One of the most exciting days of your lives is almost here! You’re about to meet your child for the first time. Do you know what you need to bring? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should pack in your hospital bag if you are an intended parent who is having a baby through surrogacy:
Your surrogate will be bringing the same information, but you should pack your own copies of this documentation in case she’s busy (she will be having your baby!) and hospital staff needs to reference something. Make sure you bring:
American Surrogacy will work with you to coordinate with your surrogate’s preferred hospital, and we’ll help make sure that they’re prepared for a surrogacy birth, as some hospitals haven’t experienced this before. Ensuring that the necessary hospital staff members are informed about your birth plan will help prevent any snags in you, your surrogate and her family, and your baby being able to access one another freely.
Having your relevant paperwork on hand can help communicate this to hospital staff, which rotates frequently.
You will likely be actively involved in supporting your surrogate during labor, but there is often also a lot of waiting and idleness for intended parents during the hospital stay, which might make you feel a little anxious or helpless. Bring some things to keep yourself occupied during this time, like:
- A book
- Snacks (try to eat in the waiting area, out of politeness to surrogates who might be sensitive to smells while in labor and who aren’t permitted to eat while laboring)
- Your phone charger
Having something quiet that can keep you busy while you wait for your baby’s delivery can be surprisingly helpful for both you and your surrogate!
The average duration of labor is about 8 hours, but it can vary widely. You’ll also need to stay at the hospital so your baby can be monitored, so your surrogate may be discharged before you if all goes well. This means that you could need to pack for a few days’ stay. Here are a few things you should consider bringing:
- A few sets of comfortable clothes that you can sleep in if necessary, with light layers, since hospitals can sometimes run pretty warm or chilly
- Overnight clothes and supplies, as a 24 hour post-birth observation period for all babies is usually required by most hospitals
- A front buttoning shirt if you’d like to have skin-to-skin contact with your baby, which is recommended for intended parents
You’ll likely be staying at the hospital overnight, so have whatever you need for that stay ready to go, such as:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Daily prescription medications
- Contacts and glasses
You’ve probably waited for this day for a long time, but try not to over-pack, especially if you have to fly to your surrogate. It can be helpful to ask your surrogacy professional what other intended parents have found useful in their hospital bags, and what you can leave at home. However, there are a few additional items you might want in your bag, such as:
- Whatever you need to be comfortable, like a blanket or sleep mask, as you might be there 1-3 days
- A labor care kit for your surrogate with little supplies like lip balm and slipper socks
- A small gift for your surrogate to mark the closing of your journey together. Talk to your surrogacy specialist about some appropriate gift ideas
Don’t worry about bringing along the entire baby aisle of the store. The hospital will have extra newborn diapers, bottles and other basics. You can handle most supplies when you get home. Some things you should pack for baby include:
- A weather-appropriate coming-home outfit (in a couple sizes in case one doesn’t fit)
- A hat
- Two or three comfy onesies for sleeping
- Socks or booties
- A few burp or spit-up cloths
- An approved baby car seat
- Diapers and wipes
- Bottles, formula, or whatever supplies you need to transport breast milk
Bring what’s essential for keeping your baby warm, comfortable, safe and fed. Most importantly, have the car seat ready. The hospital usually won’t let you leave unless they know it’s safe and installed correctly.
Meeting your child is one of the most important moments in your life, but you don’t need to bring a bunch of extras. Just focus on a few essentials and yourselves! Your American Surrogacy specialist will help you and your surrogate to create a surrogacy birth plan that you’re comfortable with, and make sure you’re ready for your hospital stay. Contact us now at 1-800-875-BABY (1-800-875-2229) to begin your surrogacy process.