If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far about pregnancy, it’s that it’s full of surprises! You can go into labor anytime — whether it’s earlier than expected or much later than your estimated due date. One thing’s for sure: when that time comes, you don’t want to be frazzled and stressed out because you haven’t started packing yet! Labor pain is one thing to worry about; you shouldn’t have to worry about being unprepared for the big day too!
I’m on my 39th week now, and I could pop anytime soon! Thankfully, all my bags are packed! Now, all I have to do is wait for my baby to decide when (and how) to make her big debut!
Since I’m a first-time mom, I really have no idea if I overpacked or underpacked, but I ALWAYS prefer to overpack. We could be staying in the hospital for less than 2 days, but we could also end up staying for 4 or 5 days. You can never tell! Maybe after I give birth, I can write a separate blog post about what we actually used and didn’t use. But for now, in an attempt to be as prepared as I can, I just packed what I think would be important and useful to us for 4 days (in case of a C-section).
In this post, I also included the brands of the items I packed, as well as the links to their websites and Instagram pages in case you’re wondering where I got them.
I organized our things using these super handy packing cubes, which were a gift from my cousins ate Carla and Christel. It’s actually a pack of 6: 3 mesh bags and 3 pouches. You can buy these in malls and online shops, but my cousins said that they got these for a cheaper price at only PHP 150 in Divisoria!
I also used a lot — and I mean A LOT — of these pre-sterilized Mother K zipper bags. Easier to see items when the packaging is clear! I like them so much that I bought all the sizes!
♥ MOM’S BAG ♥
Labor bag (which also serves as my handbag)
I don’t know if I’ll actually be allowed to bring anything inside the labor room, since they want to keep it sterile, but I packed a labor bag anyway. If they don’t allow it, I’ll just hand this over to Mike.
My labor bag, which will also be my handbag, is from Kiss Me Goodbye PH. I like that it’s made of a mesh fabric so it’s light, and that it’s see-through so I don’t have a hard time looking for my things. It also has a zipper compartment at the bottom.
- Personal record book (with 3-4 extra copies) – A clear book that contains all pieces of information such as my medical history, pregnancy history, ultrasound reports, test results, birth plan, etc. I made multiple copies of this because the doctors and nurses will keep asking me the same questions over and over and over again (while I’m having my contractions! Great timing!) so I can just give them these records to refer to.
- Childbirth class notes – Something to read and review if I get bored… if I even have the strength to read when I’m writhing in pain!
- Notebook and pen – Where I can write my thoughts (which will probably mostly be thoughts like “F@#$, it hurts!!!”) or keep a record of my contractions.
- Extra pens – since I’ll be filling out a lot of forms.
- Chapstick – My lips could get dry during labor. I got the mint variant because it’s refreshing.
- Hair ties – I’ll probably be sporting a super fashionable (not!) hospital cap, but I’m bringing hair ties to keep hair at bay anyway.
- Anti-slip socks – To keep my feet warm and for walking around during labor, if I’m allowed and not yet hooked on the IV.
- Hot and cold pack – This has many uses, both during labor and after delivery. It can be used to relax the perineum, soothe sore breasts, etc.
- Jellies – I don’t think I’ll be allowed to eat during labor except for some sweets like lollies, dark chocolate, and jellies, but I’ll be bringing a few pieces, just in case.
- Focal point – You might be wondering why there’s a baby seal stuffed toy in my labor bag. According to my childbirth class teacher, Rome Kanapi, it helps to have a focal point during labor. A focal point is anything that you concentrate on that will help you relax and stay positive while labor is ongoing. Slippy the Seal may not take away the pain completely, but look how cute he is! Looking at those big, round eyes might help take the edge off the agony, even just a little bit!
- Valuables and everything else that I would normally put in my handbag such as my phone, power bank, house keys, wallet and ATM cards. I’ll leave these with my husband for safekeeping since I won’t be able to guard them while in labor.
