Have you packed for the hospital yet? Some moms-to-be keep a bag ready and waiting for weeks in advance; others throw one together as they're waddling out the door. Don't worry about under- or overpacking -- your partner or family member can always bring what you may need.
Here are some important items to remember when you check in to the hospital:
- Insurance card and ID: Even if you've registered at a hospital or birthing center in advance, you still need to be checked in. Don't forget any other important paperwork you may need for the hospital.
- Nursing pajamas and bras: Hospital gowns may be necessary for labor and delivery, but after your baby is born, you'll definitely want to change into something more comfortable -- and something with more fabric for covering up when all your family and friends visit.
- Eyeglasses: If you wear contact lenses, hospital staff will ask you to remove them after you settle in to your delivery room.
- Slippers: Hospital floors are cold! The hospital will probably provide you with socks, but it's always nicer to have your own stuff around. You'll be asked to walk around soon after you give birth to help get your blood circulating and your body moving.
- Umbilical cord blood collection kit: If you're banking your baby's umbilical cord blood, don't forget the collection kit the cord blood center should have sent to you. They'll probably also ask you to call them when you check in to the hospital or as soon as possible after delivery.
- Personal touches: Bring a few small items to help you relax. This can be anything from music, a special fragrance, magazines or photos of your family or pets that make you smile.