your toes toasty and clean, whether you're in bed or strolling around on the cold tile floor. Bring a pair that's easily laundered, as they may get a bit dirty. Extra Undies and Extra-Absorbent Pads You're going to need these after delivery. It might also be helpful to pack lidocaine spray or witch hazel pads (to relieve pain from tearing). Nursing Bra Bring a nursing tank or bra that's comfortable enough to sleep in. Music, Movies, and Magazines, Books. Load up your smartphone or tablet with tunes and anything you might want to binge-watch on Netflix. It'll help district you—and your partner—during a long labor. An Extra Bag or Two With all the goodies from the hospital—diapers, blankets, and creams—and all the gifts from well wishers, you're bound to have more stuff coming out than you did going in. For the Baby: Most of the things will be provided by the hospital and you will be charged for those anyway, but you could keep these. A set of clothes to take baby back home in A few sets of clothes/onesies/tops for baby to change into while in the hospital Caps A blanket for the crib A blanket to carry baby back home in Diapers Wipes
Last -minute To-Dos before Delivery
hoNow that your baby is about to arrive any day, you need to make some last-minute arrangements so that you don't panic- Buy some nursing bras and nursing gowns The first thing that you’ll need after your baby is born include nursing bras and nursing gowns to aid you in breastfeeding your little one. Buy at least 2-3 comfortable nursing bras and some nursing gowns so that you are all set to nurse your baby. Pack your hospital bag Pack your hospital bag around the 32nd week of pregnancy. You would need baby clothes, toiletries, bottle, formula, diapers, diaper rash cream, maternity clothes, sanitary pads, comfortable cotton underwear, towel, toiletries, baby blanket and a baby towel during your stay in the hospital. Collect breastfeeding essentials While nursing, you might also experience some leaking so you need to have some breast pads handy. At times, your might be away or are unable to produce milk, so a breast pump would be handy in such a scenario. If your nipples hurt, you can soothe using a hot compress and by applying some ghee on them. Keep some homemade ghee in a small bottle near your bedside. Gather baby essentials Before you welcome your baby, buy some baby clothes along with mittens, socks and cap, according to the weather and buy some baby toiletries and other baby essentials such as diapers, nappies, and a car seat. Waterproof your bed Since babies have no control over their urine, expect a wet bed every once in a while. The best way to prevent your mattress from getting spoilt is by putting a plastic sheet on your mattress. Make space for baby stuff Now that you have a lot of baby stuff to keep, you will need to make space for your little one’s clothes and toiletries. Empty out at least 2 shelves so that you can arrange your baby’s essentials there. Baby proof your home Make your home safe for your baby. Remove all sharp objects and put all tiny objects away. Tiny objects can be taken in the mouth by babies and lead to choking. If your baby is going to sleep with you, ensure that your bed is safe, else install bed guards on all four sides. If your baby is going to sleep in a cot or a separate room, install appropriate baby monitors. Clean your house The immune system of babies is underdeveloped and so they are more prone to catch infections. Clean up all the clutter and dirt from your house to give your child a clean house and fresh air to breathe. Make sure all carpets, draperies and bed sheets are clean. This will minimise the risk of infections for your baby. Hire a house help Once your baby is born, you won’t be able to do anything more than looking after your baby and your health, so hire some help to assist with the household chores. Choose a hospital After the 32nd week, be prepared to rush to the hospital anytime, so you must choose a hospital beforehand and it would be better if it is near your house. Finalise a paediatrician Your baby’s well-being will be your top priority once your baby is born, so do some research and find out the best paediatrician near your house. Pre-wash your baby’s clothes Since baby skin is very delicate and can get rashes easily, pre-wash all your baby’s clothes to get rid of any allergens that might be present. Contact your insurance provider If you’re going to be claiming a maternity cover, contact your insurance provider and understand the entire procedure. Gather all the required documents and keep them with your hospital bag. Sleep, relax and have fun While you await your baby’s arrival, you must know that your life is going to change completely once he/she is there. So, have fun, meet with friends, sleep as much as you can, read books, watch movies, spend time at the spa and indulge in some “me time” since you’re not going to get time for all these later! Develop a Birth Plan Discuss with your doctor about your prefered birth plan and the people you would need around you to support you. Talk to your doctor about pain management methods and any other concerns you might have about baby care after birth. Inform your employer You need to inform your employer about your tentative delivery date and maternity leave and handover or delegate your work to others while you're going to be on leave. Featured Image Source
7 Signs of labor: Know what to expect
Pre-labour, or, the early signs of labour include… Mood swings In the day or two before you go into labour, you may notice heightened anxiety, mood swings, weepiness, or a general sense of impatience. (This may be hard to distinguish from the usual 9-months-pregnant impatience, we know.) It can also manifest in extreme nesting. These may all be early signs of labour; your whole body is getting ready for the main event. Cramps One of the first signs of labour is actually a familiar feeling: the pain that comes with menstrual cramps. If you’re starting to feel those diffuse discomfort and pain in the abdomen, it may be a sign that active labour is just a few hours away. Intense lower back pain Along with those seemingly familiar cramps is intense lower back pain. Sure, the final weeks of carrying around a giant human (and its liquid sustenance sac) make your back permanently sore, but this is different level of pain. And for people who experience it, it usually starts at the same time as the cramps. Spotting Another sign that your baby might be ready to start the process of shimmying down the birth canal is light spotting or slightly brown or pink discharge. This happens because the cervix is shortening and the tissue is thinning to prepare for your baby’s exit from the womb. (You may have heard the term “bloody show”? This is it.) You may even be so lucky as to pass a “mucus plug,” which is just what it sounds like, and which was blocking the opening of the cervix to protect against infection. Once that plug comes off, it’s a clear sign that the baby is ready to come out. (Don’t confuse light spotting or brown discharge with actual bleeding — if you see a flow if blood, that’s something you need to call your doctor about.) Upset stomach A few hours before labour begins, you may also feel some digestive discomfort, and even have diarrhea. This upset stomach is your body’s (clever) way of preparing you for delivery (by evacuating anything that might get in the way). Water breaking Contrary to what movies tell us, this rarely occurs to women as a sudden deluge while they’re standing in the supermarket; the vast majority of women experience labour without their water ever breaking at home or in a public place. (It usually happens when you’re already at the hospital.) But, for the women who do experience some version of the rupturing of the membranes before they get to the hospital, this can be a trickle of clear liquid. (Some women wake up thinking they’ve wet the bed!) If you experience any form of water breaking, call your doctor. Because this is a sign that the amniotic sac has ruptured, you may be more susceptible to infection after it happens; depending on your medical history and pregnancy, your doctor may want to see you, or ask you to come to the hospital, after this happens. Regular contractions Finally, probably the clearest sign that you’re in labour is regular contractions. You’ll know you’re experiencing contractions because they escalate. Over time, these signs of labour will get stronger (read: more painful), and they will become more frequent. If you notice there’s a pattern, you’re definitely in labour. Advice varies on what stage of process requires you to be at the hospital (or seen by a midwife or other birthing support professional), so seek advice from your doctor or midwife about how close your contractions should be when you make that call (and get moving). You’ve probably heard about the fakeout called Braxton Hicks contractions. These are not signs of labour — they are thought to be part of the way the body is preparing for labour. The main difference between Braxton Hicks and “real” labour contractions is that Braxton Hicks are not as painful; they are not steady, consistent, and escalating; and finally, they occur mainly around your belly (it looks/feels almost like the area around your belly tightens) rather than an overall sensation around your abdomen. But most important to remember: Braxton Hicks contractions go away eventually, they don’t get worse. Feature Image Source