Have you got your hospital bag packed?
With my first child, I remember being so organised and having my hospital bag packed weeks before she was due to arrive. My dates were actually a week different to the scan dates so I wanted to pack a little earlier than necessary. As it happened, I was induced after being 4 days late due to my hind waters breaking!
I had so much in my bag, literally everything you could imagine!
What I found second time round was it was better to pack 2 bags, one for when I was in labour and one for when baby was born, which I left in the boot of the car, just in case I needed to stay in.
After 2 children and chatting with lots of mummy friends it seems that most of them did the same.
As a helping hand, I thought it would be useful to compile a list of useful items for each bag.
- Toiletries – flannel, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair bobbles, brush shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lip balm
- Make-up – you may want just a little bit of powder and gloss for a new born family pic.
- Face wipes to keep you cool
- Thin, dark dressing gown and slippers / flip flops (maternity units are so hot!)
- Nighties – perhaps cotton and if you want to breastfeed, have some that unbutton down the front
- Nursing bra and breast pads
- Nipple cream – if you choose to breastfeed and the latch isn’t right it will be painful!
- Hand sanitizer
- Comfy knickers – several pairs
- Maternity pads
- Mobile phone and charger
- Hospital notes and birth plan
- Tens machine (some Children’s Centres hire them out for a small fee).
- Comfy joggers and a vest / t shirt
- Newborn nappies, cotton wool, little pot for warm water during nappy changing.
- Vests and babygros for baby
- Muslins / bibs
- You may also want to take your birth ball, in case the hospital ones are in use
- IPod to help you stay relaxed.
- Magazines – some labours are quick while others can take a bit longer.
- Snacks for you and your birthing partner.
- Coins for the car park meter
It’s worthwhile getting your birth partner to pack a bag with a few essential items for them too, including a full charged camera!
If you plan to go in the birthing pool and want to keep a bit of dignity, it might be worth popping a loose vest top in your bag that you can throw away after.
But believe me, when you’re in labour, keeping your dignity is the last on your mind and you will have forgotten all about it when your bundle of joy is in your arms!
New baby bag
The bag that I kept in the car just had a few extra bits, I just sent the labour bag home for washing, keeping some of the bits with me, and replaced it with the new baby bag.
- More nappies
- Clean nightie and underwear
- More vests and babygros
- Scratch mitts
- Going home outfit for you and baby.
- Blanket for baby.
- Newborn teddy / soft toy
It’s also essential to have your baby car seat if you’re going home by car too, that can be brought into the hospital just as you’re about to leave.
I must say, it was only second time round that I did this, first time round it was, take everything, just in case!!
Both my labours were very different, with my daughter I had to stay in for a few days, (I won’t bore you with the details), and with my son we were in and out within 11hrs!
Just concentrate on your breathing and before you know it, you’ll be a proud mummy!
Written by Gemma one of our Dorset organisers