We’re just a few weeks away from our baby girl’s due date, so it’s time to pack my hospital bag.
When you’re stationed in Germany, you may or may not be on a post that has an American military hospital. In our case (in Wiesbaden, Germany), we just have an Army clinic, not a full hospital. We see a German OB (through Tricare), and we’ll deliver the baby in a German hospital.
There are some subtle differences in maternity care between the U.S. and Germany:
- German OBs don’t measure the size of your tummy here like they do in the U.S.
- German OBs do an ultrasound at every doctor’s visit
- Epidurals are not as common in Germany as they are in the U.S., so if you want one, you arrange with the hospital to make sure an anesthesiologist is available (this isn’t a big deal, but it’s encouraged that you let the hospital know in advance — rather than at the time of delivery — that you’d like to have an epidural)
- Labor & Delivery wards don’t necessarily provide hospital gowns
So as I prepare to pack my hospital bag this week, there will be some small differences in what I pack here and what I might pack for an American delivery, but I’d still appreciate your input:
What things did you find to be essential to pack in your hospital bag?
Are there things you didn’t pack and wish that you would have?
Do you have any advice for my husband on things he might want to pack, separately from what I’ll be packing in my mother’s bag?
Some of the things I’ve considered packing include:
- bath robe
- toiletries (toothbrush, shampoo, contact case, etc.)
- our camera
- my iPad
- my hospital gown
- a nursing/night gown for recovery
- a soft/sleeper nursing bra
- a few healthy snacks, in case the baby’s timing doesn’t line up with hospital meal times (they do let you eat in L&D in Germany)
- my journal