It’s a good idea to have your bag packed several weeks before your due date.
As some midwives are fond of saying, babies don’t have calendars, so they don’t always come on their due date [overdue pregnancy].
But while you can probably think of many things you would like to take with you, there are a number of things that you are better off leaving at home.
- Your favorite nightgown and undies—During the first 24 hours post-partum, you will be happier in a hospital gown and the underwear they provide. You will bleed fairly heavily for the first few days after birth (called lochia), and don’t want to risk staining your favorite clothing.
- Makeup—Unless you’re one of those women who just absolutely will not be seen without your makeup, leave it at home. You’ll be busy getting to know and taking care of your new baby. A little powder and lip balm, along with some moisturizer and a hair brush will be all the beauty essentials you’ll need.
- That book you wanted to finish reading—If baby’s asleep, you should be asleep. You’ll need your rest to recover from labor and delivery, and to handle the upcoming weeks. And when baby’s awake, you’ll be getting to know and taking care of your adorable new baby. Trust me, unless you’re in for an induction, which could last several days, you won’t have time to read.
- Candles—Unless you’ve talked with labor and delivery about it ahead of time, leave the candles at home. Open flames and rooms with oxygen equipment don’t mix.