What to pack in your hospital bag in Kenya 
Ready for the Big day you have been waiting for? Sometimes the baby decides to come earlier than planned, so it is wise to have the hospital bag packed in advance, just in case the baby comes. For planning purposes, the recommendation is to have it packed from month 8. Just in case.
Once you have everything you need for the list, keep the bag in a place easy to see and reach, for when you need to go. Also in case, you need to explain to someone where to get it.
Hospital Bag for Mom: Labor and Delivery
- Doctors admission letter; If you have a doctor's letter, or any letters from insurance please place them in the bag, preferably in a folder, or envelope.
- ID; the hospitals will require an identification document to verify
- Insurance card; To process payments through insurance, you will also need your insurance card, in addition to the insurance letters.
- NHIF Card; To qualify for NHIF deductions, you will need to have been paid up and to have your card.
- Birth plan (if you have one). If you have discussed this with your doctor and/doula/midwife. You can have copies printed out. It may not go as planned but have it.
- Bathrobe; Having clothing that is loose and comfortable to you may help to give some familiar comfort.
- Slippers; Familiar slippers would be a good addition as they are more comfortable than the options provided by the hospital/birth center. However taking personal items requires further checking, to make sure nothing gets lost.
- Lip Balm; Lips can get chapped during labour, so having lip balm would be good to have.
- Body Lotion; Some people like to have a massage during labour, so having lotion in your bag in case this works for you is a good addition.Buy Oil Here
- Comfortable Pillows; If you have a favorite pillow, feel free to carry i. Although the hospital/birthing center will most probably have one, having comfortable and familiar items, adds that extra layer of comfort.
- Entertainment; Sometimes labour takes a while. Having some form of entertainment, in the form of movies, music, a computer could help take away boredom, once you have finished the stories you and your people have.
What to pack for Baby
- Diapers; Pack newborn diapers for use by the baby. Buy Diapers Here
- Wipes; Pack wipes and Cotton Wool for use when changing the baby, often cotton wool is also used as a substitute. Buy Wipes Here
- Oil/Cream/Ointment; Pack oil/diaper cream/ointment used to create a layer between the baby's skin and diaper when they soil the diaper. Buy Ointment Here
- Sanitizer; Before handling the baby ,you may want to use sanitizer to clean your hands.
- Bodysuits. Bodysuits are easy for the baby to wear because of putting them on as well as for access to change diapers and provide warmth.
- Socks and booties. You want to keep your newborn warm, to have warm sock and mittens to cover the hands and feet.
- Blanket. Hospitals will have blankets, but you will probably want to have your own blanket to carry the baby home in.
- Go-home Clothes. Factor in the weather in selecting what clothes the baby will wear both in the hospital and on their way home. Most people stay 2-3 days in the hospital, but factor in clothes that may get soiled and need to be changed.
- Car Seats; If you have a car seat, you could install it in the car, if you are planning to use one.
What to pack for Mom
- Bathrobe; Having clothing that is loose and comfortable to you may help to give some familiar comfort. A nightgown with an open front may be more comfortable.
- Maternity Pads; It is normal to bleed after birth. The hospitals often provide some but pack some for your own preference and comfort. Buy Maternity Pads Here
- Underwear; Have comfortable underwear that is able to cover over the maternity pads.
- Bras; Have packed some comfortable nursing bra's.
- Toiletries; Having your personal preferred toiletries, combs, brushes, shampoo, deodorant, hair clips. You can carry a separate bag to put dirty clothes in.
- Makeup. If you use makeup in your usual routine, pack some as well.
- Spectacles and Contacts; (if you use them). Don't forget to carry your spectacles, contacts and contact solutions if you use them on a regular basis.
- Phone and Accessories; If you opt for a phone vacation, you can have your phone on silent with your birth partner, but still have your charger with you. If not remember to have your charger and other accessories available in your bag.
- Clothes; Pack an outfit for going home, that you will wear on your way out of the hospital.
- Drinks and Snacks; Consider packing your favorite snacks, in case the options at the hospital are limiting. Also, consult with your caregiver about what you can and should not eat in that period.
What to Pack for the Birth Partner
It is advised to not go to the hospital alone. We recommend the following for your birth partner
- Snacks and water. Snacks and water are good to have. Sometimes the options provided in the hospitals can be limited. So, carry your favorites if you have them.
- Phone; The assumption is that it will be on the Birth partner, but in case it isn't, they can pack it.
- Camera and accessories; Pack a phone or camera, if you are not planning to use the ones on the phone, and remember the batteries and cables to charge the devices.
- Clothes; The labour could take longer than expected, so have a change of clothes, just in case.
- Toiletries; Having your personal preferred toiletries, not only adds more comfort to your experience but will include what is not readily available in the hospital.
- Spare glasses or spare contact lenses; If you wear spectacles or contact lenses, having a spare set is not a bad idea.
- Small pillow; Getting a pillow comfortable for the birth partner is also an added comfort if the ones provided are not enough.
- Entertainment; once again, having your own entertainment once the stories wear off, is a wise idea.
Contact your doctor/doula/midwife if you notice any of the signs of labor. They can advise better on when to grab the back and head on to the hospital.
Best of luck!