I know I don’t need a Labour bag ready, but one thing I enjoyed and found very useful, was checklists and other people’s ideas to pack, when I was going into hospital to have my children.
Having a baby is a very special and magical time, babies do come unexpectedly sometimes, and not always when planned. Whether you’re having a planned c-section, natural birth, or being induced.. things don’t always go the way you wanted. But one thing you can be in control of and have ready; is yours and your babies hospital bag.
I feel like you can’t ever over pack, it’s always best to have more. Because sometimes we end up needing to stay in, the baby could end up having a poo narmi, and the real reality is the after bleeding! In my case it came on pretty much as soon as I got down to the post natal ward.
Don’t feel the need to go and spend loads of money on a hospital bag, a suitcase will do or an extra bag.
So let’s start with mum’s bag, these are the items I packed and found most useful to have;
. Nighties- are a must. They are loose, comfy, perfect for Labour, after labour and even after a c-section. Also easy access for midwives and changing underwear/pads. I always go up a size when it comes to nighties for the hospital. And I loved Matalan and Asda’s nighties the best.
. Maternity notes– are so important to bring, there may be something very important on there the professionals need to know. This will also have your birthing plan in.
. Comfy clothes to stay in hospital and go home in– Because lets face it when you’ve just given birth or been cut open, you’re not leaving in that crop top and mini skirt.
. A handheld fan– You will get hot and sweaty during labour.
. Plenty of giant pants– Atleast 2 sizes bigger than you’d normally buy, especially if you’re having a c section. You’ll thank me later.
. An absolute ton and a half of breast pads and maternity pads– Most definitely the biggest size maternity pads you can get, and alot of them. Most people do bleed alot. And although your milk doesn’t come in until day 3, I still leaked in the hospital.
Nipple Cream– My absolute god send was the Lansinoh lanolin nipple cream, it’s like the perfect soft buttery cream, that works just like a primer, so it stays on through feeds to keep protecting your nipples. Its also completely safe for babies. Whilst your milk isn’t in yet the colostrum is, and my nipples were extremely sore by the first night, that cream was my saviour. It made gritting through the latch on that bit easier.
Phone and or camera– Dare I even need to explain it, oh and don’t forget chargers.
Snacks– Not everybody likes hospital food, and people get hungry inbetween meals. Hoapitals do also have canteens and vending machines, but these can be costly.
Change– Which brings me onto change for parking, yes sadly having a baby doesn’t get you out of the ridiculous parking charges. I would also recommend popping a note on your car explaining your situation, if you’re in a pay and display carpark.
Pillow– I brought my maternity pillow for extra comfort.
Slippers– To keep your feet comfy whilst getting around the hospital, their floors are hard and cold. If you have a c section, you are encouraged to move around, so slippers are a must.
Toiletries– After giving birth you will want to clean and freshen up. After my c-section with Eva, the nurse washed me a couple of hours later.. using a bowl of warm water, my body wash, and freshening wipes. Freshening wipes are important for regular cleaning in places.
Makeup– It isn’t essential. With William and Eva I didn’t bother, but after Annabelle I wanted to feel somewhat normal. I even brought my straighteners and straightened my hair.
Fizzy/Energy drinks– Lucozade kept me going at the begining of my labour, however you’ll find it useful after too. You stop eating and drinking as you progress due to sickness.
Hairbrush and Hair ties– Your hair will annoy you at some point.
Plastic bag– A must for me, I didn’t want to mix my clean and dirty clothes.
Don’t forget to pack extras if you know you will be staying over, if not don’t panic your partner can grab you bits.
I would also recommend your birthing partner packing a few bits. Things you may forget, and for themselves.
Phone and charger.
Food and Drink.
Numbers to call.
Lip balm and Hand cream (I am so thankful Michael packed these, my hands and lips were so itchy and dried out).
Towels for showers (hospital towels are so tiny, they did not cover my bottom).
Fan, Spray or Face cloth for you.
Magazines incase you are waiting around.
And then we move on to your new bundle of joys bag. I just used what will be their changing bag for all their bits.
Sleepsuits– I always pack atleast 4 in newborn or first size, and 4 in 0-3. You won’t know their size until their born.. And my 2 section babies were very mucusy, so were being changed often. Michael still had to grab me extras.
Vests– The same applies for vests, a few different sizes.
Coming home outfit– We all like to have a special outfit set out for them to come home in.
Nappies– I brought a small pack of newborn and a small pack of size 1 with me.
Cotton wool balls– Plenty of it in preparation for their first poo (meconium), it’s like black tar. Most hospitals don’t like wipes being used. However I would still bring a packet just incase.
Muslin squares– Not only are they great for mopping up sick, but swaddling too!
Scratch Mittens and Hats– Keeping them warm is important. It is recommended they wear a hat for the first 48 hours. Scratch Mittens are great for protecting their little faces from their sharp nails.
Blankets– Definitely a few, they say one to swaddle and one for ontop.
Formula Packs– Check with your hospital whether they provide them, alot have stopped now. They did 7 years ago when I had Annabelle. But I had to take some for William. I didn’t bother with Eva as I was determined to breast feed, and sometimes they can be tempting.
Jacket or thick cardigan– Again for an extra layer, and to bring them home in.
Carseat– We left ours in the car when we went in to have baby.
To some this may seem like a huge list, but I am an organised over packer.
Once your hospital bag is packed it may be worth leaving it in the car. It’s not something you want to forget, and atleast that way it’s there ready to go. It would be very handy if you were away from home and went into labour.