The D day is close by and I need to know what I have to be ready with ! Here is a ready reckoner, a list which can be printed and kept ready.
It is a good practice to keep a bag handy filled and ready with all the essentials in case you need them as an emergency. Yes, delivery signals can be sudden sometimes and that’s the beauty of it all. The wonderful bundle of love decides to come out whenever it is ready to deal with living on its own and that still is quite unpredictable. And yes you being confined for a while, you naturally need everything in place and handy.
All your prenatal records: Recent tests, sonography reports, vaccination details prescription medicines all properly sectioned and clipped in a file, so that your clinician can quickly assess you in an emergency *.
Clothing: Your personal things such as comfortable cotton underwear, feeding brassieres, comfortable cotton and thick front opening gowns, a light stole, shawl or a jacket, cotton socks, napkins, towels, clothes to come to the hospital in and to go back home, DVT stockings if you are overweight or obese **
Footwear: Shoes for outside use for walks in the hospital, slippers for the in-room movement and to use in the washroom ***
Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, clutch pins or bands to hold your hair, body wash, body moisturiser, face wash, face moisturising cream, lip balm, mouthwash, hand sanitizer. ****
Special needs: Your medications, especially the blood pressure medicines, insulin syringes and medications, vomiting or antacid medications, anti-convulsion medicines, if you are an epileptic or any other special medications properly placed in a box *****
A place in the file where all your important numbers are written. Such as the doctor, emergency contact numbers, any friends you want to get in touch, emergency contact numbers for easy accessibility. ******
For the baby: Basic clothes, washed, ironed and packed, diapers, soap, shampoo, oil, nappy rash cream and cotton wraps, caps without strings *******
Your allergies are very important and share with your doctor especially during emergency********
* it’s a good practice to know the names of your medicines correctly. They are not essentially difficult and especially the ones that you are taking on irregular basis should definitely be known.
**underwear for maternity is special. They are larger, thicker and comfortable and also have an additional tummy tucking flap. These are the best to hold your now big tummy while you are pregnant and sagging tummy after delivery till it remodels over the post-delivery period. Also, it helps in protecting your back and hold your sanitary pads better.
Well, fitting brassieres with feeding facility or front open ones help in lactation better and also help support the breasts as they are enlarged now. These should be well fitting and also made of cotton.
DVT stockings are especially needed for overweight and obese mothers as the blood is known to get thicker, post delivery and if the woman does not ambulate either due to pain or being operated, can give rise to thickened blood which can release a clot in the brain or the lungs. These situations are life-threatening and therefore DVT stockings and ambulatory exercises and movements help. DVT stockings are available in surgical supply stores and are best procured before you go for confinement.
*** ensure a well fitting, slip-proof footwear.
****you should be clean and well groomed and your own body parts such as the breasts, the perineum, the genitalia should be kept clean and be handled only with clean hands. Also, the baby should be touched only after washing hands or atleast after using the hand sanitizer.
***** you may be on some special medications and the exact brand mayn’t always be available in every store. Its therefore important that you keep your medicinal box replenished and handy as some medications can be very important.
****** keep them handy and written well in bold letters inside the file
******* please do not use brand new clothes directly from the shop as the way in which they are sourced are not known. Wash the clothes thoroughly and use a mild detergent, rinse it completely and use fabric softeners. Ironing babies clothes can help sterilise them or else dry them in the sun but in closed environments too can be done. Try to avoid clothes or caps with strings for the baby. Use the ones with buttons or tapes. no synthetic clothes for the baby and even the wrappers should be a soft breathing material such as cotton, hosiery.
******** please note your allergies in bold red letters. Especially allergies to medications, disinfectants or any substance. e.g allergies to eggs are to be informed as some anesthetic medications then are avoided. You have to tell, whether you have asthma as some lifesaving medications then can be modified.
Your doctor does make a note of all your issues well in advance but these may be missed when you report in an emergency. Its always better for your own safety to keep this vital information handy so your care provider can help you better.
Happy baby birth. May it be an enjoyable and a wonderful experience.