So you’re approaching the due date and want to pack your hospital bag? And now you’re wondering what you’ll need?
I won’t tell you the “regular stuffs” you’ll need. You can find this kind of list in many other sites. Instead, I will let you know what you may need additionally, based on my experience delivering in CHUV.
If you’ll deliver in CHUV, on your 37th-week visit they will explain and give you a leaflet with a list of things that you will need. Pay attention to what official documents you need to bring since these documents are needed for your baby’s birth certificate. Different documents are needed, depending of the your and your partner’s nationalities. Make copies and put them in the birth bag, ready for the big day (or night).
Okay, now for the additional stuffs for labor. We brought some bottles of isotonic water. But I was told by the midwife that they also provided isotonic water there. In fact, we can ask for anything we want (water, tea, juice, syrup), but remember that no hard food is allowed since it can be dangerous in case C-section is needed. To get some energy during the long labor, I sipped on some honey. Then, don’t forget your camera and/or camcorder. When the baby is out and put to your chest, remind your birth partner to take the camera out and shoot some pics. You’ll cherish those photos forever!
Then, for the stay, I wished we had brought a small clock. Since the baby roomed in with us the whole 4 days and nights, the midwives always came to check and asked for the time and duration of the breastfeeding. I had a wristwatch, but I never remembered to check the time before nursing. When the baby already nursed, I didn’t want to move since I was so afraid that she wouldn’t latch well anymore (you know, first timer!). A small clock would be great to put on the bedside table so that you can see the time easily.
That said, it’s also good to have a notepad and a pen to note the time and duration of the breastfeeding. I happened to have this journal and it was fantastic. But you really don’t need to buy one, you can just write the details on a piece of paper. Or create a fill-in table yourself and print it several times. It’s also a good idea to note when you change the diaper as the midwives also ask about this sometimes.
Most women have sore nipples when nursing for the first time. You can ask the midwives for Lanolin cream to soothe your nipple. If you’re allergic to lanolin you can use the free Bepathen that (usually) can be found in your “Baby Box”. I personally like Rafael Ointment from Vivosan. It’s lanolin-based, and has several other ingredients that worked like magic to my cracked nipples. I’m not sure if the CHUV maternity has it, so if you want to try it, buy/order it at any pharmacy or in Babyzou.
I had natural tear on my perineum and had quite a lot of stitches. So, after two days of wearing the super thick sanitary pads from CHUV, I became really irritated when I had to sit, since the stitches were pressed by the thick pads. I asked the midwife if I can use the regular (thinner) ones and she agreed as long as I change the pad more often since the regular ones were not as airy as the CHUV ones and could contribute to bacterial or fungal growth. Fortunately I had a package at home that my husband could just grab, so there was no need to make him confused in front of the sanitary pads row in Coop deciding which type to buy.
And finally, for the geeky moms who can’t resist surfing the net, you can bring your notebook and have a wireless internet connection in your room. Register at the reception, pay a small fee and in no time you’ll be skyping with your in-laws back in home country (We had such a great time showing off the baby through skype during our stay at the CHUV).
Now, pack your bag, and relax. Enjoy the last days of being able to sleep whenever you want to.
*I made this post with Kelly H. & Peter D. in mind. I hope this post is not too late. I wish you both a wonderful birth experience and please keep me posted when the little angel is out!