Clothes and Accessories
For my outfits, I’ve decided to be a minimalist and only bring the essentials for the hospital. I specifically chose inexpensive outfits that I wouldn’t mind getting messy or ruined, because there is a huge chance that they might be!
- Robe – I got a soft and super comfy cotton robe that I can just throw on top of my hospital gown if I have guests.
- Long black cardigan – Same as above, and of course, to keep me warm. (Black is a good color coz the blood stains, if any, won’t be so visible)
- Pajamas with nursing access (2)
- Nursing-friendly dresses (2) – I will probably be too lazy and just end up wearing my hospital gown the whole time. They may not be pretty, but they’re convenient, especially for nursing, and I’ll have less clothes to put in the laundry basket when we get home. But who knows? I might end up wanting to look (and feel) nice and change into my own clothes! When I do, it’s good to have a few dresses with easy boob access ready!
- Going home outfit – Reality check: You will still look 6 months pregnant even after giving birth, so don’t even think about bringing slinky and body-hugging outfits! I’m bringing my maternity / nursing dress from Zyji.
- Sleeping socks (2) – It can get cold in the hospital! These cute Adventure Time socks were gifted to me by my friend Kai from Head To Toe PH! They’re consistent with the theme of my first baby shower and they get me even more excited to finally meet my Fluffy Space Princess!
- Flip flops for the bathroom + comfy bedroom slippers for walking around my hospital room (Not in photo coz I’m still using them at home)
Underwear and Nursing Gear
- Nursing bras (2) – from Inay Moments. Much, much more affordable compared to a lot of nursing bras in the market but the quality is very good!
- Post-partum binders (2) – One is a gift from Inay Moments, while the other one is a Wink shapewear from Urban Essentials which my cousin Peach let me borrow. These should help me get back to my pre-pregnancy body in no time and also help me move easier after delivery.
- Disposable underwear (2-3 packs) – Can’t be bothered with bringing my own undies since they’ll only get stained! These ones from Watsons can just be chucked in the bin after use.
- Nursing pillow (1) – I have a HUGE Bloom nursing pillow at home (it’s a big doughnut pillow, similar to the Boppy) but for the hospital, I’m bringing a smaller, more travel-friendly nursing arm pillow from Nappy Pillows PH to save on luggage space. It also transforms as a regular pillow!
- Nursing cover (1) – In case guests come in while I’m nursing and I don’t want my ta-tas to say “Peek-a-boo!” I like this one from Iflin Baby because it’s really soft and it has snaps so I can wear it around my neck and it won’t fall off my shoulders.
- Nipple cream – Bringing my Medela Purelan Lanolin cream for those sore nips from breastfeeding
- Virgin Coconut Oil – (Naturali) for breast massage
- Malunggay supplements (8 capsules) – I’ll be taking Mega Malunggay because I need all the milk boosters I can get if I want to successfully breastfeed.
This is assuming that I am getting an episiotomy (which I don’t want!) and that I am having a normal delivery (which I really want!)
I’m using this bag from Kiss Me Goodbye PH for my episiotomy kit. It fits everything quite nicely! If you have a dirty mind, you’ll probably think that using a bag with a drawing of a tongue and the words “It is yummy!” to stuff my va-jay-jay items was intentional. It’s not. But it’s funny if you think about it! Anyway…
- Underpads – To protect the bed from turning into a bloody mess, because yes, there will be blood. Maybe lots of it!
- Maternity pads – Remember what I said about blood? For the first few days, I’ll be wearing the Charmee maternity underpants, which you basically wear like your undies but it’s actually a pad. It’s a little pricey, but seems more convenient and comfortable and less bulky than an adult diaper. When the bleeding isn’t so heavy anymore, I’m switching to just regular overnight pads.
