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June 27, 2017

Hospital bag checklists...what a minefield!

Someone contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I have a hospital bag checklist that I could share. It got me thinking...

There are countless hospital bag checklists available to us at the touch of the button. And this is the problem...there is simply too much choice. While most of the checklists have the same "essential" items, they all vary slightly in terms of other, maybe slightly more discretionary, items. So, if you start cross-referencing checklists at all, you will definitely start getting confused and overwhelmed.

My advice? Pick one hospital bag checklist and stick to it. You won't go wrong. It will keep your head clearer. Although they may all vary slightly, they all contain the key items that you need to bring with you. It is also worth talking to other pregnant friends or, better still, friends or relations who have already gone through it. Just be careful, there are always those friends who prepare for every scenario and have everything bar the kitchen sink in their hospital bags! (they're the same ones who tell you all the horror birth stories...right?!).

I did a lot of work on hospital bag checklists as part of the research and design phase of www.hospitalbag.ie, which I think might help those of you about to prepare your hospital bag.

I took 5 Irish hospital bag checklists (Rotunda, The Coombe, Holles St, eumom.ie and Pippa). Using a simple Excel spreadsheet, I cross-referenced the items on each of them and analysed them. I identified the items which were common to them all and also other items which, while not common to them all, in my own personal experience, made sense to include. In doing this, I came up with my own version of a hospital bag checklist. Just click this link:

https://www.hospitalbag.ie/pages/hospital-bag-checklist

I am not saying that it is definitive or perfect, I'm sure it is not. But, like any other hospital bag checklist out there, it won't steer you wrong. Finally, remember, as long as you have the essential items that you need during your hospital stay, you will be fine! And trust me...once you are holding that bundle of gorgeousness and joy in your arms in the minutes, hours and days after the birth, that will be all that will matter!

Siobhán x


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