The maternity bag: what to pack for the delivery in the hospital?
When and how to prepare your maternity bag?
Some mums need to prepare their maternity bag or suitcase very early on in their pregnancy, while others wait for the last moment. However, it is advisable to have everything you and your baby will need packed and ready to go before the 36th week. This is particularly true for mums who feel overwhelmed by the task, in which case, the earlier the better!
As a general rule, the actual delivery won’t take place in your maternity room. So the first tip is to prepare 2 maternity bags. A first small "delivery" bag with everything you will need during labour. A second, larger suitcase-type bag, for the days you will then spend in your maternity room once your baby has arrived. It’s up to you to decide if you want to take along an extra bag to keep your things separate from your baby items.
What to pack in your maternity bag?
The documents to take with you:
- ID card;
- Pregnancy record book (issued by ONE);
- Card with your blood type;
- Marriage certificate;
- Mutual health insurance card / hospitalisation insurance card;
- Maternity hospital registration file;
- CPAS medical card if you have one;
- A copy of a birth plan if you have one;
- A checklist of what to do after the birth (we’ll take you through it below!).
Clothes to take with you:
- 4 night dresses, long T-shirts or pyjamas. Forget tight-fitting sleepwear, this is a time to go for comfort!
- Socks, slippers or flip flops. Depending on your preferences and the season.
- Ultra-comfortable underwear. Take ample bras and cotton panties if you don’t fancy wearing those famous mesh underpants the hospital supplies.
- If you’re breastfeeding: nursing bras, nursing compresses, nipple cream.
- Washcloths and wipes.
- Sanitary pads in case the hospital doesn’t provide enough. They’ll also come in very useful when you return home.
- Compression stockings if you have problems with blood circulation.
- For your toiletry bag: toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, soap or shower gel, shampoo, elastic band / headband or hair clip, natural deodorant, day cream, moisturising oil for the body, etc. and a mini make-up kit with concealers so you look good in the photos.
- Don’t forget your glasses and/or your contact lens kit.
- Also, take comfortable and practical clothes in readiness for your return home or hospital visits by friends and family.
- A bag for dirty laundry.
- Babygrows (two per day minimum) and pyjamas (one per day minimum). Opt for front-fastening clothes with small buttons or zips. Babygrows that you slip over the head are sometimes very difficult to put on.
- Two daytime babygrows;
- Two caps;
- A pair of anti-scratch mittens;
- One pair of booties and three pairs of socks;
- A soft blanket;
- A coat or sleeping bag suitable for transport;
- Baby chews and/or bibs;
- A dummy (pacifier);
- A comforter;
- Toiletries: liniment, washing gel, washclothes and bath towels.
- No need to take nappies or physiological saline as these are supplied by the hospital.
If you are unable or decide not to breastfeed, the hospital will take care of the bottles and baby milk.
What should you carry in your bag for the delivery room?
- Handkerchiefs, atomiser or refreshing wipes.
- An energy drink, if it’s your thing, to be firing on all cylinders during the experience!
- Take along something to keep you busy in case baby isn’t in a rush: music, iPad, book, magazine, card game.
- A massage oil (neutral and without essential oils) for a back or feet massage.
- Baby's first outfit. It needs to be warm: babygrow + pyjamas, small cap and mittens. Make things easy for yourself: there are pretty birth sets with everything you need, and why not buy second hand?
Some useful accessories!
- Your smartphone with its charger.
- Earplugs, very convenient in a shared room when there’s some coming and going.
- Your nursing cushion, guaranteed comfort even if you’re not breastfeeding.
- A few snacks, enough to supplement the hospital meals.
- A night light to avoid neon lighting during breast or bottle feeding in the middle of the night.
And the dad, or co-parent, in all this…?
Take the baby car seat for baby’s journey from the maternity hospital to the car (don’t forget the base). You can also go for a baby-carrier (scarf) or stroller. Transporting your newborn safely will give you a real sense of pride!
It will be up to you to take care of the paperwork after the birth: go to the municipal authorities to declare the birth, inform the nursery that baby has arrived, etc. Follow the checklist below.
And, most importantly, your support will be your most valuable gift. In the coming weeks, mum will need your help. Take the time, share your feelings, so that everyone can find their own pace and place! Offer to take over on your own initiative, don’t wait for mum to get back on her feet. Your baby is eager to get to know you.
Good news: You now have 20 days instead of 15 to enjoy these precious moments with your family!
What happens after returning home after childbirth?
Here is a checklist that will help you when leaving the maternity hospital:
- Register your baby with the registrar within 15 days of birth.
- File the declaration with KidsLife: submit your application for the Birth Bonus if you haven’t already done so.
- Tell your mutual health insurance that the family has grown.
- Share the good news with your employer so that they can organise your maternity/paternity leave. If you’re self-employed, then your social insurance fund must be notified.
- Contact the nursery to confirm the place for your baby.
- Inform your hospitalisation insurance so that your newborn is directly insured.
- Remember that you’re entitled to the support of a midwife and postnatal help.
Want to receive your Growth Package/Child Benefit payments from KidsLife? Submit your application quickly and easily online! We will ensure that you never miss out on any benefits!