The hospital list: what to pack

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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WHEN you approach that critical time in your pregnancy when it's time to pack your hospital bag, you may be confused about what exactly to include, as your doctor may not have briefed you. And if you're delivering privately in Jamaica there are some items you may not need, compared to delivering in a public facility where you'll need a host of items.

You want to ensure that you have all that's necessary, in preparation for up to three days' stay in the hospital. There are some things you should include for a public hospital delivery that generic lists won't tell you about, and that we help with below. Many of these items are also required for private delivery, but each facility has their own individual requirements and you should ask for their list.


•Wash rags.

•Maternity pads.

•Maternity bras (larger than your normal cup size, as you will have engorgement after delivery). If you don't want to purchase expensive maternity bras, opt for sports bras instead.

•Breast pads.

•Bathing soap.



•Incontinence bed pads, canvas or plastic to cover the hospital's mattress.

•Nighties and dusters — take breastfeeding, comfort and accessibility for the doctor into consideration when buying these; these should be paramount, and not a focus on buying the least ugly nighties in the store. So it may be better to get button downs or zip downs, instead of those you have to pull over your head. Pajamas are a no-no.

•Rubber slippers for bathing.

•Regular bed slippers and socks.


•Dark coloured half slips.

•Care items – toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser, lotion, deodorant, comb, brush, make-up.

•Blood donor card – you need to have at least two units of blood donated on your behalf before delivery.

•Laundry bags for dirty clothes.

•Going home outfit.

•Your maternal record booklet.

•Purse with money, ID, and insurance cards.

•Your own pillow and sheets.

•Books or magazines for entertainment.




•White cotton roll or cotton wool balls.

•Baby soap or soap substitute.

•Baby clothes sets for the duration of stay at the hospital — have both long-sleeved and short-sleeved onesies.

•Barrier cream — Desitin, Aveeno or regular baby nursery jelly.

•Newborn diapers or nappies with pins.

•Wash rags.

•Baby wipes.

•Bath towels.


•1 bottle of 70 per cent clear rubbing alcohol.

•Olive oil.

•Socks and caps.

•Crib net.

•Small basin for washing baby.

•2 sterilised baby bottles without nipples — you're not allowed to bring pacifiers/soothers or nipples to the hospital.

•Going-home outfit.

•Laundry bag.


1. The car seat in the car that you'll need to take baby home.

2. Do not put camphor balls on baby's clothes.

3. Remove acrylic nails and polish before labour.

4. Ensure that mom and baby have separate bags.

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