The difference between my first hospital bags and my second hospital bag (notice I only have one this time!), other than the amount of stuff I’m taking is what I’m taking. There are the absolute non-negotiable essentials but a few other little bits that I hope will make it out of the bag before I come home this time!
It’s been so long since I’ve packed a hospital bag I had to quiz the Wakefield Mumblers in our chat group for suggestions, I was surprised how much I had forgotten! Their initials can be found in brackets!
Something to give birth in something to go home in
Wear as little or as much as you like, just so you’re prepared not only are hospital infernos anyway you’ll be extra hot. Last time I gave birth wearing two hospital gowns one covering the front and on the back, like a dressing gown. Pack a nightie or two, go for a deep dark colour, light colours are going to show leaks.
Pack something to wear home, unless you’re Kate Middleton it probably doesn’t matter to anyone but you, so go for baggy and comfy. You’ll still look 9 months pregnant except you’ll have a baby in a car seat too!
Water spray bottle (EM)
Giving birth makes you hot, you’ll cool down quickly if your birth partner sprays your face with a mist of water. It also gives them something useful to do so they don’t annoy the hell out of you.
Slippers/flip flops (CJ)
I forgot them last time! No matter how often they are cleaned, hospital floors are dusty and dirty, you don’t want to be dragging that into your bed everytime you get back from the loo.
Big dark coloured knickers or disposables (RS)
Now you don’t really want to see what is leaking out of your mega pad. I bought knickers and washed them, other’s I know swear by disposables it’s all personal choice.
Snacks/food/ isotonic drinks and straws (RC)
I had these packed last time and never opened my bag. I did eat the Jelly babies the following day though! I’ve packed them this time as everything could be different and there’s no way Mr Mumbler is leaving me to go and feed himself! One of the Mumblers had pot noodle
Lip balm (EP) and straws for sipping water
Gas and air makes your mouth and lips dry, you can also use nipple balm.
Dressing Gown (EP)
You won’t care what you look like when you’re up and about after the birth but, the other new daddies probably don’t want to see everything hanging out! Pack a thin summer one though, did I mention hospitals can be a bit on the warm side?
Breast pads and Nursing bra (AM)
Your boobs might leak and if you are going to breastfeed, a good nursing bra will make life easier.
I love this stuff! I have to admit that I’ve already used it. Everything just gets a bit swollen down below as you near the end of your pregnancy, you might also get piles. After the birth you’re a but sire and bruised regardless of any stiches, this stuff is great to relieve some of the swelling, heat and tightness that you might feel. Put it in the fridge and spritz away. One of the best things about this product is the fact you can spray with the bottle upside down-genius. That’s why it’s been nominated for a Mother and Baby Award!
I’m not one for being touched during labour, but lots of women find that their partner massaging their lower back really helps, and again occupies them so they can’t irritate you and eat all the snacks. This oil smells lovely and if you’ve been using it before the birth at home, you’ll associate that smell with feeling happy and relaxed and hopefully have a fabulous birthing experience.
Phone charger ipod/headphones
You could be there hours/days before, during or after the birth. If you’re hypnobirthing you can also listen to your relaxations too. You’ll want your phone fully charged to take lots of pictures and so that you can let the family know that baby has arrived.
Don’t overindulge! But hospitals and birth centres can be packed and midwives can be rushed off their feet, I think we’d all prefer they caught a baby than were faffing about getting someone paracetamol. Take your own with you but be honest about what you’ve taken and when.
Fragranced body washes and gels sting after you’ve given birth so be gentle!
Face and Fanny flannels
I’m not even joking! I have two flannels both pink (one light and one dark). They are in ziplock bags the light one is clearly marked with ‘Face’, the darker one has ‘NO!’ written on the bag. This is so that when someone else gets your flannel out of your bag for you they don’t start mopping your brow with a flannel that you wiped your bits with! Make sure you explain this to your birth partner.
In hospital last time I started to breastfeed, I had no idea what I was doing or anything about it really. I was given a sample of a very popular brand of lanolin, which in all honesty was an absolute lifesaver. Great on my dry lips, baby’s dry lips and of course soothed the nipples. The only negative thing about it is that it is really thick. My Expert Midwife has developed their own lanolin balm that is much thinner and smoother, without losing its magical powers.
Edit: I just gave birth last week and this time I was in hospital 2 days prior ( 4 in total). I really needed and eye mask and some earplugs after the first night sharing a 6 bed bay with other women in labour/ being induced.
I also found out that you can get 1 week parking permits where you can leave and return as often as you like for much less than paying per hour. Shame I found out on day four of my husband paying per hour!