- Padsicle kit – WTH is a ‘padsicle,’ you ask? It is what it sounds like: a frozen pad. After an episiotomy, I’ll be sore down there so I need something to help relieve the pain. To prepare a padsicle, you slather on a generous amount of aloe vera gel (Got mine from Dearberry, which smells amazing!), put on a teaspoon or two’s worth of witch hazel (I’m using T.N. Dickinson’ Witch Hazel, which I actually use as a facial toner), and a few drops of lavender oil from Beryl Essentials. Put it in aluminum foil or back in its original wrapper, put in the freezer, wait until it gets cool, then use! Hopefully, my honey pot will be happy. (P.S. You can actually buy ready-made witch hazel pads, but I thought that a DIY padsicle is more practical because I can still use the ingredients after birth)
Toiletries and Makeup Kit
Most of my toiletries, with the exception of the dry shampoo and face mist, are all travel size.
These clear pouches are also from Kiss Me Goodbye PH. You can get a set of 3 for only PHP 300!
- Body wash
- Feminine wash
- Facial wash
- Hair brush
- Hair ties
- Stretchy hairband
- Bobby pins (Just added this so it’s not in the photo)
- Dry shampoo – In case I can’t shower for some reason. I got my ‘hospital-approved’ No Rinse Dry Shampoo from Mommy’s Little Boss. Apparently, this is the kind that the NASA astronauts use when they can’t shower in space!
- Face mist – Totally optional, but I’m bringing my Evian Brumisateur® Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray to keep my face refreshed.
- Body firming gel – Most women will probably use lotion. I’m not really a huge lotion fan, so sachets of this Mustela Body Firming Gel is my compromise.
- Towel (1) and small wash cloths (2) for the face and body
Will I even have the energy to put on makeup? Probably not, but I’m bringing a few essentials just in case I want to look more like a human being than a zombie.
- Moisturizer – To prevent my face from being too dry from the hospital air, I’m packing this Clinique Turnaround™ Overnight Revitalizing Moisturizer
- Light foundation or BB Cream – My Happy Skin Face the World Air Serum is my best friend! It’s reaaally light so it doesn’t look and feel like I’m wearing heavy, cakey foundation. It just feels like I’m wearing BB cream or a tinted moisturizer.
- Lip and cheek tint – This Human Nature Perfect Flush Cream Tint works both as a liquid blush and a liquid lippie, so I don’t need to bring a blush and a lipstick separately. Also, the shade is so subtle and great for everyday wear (i.e., not too made up for the hospital!)
- Eyebrow pencil – Because beautiful brows are of prime importance, even after childbirth! I love Benefit’s Precisely, My Brow. So easy to use and it really gives me natural-looking eyebrows.
- Eyelash curler and mascara – I probably won’t be getting any sleep after I deliver, so eyelash curler and mascara to the rescue! My teeny tiny Clinique Lash Power™ Mascara fits in my small makeup kit.
- Makeup remover (from Bioessence)
- Blanket / comforter – 1 for me, and 1 for Mike. I should be bringing a pillow as well, but it’s going to take up so much room in my luggage so I’ll just use the hospital’s pillow.
- Small Pillow – this is for Mike.
♥ BABY’S BAG ♥
Clothes & Accessories
While I didn’t pack that many clothes for myself (surprisingly!), I think I may have packed more than what I should have for Baby. She’ll probably only have 2-3 outfit changes, but you know, babies are unpredictable. They can wet their jammies, drop their mittens, or spit on their shirts. In this case, I think it’s better to have too much than too little.
Most of the clothes I brought are easy to mix and match. I recommend clothes from St. Patrick Baby and Beginnings Baby, which are local brands. They’re super cheap but the quality of their clothes are great! I also packed a onesie from Uniqlo, which also has amazing quality!
- Delivery Room outfit set – What we will give to the nurses as soon as she is born. In one ziplock bag, I put together a tie-side shirt, a footie pajama, a pair of mittens, a bonnet, 2 receiving blankets (one to be used as a bassinet cover and one to swaddle her with), and a disposable diaper.
