At 39 weeks pregnant, I think I have finally managed to get everything together for my hospital bag! You would have thought it would have been easier to pack it second time around, but I’ve really struggled to remember what I did an didn’t need. I always like to be prepared, so I have made sure I have packed enough for us to have for at least an overnight stay because you never know how long you’ll need to stay in. Hopefully if all goes well I won’t have to stay in too long, but you never know if you’ll end up having complications or a c-section.
I split my bags in two, one for me (and some bits for my husband) and one for the baby. I just found it worked really well last time, as when we went to get the bits out for the baby it was all in one place.
My hospital bag
Snacks – I have put in a few packs of biscuits, a cereal bar and some Mini Eggs. The mini eggs are an afterbirth treat for me, but the biscuits are for my husband and I to share. I thought they were something quick and easy for me to snack on between contractions if I’m hungry. And they’ll keep my biscuit loving husband happy too!
Washbag – I have my standard toiliteries in there, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. I am taking some nice Molton Brown shower gel with me, because after hours of childbirth I think it’s nice to treat yourself to something a bit nicer than your bog standard shower gel! There are also a pack of maternity towels, breast pads and Lasinoh lanolin breast balm in there. I’ve also bought the My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bitz for afterwards. I’ve only seen good reviews of it, and after having an episiotomy last time I know how sore it can be down there!
Underwear – there’s no point putting teeny tiny knickers in your bag, because quite frankly they’ll never house the enormous maternity pads you will need! Especially the first few days when you may end up doubling up those pads! I have packed a pack of full briefs (you know the ones your granny wears) in a size up (because I don’t want anything tight down there). They are exactly what you will need, even more so if you have a c-section. I’m also making sure I take two nursing bras with me just in case I leak. A soft bra is recommended until your supply has settled and then you can wear underwired bras again. If you aren’t planning on breastfeeding you should still use a soft bra until your supply has gone.
Pyjamas – I’ve put a short sleeved top and trouser pyjama set in as well as two nursing nighties. This should get me through the first day or two. If I don’t have the water birth then I have a night dress for the birth, and if I do then I have a spare! If you’re planning on breastfeeding then just make sure you bring something with easy access!
TENS machine – I didn’t use one the first time around, but I have had a few people tell me that they’ve found them really useful. I coped okay at home before I went into hospital but I feel that a TENS could have helped me even more. I picked my TENS machine up second hand from eBay as it worked out a heck of a lot cheaper than buying or hiring one!
Clothes – I’m bringing a JoJo Maman Bebe nursing dress and a t shirt and either my maternity jeans or leggings (just think comfort). I’ve packed two options basically because the weather is so sporadic at the moment I have no idea how warm it’ll actually be!
Pillow – I’m also going to take my pillow with me. I did this last time because it was a bit of a home comfort when you’re in labour. I also hate the thought of using a pillow thousands of other have used too and the hospital ones are plastic coated so really aren’t that comfortable!
Flip Flops – I’ve just got a 90p pair from Primark and they will do for wandering around the ward and an easy shoe to get on to go home in. If you aren’t planning on having a private room then they’re also great for wearing in the shower.
The Babies Bag
Sleepsuits – Obviously your baby is going to need clothes. I’m bringing 4 sleep suits with me. Because you never know with a newborn how quickly they will go through them! They could be sick on them, pee or poo on them so it’s better to have too many than not enough.
Vests – Like sleepsuits, I’m bringing 4 and all for the same reasons!
Cardigan – Because you never know what time of day or how the weather will be it’s best to be prepared with a cardigan for when you leave hospital.
Hats – I have packed two, one is a matching one to a sleep suit I have. The other was the hat that Oliver wore as a newborn so I want to get at least a photo with it!! Other than this I have packed a newborn baby bonnet. Mostly for photo purposes!!
Nappies – A babies got to pee and poop, so they’re an essential! I’ve packed one of the small packs of Pampers size 1 nappies, just because I thought it’s easier to have them in a. pack rather than scattered around my bag.
WaterWipes – I tried the whole cotton wool and water with Oliver and it was such a pain that I’m not bothering this time at all! WaterWipes has no nasty chemicals in so are perfect for delicate newborn bottoms.
Muslin Swaddle Blankets – these are great for swaddling as well as mopping up any milk. I’m taking two muslin swaddling blankets, one for use as a swaddle, one as a general mop up blanket! I’m also taking one normal sized muslin as a spare.
A Blanket – Again, not knowing what time of day we’ll be going home and what the weather will be like a blanket may be needed for the journey home!
So I think that is everything! I would love to know your essential item for your hospital bags, and if there’s anything you think I’ve missed!