So you’re getting prepared for the big day and you have probably been told you will need a bag with all the bits and pieces in that you’ll need. Hell, I had a suitcase packed! I ended up choosing a home birth but you will still need all your bits and bobs in one place so I left my hospital bag all packed even after I’d opted for a home birth.
Here are my top 10 Items you’ll need in your hospital bag…
1. Maternity towels
Almost as soon as you’ve given birth and you want to stand up, you’ll need these. They’re much thicker than normal sanitary towels and you will feel a bit like you have a brick between your legs but you will also probably be pretty numb down there too so won’t notice and believe me you’ll need the pads to soak up the waterfall between your legs.
2. Comfy clothes for after birth
Trust me you are going to want pj’s or something very similar to wear home. Sod what you look like – it’s not a fashion parade. You will want to be comfy. I had jogging bottoms and a nursing t shirt for after.
3. Clothes for baby
This is an obvious one but don’t go overboard. After our skin to skin and first feed etc. the midwife dressed our baby girl for us while I rested and recovered a little before she then gave her back to me for cuddles. She was in a small wrap around body suit and a sleepsuit over the top. Simple and warm.
4. Don’t forget nappies!
Nappies are a must. Your baby will need a nappy as soon as you get them dressed. Size 1 nappies should be packed. Pack a few. I think we packed 5 or so.
5. Giant pants
I cannot stress this enough. Go to Tesco or whichever supermarket is near you and buy a pack of super massive pants. Whatever size you normally are, add like 3 sizes and buy them. I got size 20 and 22 pants from Tesco and they were the best thing ever. They came up to nearly under my boobs but they were uber comfy and kept the brick between my legs in place!
Labour is long and if you think your other half or birth partner is going to get peckish then some snacks are a good idea. I didn’t want to eat at all but I had a fairly quick and intense labour so didn’t really have any downtime.
Remember your birth partner could be with you for over 12 hours so pack some snacks for them so that they don’t have to leave you to get food.
7. Water, water, water
I literally went through about 10 sports bottles of water. It was summer to be fair and there was a heatwave so it was bloody hot. Only downside to drinking lots was having to pee lots during labour and I tell you what, having a contraction on the toilet bloody hurts! But take water and make sure you stay hydrated. It’ll make peeing after birth much easier and the sooner you pee, the sooner you can go home.
8. Baby wipes
These are essential for dealing with that first poop – apparently. I got my partner to deal with that! Loads of people recommend cotton wool but that’s such a faff it’s unreal. Just use super sensitive fragrance free baby wipes.
9. Breast pads and nipple cream
Even if breastfeeding goes totally to plan, it’s worth having nipple cream. You’re unlikely to leak in those first few days or hours because your milk shouldn’t properly come in until your baby is a few days old. Nipple cream is more important here – it’s awesome and will help you through those first feedings which can be sore while you’re getting used to things.
10. Your A-Game
Sorry for the lameness but seriously, Labour is bloody hard and if you aren’t prepared mentally or physically it can be really tough. Make sure you pack your A-game!