As my due date draws ever closer I have come to the realisation that I am actually going to have to give birth again and it is about time I think about packing for labour.
As crazy as it sounds when I first found out we were expecting nearly 8 months ago it seemed such a long way off I didn’t really think about it too much. With the pending house move, three children to look after, work and then the added craziness of Covid-19 being thrown into the mix up until now I haven’t really thought too much about the birth.
Last week my midwife called and we went through my birth plan, as much as you can’t plan a birth it’s always good to have a rough idea of how you want it to go. It then dawned on me I needed to really sort my hospital bags out as she could be arriving any day now.
I did have all the bits and bobs I need dotted around the house but the thought of trying to locate them all whilst in labour isn’t appealing so I packed up by little suitcase and it’s now sitting in the corner of the bedroom ready to be called upon at a moments notice.
So what am I packing in my hospital bag?
I have tried to pack in order of when I will need things, so the things I will need during labour are on top the things I will need after the birth are underneath and the bits for baby are in another section. Keeping it organised just means I know if I’m in a lot of pain the stuff will be easy for my other half to locate.
What to pack in your hospital bag for during labour?
- Maternity notes – top of the bag always, this midwife will need them as soon as you arrive.
- Something to give birth in. A loose nighty that allows for skin to skin after birth is the best.
- Hair bands, trust me you will want your hair off your face.
- Water bottle
- Snacks; now personally I have never eaten a thing during my labours but you may want to also good to pack some for your birthing partner too – labour can be LONGGG.
- Cooling mist & a hand held fan, my baby is due in August so it’s going to be HOT but even when in labour with my previous winter babies I did get very hot and bothered.
- Changes of underwear. You’ll need plenty for after the baby is born too but have them easy to grab you might just want a freshen up.
- Flannels/wipes. Feeling like a hot sticky mess isn’t fun having some wipes or a flannel you can wipe your face with or remove any make up will make you feel so much better.
- Slppers/flipflops, again these are good for after the birth but you may want them during labour if your walking up and down trying to get the baby moving a bit quicker.
Non essentials but nice to consider
- Essential oils, I love lavender and have been using it every evening during my pregnancy as a pillow mist or in moisturiser – I am taking some with me to hopefully encourage a calm environment.
- Pregnancy pillow. Again it’s all about the home comforts labour can be long you want to be as comfortable as possible.
- Head phones; some calming music can work wonders.
- lip balm; gas and air can make your lips really dry its well worth packing a lip balm.
What to pack in your hospital bag for after birth?
- A couple of changes of pj’s/nighty’s etc – go for dark colours and something that allows easy feeding (if you choose to breastfeed)
- Undies. I wouldn’t bother with disposable underwear if I am honest just grab a multipack of big black knickers from primark!
- Slippers – as mentioned above.
- Breast pads and nursing bras. I am using the close reusable waterproof breast pads this time around, less waste and they’re super soft they also come in a handy little mesh laundry bag that can go straight in the machine to wash them.
- Maternity pads, the bigger the better. Do not under estimate how much you will bleed after you give birth, it is not just like a normal period no matter what they may tell you.
- Toiletries; the first shower after you’ve had your baby is the best shower you’ll ever have make sure you have your shower gel etc ready to grab. I am taking a mini shampoo and conditioner too although it’s unlikely i will wash my hair straight away just in case I have to stay in or anything.
- Camera’s/phones/chargers; for capturing all those newborn moments and keeping friends and family. It may be the last thing on your mind but always good to have the option.
Other things to consider
- Does your hospital provide towels? Mine does so I won’t be taking my own but it’s worth checking first.
- Paracetamol – after birth pains are real, your hospital will probably provide this but i’d chuck in a pack just in case.
- Spritz for bits, I have heard really good things about this but not used it personally myself – it’s meant to be very soothing for your bits after birth.
- Take a spare squeezy water bottle, weeing after birth can be really sore diluting it a little by pouring water will ease that sting.
What to pack in your hospital bag for your baby?
- Clothes – I am taking 3 vests and 3 baby grows for baby girl. There should be no reason for us to have to stay in so I’m keeping it light, if you know you’ll likely be in the hospital for a few days after you may want to pack more. I can always send for more clothes to be dropped if we need it.
- Cotton wool
- Nappy bags
- Car seat – I would leave it in the car until you’re leaving though.
- Red record book
Other things to consider
- Bottles and formula, if you’re not planning to breastfeed you’ll need some ready made formula bottles – some hospitals also provide this so worth talking to your midwife before.
Those are my hospital essentials for me and baby, as I say I am quite hopefully I will be in and out in 24 hours so I am packing quite light. I can have extras dropped up if we do need them along the way.
Is there anything else you found essentials and would add to the hospital bag list?