When you go into labor, you don't want to have to stop and take the time to figure out what you need to bring with you. Having a bag packed ahead of time helps make going to the hospital a simple, calm process. Below are some suggestions on what birthmoms might want to consider packing in your hospital bag to help ensure you have what you need.
Unless you have super short hair, this may well be the most important thing you can pack. You're going to be exerting yourself and sweating, and the last thing you'll want will be strands of hair stuck to your face. If your hair is too short for a hair tie but still long enough for it to reach your face, consider hair clips or a headband to help keep your hair back.
Because of the aforementioned physical exertion, you're going to be huffing and puffing -- and likely drying your lips out. Keep your favorite brand of chapstick handy to help prevent your lips from drying out uncomfortably!
Unless you want to stay in the hospital gown your whole stay (which is totally doable!), you're going to want some clothes. The bad news here is that very few people fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes immediately after birth, so you're going to want some comfy maternity wear. Try to aim for clothes that are loose and comfortable, preferably with a very forgiving waistband area just in case you end up having an unexpected c-section. If you're having a planned c-section, you may even prefer a loose, flowy dress. If you have a comfortable robe and some pajamas, pack those for the day you're still in the hospital bed. You'll also want slippers -- those hospital floors are cold!
Since you're going to be in the hospital for a few days, you'll likely want to shower and freshen up while you're there. Pack a bag of shampoo, shower gel, toothbrush and toothpaste, and any hair products or makeup you think you might want. If your hospital room will have a private bathroom, you may even want to consider a convenient toiletry bag that can hang on the wall for easy access to everything.
The unfortunate truth is that childbirth is rarely quick, and you'll also have some time to kill after the birth while you're recovering and while the adoption is being finalized. Consider packing a few books, a tablet loaded with games or movies, or a handheld game to help distract you and keep you busy. Your smartphone might also be good for that -- be sure to pack your charger!
Having a printed copy of your hospital plan makes it easy to convey your wishes to nurses and doctors who are on shift when you have your baby. Consider having two copies; one for the nurse to put in your file, and one for you to keep by the bed for you to show anyone who might benefit from knowing about it. This is especially important if you have strong feelings about who should be in the room when you give birth. As a birthmom, it's your right to make these choices, so pack the hospital plan so you can help ensure those choices are enforced!