Packing the hospital bag...

Time to get ready! 

Last time, my hospital bag was actually pretty well packed (even confirmed by husband)... so, what can I recommend:
(note: This is based on potential 5 day stay in hospital as you never know how long you could be there / standard number of days after having a c-section in Austria. If you are planning on staying a shorter time or not being admitted to be induced / c-section then you can reduce this list)


Essentials ready for the hospital bag.
Bag is packed and ready in case of anything unplanned happening or for the hospital check in next week!
  • Documents - check with the information you got from your hospital if there is anything extra you need to bring. Most likely you only need MUKI-pass and e-card as all other documents they should have already.
    • Mutterkindpass
    • E-card
    • Any hospital documents / forms that you might need to bring with you
    • Any other relevant documents depending on your insurance or from check ups since last visit at hospital
  • Entertainment - the first time, I got laughed at for preparing these things - turned out I was waiting in hospital for 3 days before Little K made his appearance so was very grateful that I had these on standby:
  • Cookies / snacks - something easy and simple to nibble on. Think plain biscuits, musli bars, raisins... Last time I made my own musli bars but didn't end up eating them so will just bring some basic things to nibble on during the day. Fortunately Hema opened up in time in Vienna for me to pick up some of my favourite Dutch raisin snacks!
  • Toiletries - I bought mini extras so that I could have the bag ready for when we needed it and then saved them for travelling later
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, wet wipes (for you - especially those days when you don't make it to the shower), shampoo / conditioner, shower gel, moisturiser (especially for hands, they get so dry!), lip balm, eye drops, extra contact lenses and contact lens solution. Try to keep it all as fragranced free as possible as for the first weeks the baby identifies their mum by their scent.
    • Hairband / hairties
  • Clothes - again, based on longer stay! Key tip - you want to stay comfy so leave those jeans at home! think - elastic waistbands... also, Rudolfstiftung, where I gave birth, was really warm so less was more!
    • Leggings - maternity or comfy trousers to wear
    • Comfy PJ bottoms
    • Nursing tank tops
    • Comfy underwear for first days at hospital if being induced/before birth. You will then get the "great" underwear at the hospital that you will be wearing the days after delivery.
    • Zipper hoody / cardigan to keep warm or walk about it - light dressing gown could be an alternative, I did have both and ended up mostly just wearing a cardigan or hoody when needed it so will leave the dressing gown at home this time.
    • Comfy socks
    • Nursing bra(s)
  • Other stuff
    • Plastic bags so partner can take home laundry when needed
    • Slippers / flip flops (for shower)
    • Phone / tablet charger
    • Towel - there were some provided at Rudolfstiftung, but was nice to have your own one
    • Water bottle - if you have a favourite (you will get thirsty and nice to have some nearby to constantly drink)
    • Tissues
    • Camera is optional - we took one, but ended up just using our phones to take photos so would leave this at home this time
    • Swaddle for baby if you have one you want to use
  • Standby stuff at home
    • Extra pairs of trousers, tops, underwear etc in case you need partner to bring in a change of the stuff you brought gets dirty
    • Bringing home baby outfit - you don't need anything for baby while in hospital! Nappies, cloth diapers, wipes and hospital onesie will be the minimum stuff you can expect there... they will wash the hospital stuff but not your private things, so another reason not to change baby in "your" stuff until you leave.
The first days I was wearing my clothes and then when he made his appearance (13 days after due date... thanks kid!) for ca 1-2 days I was wearing the hospital gown and then back into my clothes as soon as possible. Made me feel a lot more comfortable and happy to be there.

Good luck and have fun packing and getting ready for baby! If you have any other tips, please feel free to share in the comments below.

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