Packing Your Maternity Bag Early Can Help Avoid Stress In Emergencies

At just after 1am on Sunday morning, my wife grabbed hold of my arm, shocking me into wakefulness. "Nick, I think my water just broke" she said in a slightly panicked voice. While that should have been exciting news, the fact she was only 30 weeks pregnant meant we were less than well prepared for the emergency rush to the hospital.

Before you ask, I can happily say that wife and baby are fine, albeit prisoners at the hospital until the baby is born. But the sense of panic and confusion we experienced in the early hours of Sunday morning were a timely reminder that proper preparation for life-changing events like childbirth can never occur too soon.

General consensus among various parenting experts and websites is to have your hospital bag packed by the 36 week mark of the pregnancy. Yet as we experienced over the weekend, packing by 30 weeks will help you stay calm on the off-chance that circumstances force you to make an emergency dash to the hospital in the early hours of the morning. It will also reduce the shuffling back and forth between hospital and home for resupplies.

At the very least, you should consider an emergency bag for the hospital, which contains pads, underwear, comfortable clothing (for sleeping and wearing at the hospital), lip balm, and essential toiletries. These products make up the start of a proper maternity bag anyway, and will save you the hassle of having to rifle through drawers at 1am should anything happen at an unexpectedly early stage of pregnancy.


Comments

    Congats, My partner and I are at 32 weeks. But with no bag packed, we are sure to do it today!

    hope the wife and baby stay well!

    Recently when my cousin had her 3rd child, I found the same thing; they hadn't packed that sort of stuff so I went down to the local woolies to get stuff quite late on a thursday night. Her husband had to run home and grab clothes for him and her too (having come straight from work). This was all at 32 weeks.

    a lot less stress just to be ready.

    get used to it, you'll need a "baby bag" strapped to your shoulder for the next 3 years... containing all the necessities when out and about with bubs. Trust me, worth spending the extra time and $ on choosing the right one. Just like finding the right laptop bag.

    Congrats - 36 weeks for us and wife has a list of items ready but we haven't packed them yet. This is a good incentive to make it happen!

    Congratulations! No bags packed and 32 weeks. A timely reminder! @zwonker - is there a shortlist of great baby bags you can share?

    We are due our first in 3 weeks and have just packed the bag on the weekend.
    The one thing that I've had to enforce, my better half always runs the petrol in the car right down. Being 40mins from the hospital (best case) I finally convinced her to keep half a tank at all times. Sounds simple, but took a bit of persuading. Good luck to all the soon to be dads!

    Even if you can't face doing the proper pack, it's a good idea just to pull out a bag and throw things you think you might need in, so you've at least got a bit of stuff if there's an emergency.

    @zwonker - I bought a baby/nappy bag but really never used it. Used my regular handbag and a nappy wallet. I have a separate cooler bag for food/drinks. Not that I'm against them, just saying they're not an essential for everybody :)

    @Matt - a good reminder!

    Even if you can't

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