Guest blog introduction by Kiersten Moen:
Last April, I started out my day with a routine doctor’s visit and ended it by being admitted to the hospital in week 32 of my pregnancy with twins.
This was the beginning of the pandemic when hospitals were pretty much locked down and even my husband was not allowed in to see me. Could I have used Josh Moore’s blog post Packing For Birth Day Success: A Guide For Partners, back then? Heck yeah, I could.
What did I learn during this trial by fire? Read and learn.
First off, having a hospital bag ready not weeks, but months, in advance will take some pressure off, trust me.
Because of the pandemic, my birthing classes were canceled, and leading up to the day I was admitted for an indefinite hospital stay, my husband was not even allowed to attend my ultrasounds with me. I was going in blind with no support or prior experience, and this includes what to expect during labor.
Luckily, on the advice of my doctor I did get my go bag ready around 30 weeks. Unfortunately, even after all my research, I got it so wrong that my husband had to return home multiple times to get that “one other thing” I did not realize I needed.
When Josh Moore from Diaperdads.org sent his blog to my place of work, where we help families transition into parenthood and navigate newborn childcare, I could not help but wish his advice was available to me a year ago. Take it from someone who has just been there, done that. I guarantee you will learn something you did not already know! And thank you Josh from Diaperdads.org for the excellent advice and for allowing us to share.
Josh Moore from diaperdads.org
Seattle Nanny knows the birth of a baby is an exciting event, but one that requires lots of preparations. You’ve already gotten the nursery ready and you likely have your name picked out. But now it’s time to get ready for the day. As a partner, you’ll serve as the supportive figure, and the things you bring with you will help you do your job more effectively.
Types Of Birth
First, you should know that the type of birth you and your partner have planned can play a role in what you bring. For example, if you choose a water birth, which Baby Nest recommends for its many benefits, you’ll need to ensure that your birthing tub is ready to go and that you have packed all of the appropriate gear your partner wants (a swimsuit or beach towel, for example). For a C-section, it might make sense to pack a belly binder for the mother if the hospital doesn’t have one that works for her.
Packing For Two (and Then Three)
For both you and your partner, you’ll want to keep a change of clothing. For her, make sure to pack a nursing tee and (depending on the season) breast-feeding hoodie, along with clean socks, loose-fitting pants or leggings, and high-waisted underwear. Clothing for you can be whatever you are comfortable in and don’t mind getting covered in spit-up, urine, and other baby-generated bodily fluids.
You will also want to pack extra blankets and a pillow. Although mom will be in a hospital bed, she may be colder than usual, something that the Mom Loves Best blog explains is perfectly normal and may be caused by anemia, hormones, or an infection. If your partner is receiving IV fluids, she may also experience shivers since IV fluid is not always warmed to body temperature. For you, a blanket large enough to cover you from head to toe will supplement any covers the hospital offers.
Make sure you’ve also got a folder together with all the paperwork needed for your baby bundle’s big arrival. At the hospital, you will have to fill out forms that require your and the mother’s Social Security number. If you do not have these memorized, bring the cards with you. Your birthing plan, driver’s license or state ID, and hospital ID (if applicable) will also come in handy. If the mother has established advanced healthcare directives, bring these papers with you, as well, in case of an unfortunate emergency.
When you are ready to pack for the baby, stick to the basics. The swaddling blankets, hats and socks, and burp cloths should all have a special place in your hospital bag. You’ll also want to make sure to pack a camera or even just a portable power bank for your phone so that you can snap away. Contact the hospital to ask if they provide a starter set of diapers and wipes, and only pack those if necessary.
Just as important as all of the above, make sure that you have a carrier that’s large enough to handle all your stuff. A large duffel bag is a good option, which will reduce the number of separate bags you have to carry around on discharge day.
Final tip: Pack snacks. While your hospital will likely have a vending machine nearby, it’s much more convenient to have granola bars, bottled waters, and fruit in the room with you when a craving hits.
Your baby’s birthday will be one of the most exciting of your life. Being prepared ahead of time will ensure you’re not constantly rushing around wondering what you forgot. Enjoy the moment by having your bag ready to go, and don’t forget to keep a few things handy for yourself as well as mother and child.Seattle Nanny is dedicated to helping new and veteran parents find the childcare they need. Our award-winning placement service offers a range of solutions to help every parent access the right care for their situation. Find out more today by calling 425-803-9511.