- 3 sets of clothes – To make things easier for whoever is changing her, I already packed a complete (from head to toe) outfit in ziplock bags.
- Extra tie-side shirts, pajamas, bonnets, booties, and mittens
- Going home outfit options (2) – I brought two of varying sizes because I wouldn’t know until she’s out if she’s a small or big baby!
- Muslin swaddle blankets (2) – can be used as her blanket during the day, a bassinet cover, or something to cover her with when it’s time to bring her home.
- Sleepsack swaddles (2) – These wearable blankets help Baby sleep better. They’re also safer than regular blankets, which could cause suffocation.
- Disposable diapers (40 pieces) – Do I really need 40 pieces? Maybe the hospital will provide a little, or maybe they’ll provide a lot. I’ll just bring my own, just to be sure. Why 40? Because: Babies change nappies 8-10 times a day. If we’ll be there for 4 days, then 10 x 4 = 40!
- Gentle body wash – A bottle of Sacred, plus travel-size Johnsons’ Top to Toe Wash and small sachets of Pigeon Newborn Pure body wash. Really, you can get away with bringing just one kind, but I like to have choices. Haha!
- Waterproof changing mat
- Nail file – Baby’s nails are teeny tiny, but they are sharp! This Babygoal nail file is to prevent Baby from clawing her face with her nails.
- Diaper rash cream (Mustela Diaper Rash Vitamin Barrier Cream)
- Baby wipes (Sanicare and Little Tree)
- Cotton balls (Sanicare Jumbo cotton balls) – I heard that hospitals charge a lot for cotton balls, so I’m bringing my own!
- Cotton buds (Baby Moby)
- Bird’s eye diapers (Enfant)
- Disposable underpads (Sanicare)
- Hooded towels (2) from Beginnings Baby
- Small wash cloths (4-8)
♥ DAD’S BAG ♥
- Clothes (2-4 sets)
- Jacket – Like I said, it gets cold in the hospital!
- Pillow (stored in my bag)
- Blanket (stored in my bag)
- Gadgets – his phone and tablet, plus my camera which he will bring in the delivery room (for taking photos when Baby is out)
- Chargers for gadgets
♥ OTHERS ♥
This Happy Flight bag from Kiss Me Goodbye Ph is light and foldable, so it can be kept in our other bags when we’re done using it. The orange part also attaches to the luggage handle.
For the guests
- A toiletry kit containing 1 toilet paper roll, 1 isopropyl alcohol, and Safeguard anti-bacterial hand soap. No one comes near the baby without using these!!!
- Paper plates, cups, and cutlery if anyone wants to eat. They have to bring their own food though! (Or better yet, bring food for us. Haha!)
- Toilet paper (1 additional roll)
- Varying sizes of Ziplock bags (Mother K) – for storing pretty much anything!
For me, Mike, and the Baby
- Snacks for me and Mike
- Prune juice to relieve me from constipation. The hospital won’t allow me to go home until I’ve passed stool (same goes for baby!)
- Clothes hangers (3)
- Laundry wet bags for soiled or wet clothes
This is to bring our precious cargo safely back home from the hospital. Ideally, this should already be installed in the car on your 37th week. However, we don’t actually own a car! We just Uber most of the time. One of our aunts or uncles will pick us up from the hospital on the day of our discharge, but we don’t know yet what car will be used. So in our case, we’ll just bring it with us, and leave it in whatever car we will be using on that day. We got a pre-loved Maxi Cosi Pebble car seat for an unbelievably low price! (It retails at PHP 20,000 and we got it for PHP 5,000!) While it’s not recommended to get a secondhand car seat for safety reasons, we got ours from a friend so I’m not too worried.
We’re all set! When it’s time to go, all we need to do is grab our bags and dash to the hospital! Hopefully, I didn’t forget anything. 🙂
Note: You can buy plenty of the items in this list from The Parenting Emporium. 🙂