Preparing for baby: What to pack in your hospital bag!
When I was pregnant with my second child my midwife advised me to pack my hospital bag a month before I was due. well, that just seemed silly to me and I didn’t bother. Naturally, the professional was right and I ended up having a few days’ sleepover at the hospital because my little girl had decided to turn full acrobat and would not stay still at head down for anyone. it was right on blooming Christmas too! luckily though she turned the day before Christmas eve and me and my bump were allowed home to spend a lovely Christmas day with our family. although most mums wont go into labour until past their due date, it is always worth being prepared. Here is what I packed in my hospital bag for baby number 2!
What should mums pack?
Maternity notes and birth plan
These are probably the most important things you need to pack, they provide the hospital with all the information they need about you, your baby and the birth you are hoping for
A dressing gown
bear in mind, hospitals are usually very warm, so buy accordingly. If you feel the heat like me I would recommend buying a thin gown!
A Night dress or two
nightdresses are excellent both for resting in but also for the actual delivery, just make sure to take nightdresses that you are prepared to throw away after! most hospitals will offer you a hospital gown to wear during the labour but its worth taking your own in case, plus you may feel more comfortable in your own clothes.
excellent for walking around the hospital and for after showers. you probably wont want to walk around in shoes and you don’t want to walk the heavily paced floors bare foot so slippers are an excellent in between. plus, they’re comfy!
again, most hospitals will be able to provide super absorbent pads, however it is worth packing a brand you are comfortable with and that suits your body in case you cant get on with the hospital ones.
After giving birth your breasts will probably feel like watermelons, pack the most
comfortable bras that you have! if you are planning on breast feeding it is definitely worth investing in some maternity bras and tops, it saves you needing to strip in order to feed baby comfortably
Be prepared for your breasts to leak… a lot.
Several pairs of underwear
Chances are thanks to post partum bleeding you’re going to need a few changes of knickers! I recommend taking your biggest granny pants, black or dark knickers are better for hiding stains
pack something to kill time on the wards, especially if you’re going in for induction or a
stay before the birth. books, magazines and laptops are great. I managed to read the first game of thrones book and watch a whole season of lost during my induction. your baby wont arrive until its ready so be prepared for some waiting around if being induced.
make sure to pack your shampoo, shower gel, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste. Chances are you won’t want to leave your precious new arrival but when you do have a shower you’re going to want a total refresh – labour is sweaty business!
you’ll probably want to dry off after your shower!
if you’ve given birth before you will know that literally no one will care about how you look in a maternity ward and you will probably see everything in there. take the comfiest clothes you can find to wear around the ward and to come in. I spent half my time on the ward wearing my other half’s shirts!
A phone and charger
so you can take a billion pictures of your beautiful new baby and keep your family and friends up to date!
Snacks and drinks
take some light cupboard snacks such as cereal bars. the hospital will be able to provide you with some food but its good to take your own snacks so you can eat when you like and you know you have something you like – especially if pregnancy has made you a picky eater! Many people I know also recommend taking Lucozade sports, they’re great for replenishing electrolytes
A tens machine
if you plan on using one
any medication that you need to take
don’t forget to take your prescribed medication with you!
if you have long hair I seriously recommend taking a couple or hairbands, messy sweaty hair in your face is not pleasant!
Other items you may want to pack:
What should I pack for baby?
cotton wool balls
(wet wipes aren’t recommended for the first few weeks)
4 Sleep suits
(this is what my midwife recommended as it allows for leakages!)
cellular blankets are great for the hospital, you may want to pack a thicker one for going home too, especially If your baby is due during colder seasons
Any feeding equipment you feel you may need
Nipple shields, formula, bottles etc..
if you’re using formula many brands offer little premade formula with sterilised teats. they are quite expensive but they will save the hassle of cleaning, sterilising and making bottles in the hospital as most hospitals will want you to stay for 6 hours + after having your baby
a towel or changing mat
Baby’s car seat
A going home outfit that is suitable for the outside temperature.
What should my birth partner pack?
Change for parking and vending machine
A change of clothes
you may be in the hospital for a little while, also its better to be prepared for any surprises. during my first labour my waters broke all over my partners feet – ooooops!
Phone and charger
Camera and charger
phone, laptop, book etc. my partner used Netflix more when we were in the hospital than he ever has!
snacks and drinks
you might want to keep a small pillow and a blanket in the car in case you’re in over night