You’re in your third trimester of pregnancy. This is the final stretch, mama! It’s totally normal to be getting anxious about the birth as well as the postpartum period. Now – while you’re still pregnant – is the perfect time to start prepping for this next phase. From hospital bag essentials to what to include in your postpartum kit, we’re breaking down what needs to be on your checklist.
What Should You Pack In Your Hospital Bag?
We recommend that mamas try to make the hospital room as comfortable as possible, and a nightlight can really help with this as hospital lights are really harsh. Also, pack in a sound machine as your hospital room will feel like it has a revolving door. A sound machine will help your baby sleep during loud interruptions. These two things will go into the nursery when you get home.
Next, swaddles – more than one! They’re perfect for wrapping up your baby and throwing over yourself when you’re nursing and family or friends are in the room.
A nightshirt or bottomless PJs is essential – it’s not going to be comfortable to wear pants while in the hospital. When it’s time to go home, opt for a loose pair of leggings or sweatpants.
You’re also going to want to pack a skin-to-skin outfit for your new baby. This is basically a baby top that is easily opened for skin-to-skin contact.
Even if you may not be planning on pumping while in the hospital, still pack a hands-free pumping bra in case.
Then, pack a Cord Blood Collection Kit. Cord blood and cord tissue contain powerful stem cells that can be used in the future for medical conditions such as certain cancers and Sickle Cell Anemia, and can only be collected at birth.
Download the Baby Settler free hospital bag checklist.
What Should Be Included In A Postpartum Plan?
A postpartum plan goes way beyond stocking up on diapers and onesies. The first few weeks and months with your new baby will be both incredible and stressful as you navigate this new normal. Planning ahead and having a strategy can ease this burden a bit and help you feel more in control.
Here are a few postpartum essentials to sort out before your baby arrives:
Postpartum Care Kit
This is a collection of items to help you ease into the fourth trimester and support your healing and breastfeeding journey.
While there are companies that make postpartum kits, you can also put your own together. Here’s what to include:
- Maternity pads
- Postpartum underwear
- Perineal spray or healing balm
- Bath salts that promote healing
- Nipple cream to deal with cracked nipples from breastfeeding
- Herbal teas to promote lactation
- Cold and warm packs
- Affirmation cards
Take An Online Course
Familiarizing yourself with what to expect during those first few weeks postpartum can really help eliminate stress and unwelcome surprises. If you’re going through pregnancy with someone, bring them in too so that they also get educated.
Our Birth Made Simple course is for parents who want to be prepared for childbirth. Find out what you need to know about the labor process as well as after delivery.
Have a Prenatal Breastfeeding Consultation
Find out more about our lactation consults here.
Stock Your Freezer With Premade Meals
As you know, when you’re pregnant you need to ensure a nutritious and balanced diet. This is still important postpartum! Your body needs to be supported while you’re healing as well as breastfeeding. Feeding your baby takes a lot of calories, so make sure you’re well nourished with healthy meals that just need to be defrosted and heated up.
Hearty soups packed with vegetables and legumes, marinated meat that you can just throw in the air fryer or pressure cooker, baked pasta dishes, muffins, and pancake batter are all great to have on hand. Also, stock up on frozen fruits – these are great for smoothies and oatmeal, or to add to pancakes.
Being in the home stretch of pregnancy can cause anxiety, but planning ahead can be a fantastic way to deal with these feelings. Download 7 Steps to a Successful Postpartum Plan. This free guide includes a Postpartum Checklist, how to achieve each item on the list, and a template to create your own Postpartum Plan, custom to the needs of you and your family.