What to Bring to the Hospital
Television sitcoms and movies often rely on some standard goofy jokes when they tell stories involving women in labor and the well-meaning but bumbling men in their life. One of these jokes has to do with a woman who is having big contractions and needs to go to the hospital—pronto! In his haste and confusion, the father jumps into the car and drives off without her. Only after he is on the road does he realize his mistake.
One reason why this scenario never occurs in real life is that it is impossible to forget about your laboring partner, mostly because she will not let you drive off without her. Here are some other items that you dare not forget when you take your partner to the hospital to have a baby:
A car seat for your child
Multiple copies of your birth plan
Your partner's overnight bag stocked with her toiletries, nightgown, set of comfortable clothes, nursing bra, and other items she needs
Juice, broth, and light snacks for her
Food for you—sandwiches, fruit, energy bars, tea, coffee
Birthing ball, massage tools, hot or cold packs, or any other birthing aids that you need to assist her in labor
CD player and CDs, aromatherapy materials to make the room the way she wants it (assuming the hospital permits this)
Cell phone, charged and ready for action with key phone numbers listed in the memory
Camcorder and still camera (or camera phone)
You need to dress comfortably—you may be in those clothes for a long time. Wear running shoes or shoes that give you plenty of support because you will be on your feet a lot. Giving birth is a kind of marathon, so you need to prepare yourself for the long haul and bring whatever you need to help you and your partner make it to the finish line.