What Do Surrogates Pack in their Hospital Bags?
It’s always good to plan ahead for your trip to the hospital when expecting a baby. There are so many checklists online about what to pack in a hospital bag for new or repeat mums heading to hospital for their birth.but not much about what to pack for a surrogacy birth.
As a 2x surrogate, and with consultation from other experienced surrogates on the BB team, I have put together my list for Surrogates and IPs to pack in their hospital bag! If you have any other hints or tips then please do feel free to email or contact me through social media and we will always add to this.
You will want to plan on being there a while so making sure you have what you need to help with keeping everyone comfortable, hydrated and topped up nutritionally. You can always get things brought in but minimizing disruptions in what can be an emotionally charged time will go a long way to supporting everyone.
Hospital bag checklist (for surrogates)
There are some general, standard items that are a given such as :
- Birth Plan + maternity notes
- Hair elastics for a ponytail or braids + a hairband for those wispy flyaways
- Prescription medications you are taking
- Maternity pads + disposable undies to help keep things clean
- Reusable breast pads to stop any leaks
- Slippers to keep you warm and your feet off the floor
- Lip balm + a straw to keep your lips and your body properly hydrated
- Two dressing gowns (one for before and one for after labour)
- Phone charger with super long cord (and the longer the better, you never know where the plugs may be)
- Toiletries (towel, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant, anti bacteria and wet wipes)
- Eye mask + ear plugs (so you can really sleep)
- Outfit for going home (a dress is especially easy and comfy, especially if a cesarean is involved to avoid rubbing any incision)
- Maternity bras- avoid underwire! (Your breasts will be engorged, even if you do not plan on expressing any milk and you will want to avoid any clogs)
- Snacks (small candies, protein bars, nuts+seeds, gummies, sports drinks-see below)
Additions if you plan to pump
If you are going to be pumping breast milk after birth, then you should add these items to your hospital bag checklist:
- Breast pump (unless hospital is happy to provide theirs)
- 2-3 sets of pumping parts
- Breastmilk storage bags (to send home with your intended parents)
- Nipple cream (for sore nips)
- Coconut oil (to help lubricate the pump parts)
Extras for you and your team’s comfort
Making sure you have a few bits and pieces that will make you and your team comfy include:
- Extra favourite pillow (there are never enough good ones on the ward)
- Change for vending machines (for you and main supporter)
- Peri bottle (to keep things clean and assist with healing)
It is important to pack some snacks to keep both you as a surrogate and your support team going during the time in hospital. Here’s a few practical favourites:
- Hard sweets (quick and fast energy)
- Pretzels (carbs are best to help keep you going)
- Nuts & seeds (for a longer lasting boost)
- Granola bars (the chewy ones, not the crumbly ones)
- Veggie sticks (with or without some dips)
- Rice cakes or oatcakes + peanut butter (in easy squeeze pouch)
- Applesauce (make it easy in a squeeze pouch for quick energy)
- Beef jerky (especially for the support team)
- Energy bars (ditto)
- Small dried fruits (to mix in)
- Fruit (apples or grapes in a container that won’t need keeping in the fridge or get too squished)
Hydration is important, in particular for the surrogate. These are some tried-and-tested recommendations for surrogates:
- Coconut water (delicious and packed with electrolytes to help stay hydrated)
- Labourade (you can grab an easy recipe on online)
- Sport drinks (bottles or in tabs to add to your water bottle-electrolytes are necessary)
- Lots and lots of water!
Fuel for your support team
Send them out in shifts to get some food. It’s important that the support team is equally fed and watered to help support you as you labour, especially if it is a long labour. They can check what facilities there are at the hospital as well as opening and closing hours so that they can plan ahead. You need them well fueled so they can give you the best support that you need.
Plan ahead to stay ahead
Remember that the pandemic may well have changed things so give yourself time to plan ahead and make sure you have what you need in advance of your trip.
One of our Brilliant Surrogates Elisha H. made an amazing video of everything that she brought to the hospital with her. You can view that video here.
Finally, here’s an Amazon list of exactly what I packed in my own hospital bag-from pads and PJs, to snacks and drinks!
Saveable hospital bag checklists
If you want to save these checklists for easy reference later, you can save the images below.
By Alyssa Martin, Brilliant Beginnings Surrogate & Client Manager