A typical hospital bag list looks something like the list below. I’ve added my commentry and marked with an asterix items that actually are needed. You would see that the real list is short and if I ever have a second baby, I will not look like a fool with huge bags again.
- *Documents bag (containing hospital paperwork, medical receipts for CPF claim, marriage cert, IC) – in reality, no need for any “hospital paperwork” as there is no need to do pre-admission. I did my own admission alone without hubby while having contractions. As for receipts, only any one receipt was required for the full claim. Marriage certs and IC are only necessary if you can finalise the name during the hospital stay. My own experience was that there was no time for that and honestly no need for the rush.
- *Cordblood banking materials
- *Toiletries – If you are chinese, remember that your mother will forbid you from showering. But my obstetrician slyly told me I can secretly shower when in the hospital, which of course I did. I went to town with this but ended up using only my face stuff because the hospital provided decent shampoo, shower gel etc. I also brought cosmetics which I regret not using more of pre-op so that the op photos look good. All because of nurse who assured me that cosmetics were absolutely not allowed. Not true at all. Nobody said a thing about my 2 layers of mascara. Or were my lashes so short that nobody noticed despite 2 layers?
- 2 set of pyjamas – Mount Elizabeth provides a pretty comfortable nursing gown but my sister-in-law at Gleneagles was provided the normal hospital gown which was inconvenient at the back had to be untied for breastfeeding access. Check with hospital what pjs they provide. I didn’t wear the one I brought.
- 2 pairs of socks – quite optional. I felt hot more than cold. But if you have a naggy mum. bring it. I suggest toe socks if you’re wearing with flip flops. Pat on my back for being clever enough to think of it.
- Jacket – didn’t need it at all
- *3 nursing bras – probably need at least a couple, not sure you really need 3 for a max 4 day stay.
- 5 pairs disposable breast pads – unlikely to need it. For the first few days its just colostrum. You will be the envy of all other mothers if you need this. I couldn’t even squeeze out colostrum.
- *Nipple cream – probably necessary as breastfeeding will be difficult the first few days and nipples are very likely to be sore.
- 10 pair of old or disposable underwear – 10 pairs is a bit much for 4 days no? Anyway the first day they just tied on lop type maternity pads and I didn’t have a choice since I can’t move. Thereafter they highly recommend I wear their funny looking underwear, which I did. So not an essential if you’re staying at Mt E. Anywhere else, check with hospital.
- 1 box of maternity pads – loop type pads were mandatorily tied on after my delivery. Since the pack will be opened and you will be charged, might as well use it. Most hospitals will have a pharmacy that stock maternity pads so if it runs out you can always buy there and then.
- Hair band + rubber band – useful for breastfeeding so hair doesn’t get in the way but clearly not essential
- *Going home attire – though to be honest I wore what I went to hospital in.
- Laptop and charger – I only used it once to upload photos but these daysit can be done with iphone
- Blackberry and charger – because I am a workaholic but clearly not an essential and, if anything, you should lock your bb away and throw away the keys.
- Breastpump and accesories – not likely to have engorgement while still in hospital. Again, most worry they don’t have milk rather than with expressing.
- Music + Reading material – Mine didn’t use this at all. But then again, he kept receiving work calls
- Handphone and charger – not the end of the world if ne needs to go back for it.
- Jacket/blanket – If he is lodging, blanket is provided. Dads are surprisingly hardy, they would live even if a little cold.
- Change of clothes – mine just went home for it.
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, facial foam, shampoo, body wash, shaver, nail clipper) – my bag was so full after I tried to fit in everything else I didn’t pack anything for hubby and he lived.
- *Camera – absolute essential. We brought out trusty Nikon SLR
- Snacks – can get at hospital
- 1 Swaddle/blanket – for going home but if you don’t have it, not a big deal
- Socks + mittens + bonnet – none of these are essential
- *2 sets of going-home clothes – I did find bringing 2 useful because you never know if baby comes out big or small. However, I wouldn’t have died if I didn’t bring this because the hospital gave me a set of receiving blanket and rhomper as a leaving gift.
- nappies – for accidents on the way home. If without, baby just has to wait till you get home but honestly, you are just getting into car and driving home, where else did you expect to stop for nappy change and you can’t possibly take baby out of car seat during the journey home. What’s more, the hospital handed me the leftover pack of wet wipes and nappies that they were using for Sophia at the hospital so those would have worked perfectly for accidents on the way.
- wet wipes – as above for nappies
- *Baby car seat – essential but clearly don’t need to be at hospital with you when experiencing labour pains