So the last time I packed a hospital bag, it was all kitted out for a perfectly serene and straight forward birthing experience. I had an overnight bag (insert eye-roll here) mostly stuffed with cotton wool, nappies and mini bottles of shampoo. My biggest concerns were “which of my nice new PJ’s should I bring?” and “what will be my baby’s going home outfit?”.
This time around, I haven’t got time for any of that crap and my packing strategy is based soley on comfort and survival. I’m also taking a mother-effing suitcase. Yes you heard me a suitcase, one with wheels and plenty of extra zips and pockets. This folks, isn’t my first rodeo…
What I Recommend Packing In Any Hospital Bag
- Old Nightwear/Loungewear: Yeah don’t buy yourself new PJ’s for post birth hospital comfort/ photo’s – save your decent stuff for when you get home. Truth is a lot of you and your clothes are going to get blood/ poo/ urine and milk splattered. So don’t add insult to injury by ruining your lovely Joules or John Lewis jammies.
- Dressing Gown: Take it so when you want to wander the corridors in search of a vending machine, you wont have to fuck about putting a bra on beforehand.
- HUGE Fat Persons Knickers: For the love of God, do not buy those paper maternity pants – you will have suffered enough. Buy cheap, supermarket full briefs in a size bigger than you need. They will accommodate the extra padding you’ll be stuffing down there plus you wont be fussed about binning or burning them afterwards.
- Whopping Great Sanitary Pads: To twin with your glamorous underwear choice, you are going to need a lot of pads. Last time I wasted money on buying the ones specifically labelled ‘maternity towels‘, which I recall never stuck securely to my knickers and couldn’t cope well with the flow in the first weeks. I recommend buying a variety (winged and padded) of quality night time heavy flow actual menstrual sanitary towels.
- Clothes: Just one change of clothes for going home should do it, if you end up needing more then someone can always pick stuff up from the house as and when.
- Breast Feeding/ Leakage Paraphernalia: Breast pads/ nursing bras/ breast pump. I’ve been sent a big box of Day and Night Pads from Ardo, along with their Gold Nipple Cream.
- Food: Seriously take food, you have no idea how long you are going to be there. Of course they do feed you but you know – you might fancy something more along the lines of a Kit Kat or a Diet Coke post birth.
- Entertainment: Ipads/ chargers/ books/ laptops/ music players. All perfectly legitimate things to bring along for birthing and recovering.
- Obvious Others: Deodrant/ skin wipes/ moisturiser/ shower gel/ hair brush / hair bands/ towel/ toothbrush/ toothpaste/ eyemask and ear plugs (both very helpful if on a ward – particularly during early stages of induction).
- Clothes: I’d start with three sleepsuits and three vests, other people can always get more for you from home if needed. Trouble is – what bloody size though. It’s hard to know isn’t it? Finley was predicted to be a right chubber in a scan four weeks before his birth but ended up weighing just shy of 7lbs. This time I’m going to take newborn stuff with me (5-9lbs) as opposed to up to 0-3 months. Also a little hat for the little head.
- Nappies: Last time I neatly packed about 25 nappies into my bag, this time I’m just going to sling an unopened pack of 70 nappies over my shoulder. I haven’t forgotten how many nappies newborns go through a day and any you don’t use can just come home with you.
- Baby Wipes: Sod the cotton wool it’s a pain in the arse, you need baby wipes. You can buy the sensitive ones or the water ones.
- Muslin Squares: For the milk voms.
What I Recommend Packing Especially For A C-Section Birth
- V Cushion – you need one of these and for when you get home as well
- Cushion for the car journey home- to stop the seat belt strap rubbing
- Dry Shampoo