In Life, Parenting

What I brought to the Hospital for the Birth (Pregnancy in Toronto, Ontario Canada)

This is information valid for women giving birth in Toronto, Ontario Canada, and although each hospital varies in policies, I thought it would be helpful to list what I had to ask for and bring.

Note: I wrote this while I was pregnant, so this will all sound like in the present tense.

“WE’RE NOT IN FRANCE, ARE WE?”

Upon hearing what we were expected to provide, not to mention the food that we would NOT be receiving, he turns to me and says:

Wow. We’re really not in France. In France they really provide everything for you.

Here it’s like you have to bring everything.

It’s like you’re going to a restaurant but you have to pack your own food to eat there.

Travel-Photograph-Lyon-France-Countryside

 There you have it.

Even our coveted “free”* universal Canadian health insurance is looked down upon by others!

*It’s not free. We pay for it in our taxes, but we pay about $500 a year, not thousands.


YOUR ONTARIO HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN (OHIP) ONLY COVERS WARDS

Wards are where you share with up to 4 women with a curtain separating all of you.

You can pay for a 2-bedroom or a 1-bedroom if you do not have any other health insurance from work, but it costs more money.

You can read more about how much it cost to give birth in Toronto here.

YOU WILL STAY ABOUT 2 DAYS ON AVERAGE IN THE HOSPITAL

It is only 2 days in a hospital and I am not really keen on paying for a private room for 2 days.

I’m going to try and jailbreak out of there sooner if I am able to.

Travel-Photograph-Food-Eat-France-Gourmet-Meal-Pork-Belly-Parsnip-Puree

YOU HAVE TO BRING ALL OF YOUR OWN FOOD AND DRINKS

No actual meals. Nothing cooked, nothing prepared.

They provide crap “food and drinks” like:

  • Apple Juice
  • Water
  • Crackers
  • Bread
  • Jam
  • Applesauce
  • Lowfat Yoghurt
  • Lowfat Milk
  • Chicken Noodle or Chicken Rice (soups I am guessing)
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Popsicles / Freezies
  • Broth
  • Jell-O

Now this is even worse for us because we’re organic-and-natural-food eating huppies*, so we plan on bringing our own food and meals, including bottled water and organic unhomogenized milk in glass jars.

*Huppies = Hippie + Yuppie 

UPDATE: This was a lie. They actually fed me in the hospital breakfast, lunch and dinner so I don’t think the literature was properly updated!!!! 

WHAT WE ARE BRINGING FOR FOOD AND DRINKS

They at least have a fridge, freezer and microwave oven, so we can bring our own food.

  • Meals prepared and frozen ahead of time in glass tupperware
  • Organic unhomogenized milk in glass jars
  • Filtered Water in a glass bottle
  • Apples (We kiboshed bananas because they could get squished easily)
  • Walnuts (to snack on)
  • 2 plates — We’re assuming it’ll be plastic so we’ll bring our own
  • 1 cup — We are assuming it will be Styrofoam, so we’ll bring our own
  • Cutlery — We are assuming it will be plastic there for convenience, we will use our own.

WHAT THEY SUGGEST YOU BRING FOR YOURSELF

  • Hospital card (I do not even know what this is)
  • Ontario Health Card
  • Health Insurance information (not OHIP, your work or personal insurance)
  • Pillows in coloured cases (e.g. breastfeeding pillows, I’m assuming no white as it’ll get stained)
  • Housecoat
  • Slippers
  • Socks
  • Nursing bra / Nursing tank (cotton sports bras are best)
  • Nightgown or Pajamas (but you can wear the hospital gown)
  • Old panties
  • Large sanitary pads (I bought ones for maternity / night time)
  • Toiletries
  • Facial Tissues (I am bringing handkerchiefs and a roll of toilet paper)
  • Loose comfortable clothes to wear home
  • Battery-powered tapes or CDs (seriously!?)

WHAT I AM BRINGING FOR MYSELF IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE

  • My e-reader (Kobo Glo; that device can run for days on a single charge)
  • Digital camera
  • iPod Touch — It is my personal organizer
  • List of telephone numbers and names on paper to call
  • Own bath and face towel
  • Sweater (I do not have a house coat)
  • Hospital mesh panties (the mesh kind to hold up the sanitary pads to wear underneath your regular underwear)
  • Notebook and Pen
  • Light umbrella — just in case I have to go by myself because I am in labour and it’s raining or when I go to leave
  • House Keys
  • $100 in cash (no credit cards)
  • Face wipes
  • Light makeup
  • Contacts, Glasses, Eyedrops and Contact Lens Solution in travel-sized bottles
  • Hairbrush
  • Nipple Pads — to soak up excess milk

stock-baby-photo-child

WHAT THEY SUGGEST YOU BRING FOR THE BABY

  • Diapers (about 10 – 20)
  • Outfit to wear home
  • Blanket, Booties, Cap and Mittens
  • Infant car seat if you are driving home (mandatory)

WHAT WE ARE BRINGING FOR THE BABY

  • For the diapers we plan on cloth diapering but just for those 2 days, we’ll buy disposables

That’s it.

Update: As for bringing formula, they provided it at the hospital, and also gave a day’s worth of disposable diapers and pads. Otherwise, you are on your own!


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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12 Comments

  1. Anne @ Money Propeller

    Wow, it sounds like the literature needs an update (a tape player?!!). My Mom (an RN) has been so embarrassed by some of the documents they have to hand out that she has taken them home, retyped them, and taken them in and asked her boss if they can start using her new version.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      They ALL need to be updated. It’s pathetic how out of date the info is, which is why I tried Googling more accurate info and decided to post about it.

      Reply
  2. A
    Anna

    While everybody knocks the US health system, we do not have it so bad. I did not have to bring anything! All I brought with me was a change of clothes and my toiletries. The hospital I delivered at gave me everything. They provided all things for my child and gave me a whole bag of diapers as well as a present. I had my own room and my own nurse the second time I gave birth. the first time I was in a room with two beds but was in there alone.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      That does sound like it isn’t so bad. How much did you pay for all that? Was it included in your private healthcare?

      Reply
      1. A
        Anna

        @save. spend. splurge.: I can’t remember it was all included I may have had a small $100 co-payment for hospital stays.

        Reply
        1. save. spend. splurge.

          Oh so you do have private insurance. What would you have paid / done if you weren’t covered by your company healthcare?

          Reply
          1. A
            Anna

            @save. spend. splurge.: OMG! don’t even ask…

          2. save. spend. splurge.

            LOL. Okay 🙂 That says it all.

            I got all that in Canada under the standard healthcare (not free, mind you.. we pay for it in taxes). I didn’t have any private or work healthcare…

  3. Morgaine

    Thanks again for these tips! 🙂

    Reply
  4. debs@debtdebs

    Sounds like the food they listed in the literature was what was available from the kitchenette on your floor. I was going to say that they fed my daughter meals while there. I thought they provided diapers for the full time period they were there too. Incidentally, her husband slept with her there the full time (3 days) in their private room (paid for by work supplemental health insurance. I thought it was weird but that’s what he wanted to do. They were both pretty exhausted when they came home.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      The kitchenette was just a fridge and a microwave. No food there. They had menus / food delivered every breakfast, lunch and dinner but it was hospital food *ick*

      The one I was at, only gave diapers and maternity pads for one day’s worth. I brought my own for Baby Bun but he was far too small for even the newborn sizes.

      Yes you can also sleep on the lounger in the hospital (my mom did that), but it’s hard because there are other babies in the room (I had one other), and they cry, the parents talk and visit.. semi-private is not that private, but I wasn’t going to pay for a private room.

      Reply

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