Don’t wait until it’s too late to pack your hospital bag! We recommend you start packing your bag around 36 weeks. By planning ahead you can ensure that all of your goodies are good to go. Here is a short checklist of items you’ll want and need when the big day comes!
Smartphone and Charger
While this one may seem like a no-brainer, some mom’s forget to grab their phone on the way out the door due to all the excitement of going into labor (or if you leave in the early morning for a planned C-section). Be sure you and your partner both pack a charger as well. You’ll want to call, text, post on social media and update people with the exciting news, as well as snap pictures, play music, and time contractions.
Hair Care Products
A ponytail holder, headband and a brush are all a must. Some moms pack hairspray, dry shampoo and a stylish headband for after labor. You may want to pack a cute hat or headband for your little one if you rather not use the ones supplied by the hospital.
Bring multiple copies of your birth plan, a picture ID, health insurance forms, and hospital registration forms. You can never be too prepared and having all the documents together before the big day will give you peace of mind. Most hospitals and birthing centers will allow you to pre-register online, saving you time once you arrive.
You’ll want to pack a variety of items for your stay. We suggest a cute going home outfit- you’ll probably still look around 5 months pregnant, so make sure what you pack will fit! A comfy night gown or robe will also make your stay that much more comfortable instead of a standard hospital gown. Several pairs of underwear are also a must along with slippers or heavy socks. We suggest non-slip socks or slippers for those slippery hospital floors.
If you plan on breastfeeding, you’ll want to make sure your gown or top opens in the front. Be sure to grab your breastfeeding cover for when visitors arrive, along with breast pads and a nursing bra .
You’ll need a onsie or baby outfit for the ride home along with a hat to keep his or her little head warm. A swaddle blanket and a blanket to cover the carseat carrier will help shield your new bundle of joy from the sun and wind when you leave the building. Little socks are a great addition to keep their tiny toes toasty and a few burp clothes aren’t a bad idea just in case of any spit up.
Movies, Music, Books, Magazines and Snacks
Really, anything that can help you pass the time if you happen to have a long labor. If you do happen to labor for hours, you’re likely to get pretty hungry and hospital food isn’t always the best. Bring your own snacks that don’t have to be kept refrigerated. We suggest dried fruits and nuts, granola bars, crackers, and even beef jerky. Hard candy or suckers are great during labor as well. They can help ease an upset stomach as well.
Lip balm, lotion and massage oil are wonderful to have on hand during labor. If you know you’ll be staying at the hospital or birthing center overnight you’ll want to pack a small toiletry bag. A toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses if you need them, face wash, and moisturizer, will all help you to freshen up after delivery. You will also need your prenatal vitamins (Promise Stage 3 and Promise DHA for recovery and to boost milk supply). The hospital will provide you with their generic brand if you don’t have yours with you.
A Few Items for Him
If your partner plans to stay with you, you may ask him to pack a separate bag or simply add his items to your bag. Tooth brush, a change of clothes and any other items he may need during labor or for the next day. Some extra snacks aren’t a bad idea for your man, as he may get the munchies throughout the stay.
DHA Omega-3 is the mega omega when it comes to baby’s development. When a pregnant or nursing woman takes DHA Omega-3 on a daily basis, she is helping her child’s brain, eye, central nervous system, and tissue development. In fact, DHA represents about 97% of all omega-3 fats in the brain and 93% of omega-3 fats in the retina in the eye. Since developing babies cannot produce their own DHA, it’s even more important that moms get the amount that they need to help their child develop.
DHA is most often found in fatty fish and organ meats, and if you’re a pregnant woman, you know that many types of fish are off limits. Pregnant and nursing women should be getting around 300 mg of DHA Omega-3 daily, in order to meet her needs as well as her baby’s.
DHA Omega-3 also has a positive effect on the pregnancy itself. Increased intake of DHA has been shown to prevent preterm labor and delivery, lower the risk of preeclampsia, and can increase a child’s birth weight. Omega-3 has also been shown to help mother’s fight postpartum depression and other postpartum mood disorders.
Research proves that adding DHA along with an already balanced diet has a positive effect, not only for the mother, but the child as well. Omega-3’s are used after birth to make breast milk and help the mother’s tissue heal after delivery or C-section. Babies that experienced higher levels of DHA while developing had better visual and cognitive development, lower risk of severe allergies as an infant, and higher attention span well into their second year of life.
Not all DHA supplements are the same. When looking for a pregnancy and breastfeeding safe product make sure your Omega-3 is free of environmental toxins, like mercury and other trace minerals that fresh fish are often exposed to. These toxins can be harmful during pregnancy. You want to ensure you have pharmaceutical grade, molecularly distilled, EPA and DHA.
Whether you are trying to conceive, pregnant, or breastfeeding, DHA Omega-3 supplements carry many health benefits. Promise Prenatal offers a great option to otherwise “fishy” DHA. Our gel capsule is made with an all natural strawberry flavoring and leaves no awful aftertaste or upset stomach. Click here to shop and find out more about prenatal DHA Omega-3.
Wanting to face those stretch marks head on? Many moms suggest using a belly butter twice a day, as early as 8 weeks into your pregnancy, to help reduce the odds of stretch marks cause by pregnancy. While some women are genetically predisposed to getting stretch marks, there are some great natural remedies that can help give your skin a fighting chance.
Shea butter is the most common ingredient found in popular belly butters as it is extracted naturally from the fat in the fruit of the Karite tree. Shea butter offers powerful nourishing and moisturizing ingredients that help improve the elasticity of the skin, thus decreasing your chances of getting stretch marks as your baby bump grows.
Cocoa butter is another primary ingredient that is well known in taming those tiger stripes! It is a necessary ingredient that helps prevent stretch marks as well as reducing and healing marks that have already formed.
In most belly butters you will also vitamin E. This little powerhouse targets areas that are susceptible to stretch marks and can prevent them from forming. While this vitamin can help new marks from appearing, there’s no concrete evidence that it will reduce the appearance of already formed marks. Prevention is your best defense.
While these are all great ingredients to look for, many moms suggest finding a belly butter that is scent-free, especially for those women struggling with morning sickness and nausea. A non-greasy, fast drying cream is also recommended, so you can apply and quickly dress without staining your clothes. And most importantly, look for a butter free of chemicals to protect you and your baby from any unwanted side effects. Lotions are absorbed through the skin and into your body- so read labels and ensure it’s safe during pregnancy and lactation. Make sure to always test a small area of your skin for any irritations before you apply to your bump, bust and legs!
Promise Prenatal now offers an all natural, belly butter that provides healthy and soft, supple skin. By using our proprietary blend of nourishing ingredients you are sure to beat those stretch marks before they ever have a chance to appear. Slather on Promise Belly Butter twice daily for best results!