A Hospital Bag for Mothers: Why? When? How?

One of the most important things that a pregnant woman does is to plan and pack her hospital bag. A lot of thinking goes into what should be packed for herself and for her soon to be born baby, yet most of the items that go into the bag are actually of no use! Apart from this, another dilemma that a woman faces is that most of the cultures in India don’t allow anything to be bought for the baby or even remotely related to the baby before birth. In such a scenario, buying and packing are not only difficult but also challenging. Let us focus on the part which talks about the contents of the bag for the mother and not the child.

The bigger question here is why should one pack a hospital bag? Well, nowadays most hospitals are equipped with essentials so we really don’t need to carry everything from home. But then we are comfortable with our own belongings, so we would like to carry own stuff from home. Personal belongings like maternity/nursing clothes, toiletries, towels, feeding gowns, an extra pair of slippers etc would definitely need to be put into the bag.

Now the question is when should the hospital bag be packed. Ideally, a hospital bag should be ready by around 36/37 weeks of pregnancy: that is, the beginning of the 9th month. The reason being a delivery can happen anytime during this month. According to the doctors, a vaginal delivery normally happens between 36-38 weeks unless there is some kind of intervention required. The hospital bag should be packed, checked and repacked before this time so as to avoid any kind of confusion.

Also, according to women worldwide, nursing dresses, especially nursing bra, should be brought around this time as well. Once the bump starts moving down, the body also deflates a bit. As a result, the nursing dresses bought at the last minute become loose. So ideally the nursing dresses should be bought around 33-34 weeks.  

And now a bigger question about what to pack and what not pack. We have already mentioned that there are a lot of things that needn’t be packed in the bag. To read that list click here. What is it that you should be packing then? To read this, come back here next week.

How should the bag be packed? When the woman gives birth, it is difficult for her to wake up and attend to her own needs while in the hospital and for a few weeks later. In such a scenario, if she herself packs the bag, it will be difficult for anyone to find anything from her bag. An ideal situation here would be to let someone else pack her bag or to allow someone to be present while she is packing the bag.

How did you pack your hospital bag? Is there something we missed out on, let us know.


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