Getting ready for baby? Here’s a checklist of what you need to put in your hospital bag if you’re giving birth in the Philippines.
In this article, you’ll read:
- When should you start packing your hospital bag?
- Giving birth in the Philippines – additional information
- Hospital bag checklist – what are the essentials for you and baby?
Because of all the things to remember and prepare for the much anticipated D-day, or delivery day, you may forget about certain things that, although seemingly simple, are truly important things you’ll need with you once you’re in the hospital.
When should I pack my hospital bag?
According to Healthline, just about 5 percent of babies are born on their actual due date. So what does this mean for you?
It means that your baby may come to a couple of weeks before or after your expected date. It’s best to pack your bags at least 3 weeks before your due date so you’ll have time just in case the baby decides to arrive early. Also, preparing your hospital bag early will help you relax and let a bit of that first-time mom anxiety out.
If you’re having any signs or indications of preterm labor, you may want to consider packing your hospital bag sooner.
Baby hospital bag checklist in the Philippines. | Image from iStock
Giving birth in the Philippines
If it’s your first time giving birth, you may want to ask your OB-Gynecologist about the labor and delivery practices here in the Philippines. You may also ask inquire about what to expect upon getting to the hospital. Some hospitals allow the husband to be inside the room during delivery, while others request the dads to wait outside the room.
(Update: due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most hospitals are requiring the pregnant mom to undergo a RT-PCR test or commonly known as a swab test before being admitted to the hospital. Read all about it here.)
If you’re giving birth in a big hospital, you and your baby are probably entitled to some “freebies” like underpads, maternity pads, and bath essentials for baby. Try to find out if the hospital is going to charge for any of the things that they provide so that you have the option to make alternative arrangements.
Is there something that you’re not allowed to bring?
According to Executive Order 51 otherwise known as the Philippine Milk Code, formula milk, feeding bottles, and teats are prohibited in the hospital to encourage the mom to breastfeed her newborn.
Baby hospital bag checklist in the Philippines
Along with the hormones and pregnancy fatigue, preparing for your baby’s arrival may leave you feeling overwhelmed. The solution? Make a list.
Having a checklist of the things you need to put in your hospital bag will give you one less thing to worry about and ensure that you have everything you need to make your stay in the hospital more comfortable.
Here are 12 things you shouldn’t forget to bring with you on the day you head to the hospital to deliver your little one!
1. Personal items, especially slippers, robe, and pajamas
Bring one to two maternity dresses, for going out and staying in, as well as a bath and face towel. Don’t forget to bring sets of underwear. You need to be comfortable yet presentable because you’ll surely be entertaining visitors at the hospital.
You can also bring a make-up kit, with face powder, lipstick, blush, perfume, and a hairbrush, if you don’t want to look pale or flushed when you face visitors.
Include two packs of sanitary (maternity) napkins and a blanket, in case the hospital-issued ones won’t suffice.
2. Clothes for you and your baby
Of course, it’s best for both mom and baby to prepared for photos on the day they’re discharged from the hospital. Remember to dress your baby from head to toe, with a bonnet, onesie, socks, mittens, or swaddling blanket!
Don’t forget your baby’s cloth or disposable diapers, as well as your own outfits and comfortable shoes.
3. Camera, cellphone, batteries, and chargers
Baby hospital bag checklist in the Philippines. | Image from iStock
The day you deliver is one of the most important days in your life and your child’s life, so it’s important to document it through photos and videos! Make sure to charge all of your cellphones, as well as your camera’s batteries.
This includes your toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, mirror, and other items you use daily. Bring hair accessories, too, like a headband, hair tie, clips, or clamps.
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5. Baby items
- 5 to 7 baby clothes, 2 to 3 clothes slightly bigger than infant size, in case your baby is born above average size
- 2 to 3 bonnet or head covering
- 2 to 3 baby blankets
- disposable diapers (1 to 2 packs)
- 3 to 4 infant socks or booties
- cotton buds, alcohol (ask your pediatrician what kind), baby oil
- pacifier (optional)
6. Delivery Survival Kit
This is a medium bag containing items you think will be useful while awaiting labor. This depends upon the mother’s preference: gadgets like a tablet or MP3 player, pillows, blankets, massage oil, books, magazines, and other items that are important to you, to keep you entertained while you await labor.
7. Wallet with bills and coins
Entrust your checkbook or credit card to your husband or any trusted companion, as well as your ID and insurance card.
8. A small container with your favorite food or snacks
After giving birth, you’ll surely want to reward yourself. Why not bring your favorite chocolate, polvoron, cereal, or anything you can eat, later on, that won’t spoil easily? Don’t forget your water bottle too. You will surely be parched from breastfeeding.
9. Important documents
Bring a copy of your marriage certificate (if available), ID, health insurance information, SSS, Philhealth, and others.
(Update: if you’re giving birth during the pandemic, bring the results of your latest Covid-19 RT-PCR test, the negative results of your companion’s swab test, and Covid-19 vaccination cards.)
Image from iStock
10. Breastfeeding kit
If you plan to breastfeed, you need to prepare a kit that contains a breast pump, nursing bra, nursing cream, nursing pads, nursing pillow, ice pack, 1-2 plastic bottles (for breastmilk or formula, as needed). You can also purchase a nursing cover, which is a triangular piece of cloth used as a cover-up when breastfeeding.
You can also add other items, depending on what will put your family feels at ease or secure, especially you as a new mom. All the items on this list are the most important items to bring and will surely help you during your hospital stay after bringing your precious baby out into the world.
11. Birth plan
There might be a possibility that your doctor would not be available on the day you give birth. So if you and your OB-GYN have agreed on a birth plan, best to bring a copy of it and show it to the attending physician.
12. Your partner’s essentials
After you’ve meticulously completed the hospital bag checklist for the things you and baby would need, don’t forget your partner’s. While he should be willing to pack his own stuff when you can’t do it, here are a few things that should be inside his bag:
- change of clothes
- cellphone and charger
- ID and important documents
This article was translated from its original version, which was written in Filipino, by Anna Santos Villar