Sunday, 10 December 2017

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag

What to pack in your hospital bag
I'm now over 38 weeks pregnant and just popping the last few items into my hospital bag. I swear I was far more organised with my first pregnancy. I guess I didn't also have the distraction of a toddler to look after last time. I'm not sure when the best time is to pack your bag. For some, packing it as early as 30 weeks is important, but others could pack it as late as 40 weeks and still have a couple of weeks before the baby comes. Do what feels right to you, but probably somewhere around 35 - 36 weeks is a good time for most.

There are so many recommendations online for what to include that it can be quite overwhelming knowing what to actually pack. There are some things that are absolute essentials, but you don't want to go overboard and take too much. I feel like I've packed far better this time around and I'm not taking quite so much with me.

However you want to make sure you have enough just in case you need to stay in after your baby is born. You can always have a second back packed that you either leave in the car or at home in case of a stay. That way you're not expecting your other half to go searching for the things you need.

For Mum

  • Maternity Notes - These are very important. You may need them in the run up to going into labour, so have them close at hand so you can grab them on your way out of the house.
  • Old night dress (to give birth) - Things could get messy, so don't go out a buy anything too fancy. An old nightdress/t.shirt will work just as well. I purchased a cheap nightdress from Primark.
  • Socks or slippers - You want to be as comfortable as possible while in labour and after, but you probably won't want to walk around barefoot.
  • Nursing PJ's & nightdress - After giving birth you may need to stay in for a day or 2, or even longer, but clean PJ's are a must. If you are planning to breastfeed front opening ones will be best. It might be wise to pack a nightdress even if you don't normally wear them as you may be more comfortable in one if you end up having a c-section or you need to be examined after birth.
  • Dressing gown - In case you want to have a wonder whilst in labour or after.
  • Hairbands & hair brush - If you have long hair you may want to tied it back.
  • Drinks & snacks - You need to keep your energy up and hydrated while in labour. Go for water or isotonic drinks. For snacks, dried fruit and nuts are good as well as muesli bars.
  • Disposable/black knickers - You probably won't be wearing these again, so go for cheap supermarket ones and make sure they are big.
  • Nursing bras & breast pads - If you are planning to breastfeed.
  • Maternity towels - I like to get at least 1 pack of good quality maternity towels for the first day or 2 as they are more padded than your regular sanitary towels. They also don't absorb the blood quite as much making it easier for the midwife to see any problems if needs be. After that I stock up on the most absorbent night sanitary towels to see me through the next few weeks.
  • Going home outfit - You don't need anything glamorous, just loose and comfy. Your bump will go down a bit, but you probably won't be back into your pre-pregnancy clothes just yet.
  • Arnica pills - I didn't use these with my first birth, but I really want to eliminate as much pain post birth as possible this time, so will be giving these a try.
  • Tissues - I generally never leave the house without a packet of tissues with me, so they are a must for my hospital bag.
  • Lip balm - You can get really dried out in the hospital, so a lip balm will help to keep your lips hydrated
  • Towel - You may not need to use your own, but it's always worth packing. But don't pack your best towel as it could get stained.
  • Dry shampoo - You will most likely have a shower or bath after giving birth, but you may not feel up to washing your hair. This will help refresh your hair without the effort of washing it.
  • Toiletries - Either buy travel size or use your regular products in small bottles.

For baby 

  • Nappies - Babies can go through quite a few nappies in one day, so you may need at least 1 pack.
  • Water wipes/cotton wool - It's advised that you don't use any sort of chemicals on your baby for at least the 1st month as their skin is so delicate.
  • 3 Sleep suits & vests - You may need more than 3, but you can always have extra's packed in the car. If you think there's a chance you're having a big baby make sure you don't just pack tiny sleep suits.
  • 1 pair of socks - You can pop these on under or over their sleep suit if they get cold.
  • 1 Cardigan - The same goes for a cardigan, useful to have if your baby gets a little cold.
  • Hat & mitts - Babies can loose a lot of heat through their head, so a hat will help keep them warm. Mitts may not be essential if your sleep suits come with inbuilt mitts. I will be packing a set of outdoor hat and mitts since my baby will be born in winter, as well as a thinner hat for indoors.
  • 1 blanket - The hospital may provide you with a blanket for the baby while in the hospital, but this will come in use when you leave to go home, especially in the colder months.
  • 5 muslin squares - Ideal for feeding, winding and mopping up just about everything.
  • Going home outfit - You may want something special set out for your baby to go home in. But a comfy babygrow will be your best option.
  • Car seat - Often you'll find that the midwives won't let you leave the hospital unless your baby is strapped in their car seat.

Would you add anything to my list above?

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