Yippee, you’ve only got another couple of weeks to go, so it’s time to pack your hospital bag. It’s exciting and daunting at the same time, so make it fun!
Remember, you’re only packing for a short stay and although it’s nice to have a lot of new things. However bear in mind that towels and underwear may get stained. So it’s just as well to take stuff that you already have at home.
If you want to buy disposal knickers, you can get them from places like Mothercare or online. They aren’t particularly economical, but they are useful.
Before you start to pack, make yourself a list and tick things off as you put them into your bag. You might find it easier to have more than one bag. So you can put baby’s things in one and you’re things in another. You can even have two bags for clothes and a third bag for all the other bits and pieces you’re going to use. Don’t forgot what to wear after giving birth.
Your Hospital Bag Checklist
You can start packing as early as you’d like! There is no set time for this, so you can start in your third trimester but we’d recommend you’re packed and ready for roughly 36 weeks. This seconded time around my baby decided to come 3 weeks early. Are you doing you pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy?
Birthing Plan and any hospital or medical notes that you have.
If you are on any medication write it down when you have a clear mind, don’t try to remember while you’re in labour. If there any complications the doctors and nurses need to everything as soon as possible, so if you are allergic to any drug (or anything else) put these in your notes as well.
Contact Numbers x 2,
Start with your partners just in case it all goes wrong and they don’t mange to take you to hospital. The numbers of any midwifes or doctors if there has been complications along the way. Your NHS Number. Other important numbers, family and friends incase they cant get hold of the first ones. List number 2, for your partner, a list of the people you want to contact to tell them about the birth. After giving birth you may not have the energy or the desire to spread your good news, so just make the list in the order of importance.
More detail on what are you going to wear after giving birth.
You’ll want comfortable clothes when you’re in labour, so some pyjamas, or jogging bottoms and a long top or a nightie. You’ll also need a dressing gown, socks and slippers. Thats because you might spend a few hours walking around. Wrap up warm in our maternity waterproof jacket when you leave the hospital
Loads of Snacks
Some kind of survival snack pack for the postnatal ward is essentail if you need fuel in the middle of the night. Have a good mix of things you enjoy. Dark chocolate is the healthier option of the cocoa world, but this isn’t the time to berate yourself if all you fancy is a Mars bar. also take some loose change for the vending machine just in case you eat the lot to quick or just that baby don’t won’t to come out, They could either send you home and tell you to come back, however they might induce you and it still could take days. Do try to put some energy bars in there, something that will sustain you.
Straws And Frozen Drinks
Some mums throw loads of cartons of Ribena, apple juice, orange juice in the freezer beforehand. Just pop them in the bag and they will slowly defrost and you will have a lovely cold refreshing drink on the ward. Keeping hydrated is important for you and the baby so keep drinking lots of fluid, especially if you plan to breast feed.
Portable Charger For The Phone
We use our phone for so many things these days, social media, games, music and of course taking lots of photos. So if you have a couple of these portable chargers pack them in the bag. Of course take your plug charger but sometimes it can be difficult to find a normal plug socket in a hospital. The last thing you want to be doing is using the hospital phones which will cost a fortune. Worse case scenario and your phone dies at least (I hope) that you have written down the important numbers. Especially useful as during Covid you can never be sure that even your partner will be allowed in to see you. It all depends on what tier you are on or if we are all in lockdown, Covid 19 isn’t going anywhere soon.
Soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and a toothbrush and toothpaste. Then together with a towel and your hairbrush will need to be packed. If you have long hair, you might want to put some clips or bands into your bag in case you want to tie your hair back. If you want to put make-up on, then include this too.
Books, music and your phone are useful things to have with you. If you have a spare phone charger, pack it now, because it’s something that’s easy to forget on the day. If you have a battery charger pack pop that in the bag as well. Also, pack any birthing equipment you’re planning to use, like a TENS machine or a birthing ball. Lip balm and a hand-held electric fan are also handy to have. If you have a special pillow or cushion, take that too. Don’t forget you will need sanitary or maternity towels to wear after you’ve had your baby.
Take a pack of cards, you can always play a card game with your partner, if they are allowed in. You can always play a game of patience (if you have any left waiting for the baby) At least it is something you can do without burning that battery power on your phone. Of course don’t forget the trashy magazines as well. If you’re into puzzles and crosswords take them with you along with a handful of pens.
A Birthing Diary
Some new mums like to document their ups and downs on the run up to birth and after. Be prepared to completely abandon the birthing diary AND don’t feel bad about it. Childbirth hits everyone in different ways and you may be totally overwhelmed, exhausted. Its a great idea to look back at how it all went because the reality is more like a blur especially if you have any drugs to help with the birth.
You may have planned this route but please don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work out as its not for everyone or even every baby. However if you do take some nipple cream with you, it might not feel sore in the beginning but it will. Even if the baby latches on perfectly the constant sucking is going to make your sore, make sure the nipple balm you pick doesn’t need to be washed of each time before the baby can feed.
I cant stress enough how hot, groggy and disorientated you will get during labour, a nice spritz of facial spray will bring you back to life. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive just something that gives you a quick refreshing buzz,
They are amazing for relieving tension, and can be placed over your eyes, face or lower back. A hot water bottle can perform the same function for the lower back, easing pain and tension. They’re great postnatally too if you’re on the ward, as a lavender wheat bag over the eyes will help to send you to a zen place.
The Baby’s Bag
It really depends on the time of year you have you baby, but for going home, he or she will need something warm. If it’s a hot summer, then choose an outfit with a cardigan. In winter, you might be best putting baby into an all-in-one to keep them snug. Pack a blanket, vests, socks or tights and sleepsuits and some muslin squares and a bib. A pair of scratch mittens and a hat are also worth packing. You’ll also need nappies and wipes. If you are bottle feeding, don’t forget to take carton formula, you needn’t worry about bottles until you get home, as the hospital supply these.
Ask your partner to make up some snacks for you. Fruit and sandwiches made with wholemeal bread are good choices and don’t forget a camera, video or your phone for all those photos you’ll be taking. Finally, don’t forget your birth plan and make a note of any important phone numbers, just in case you forget to charge your mobile and have to use a pay phone.