The art of packing enough, without taking the kitchen sink to hospital, is a fine one. I have some Bump’s who don’t want to pack one at all for fear of jinxing their planned home birth. I have others who are packing 2, one incase of a short stay and one that a family member could bring in if the stay is prolonged.
Whatever you decide I think the important thing to remember is that, in this country we are fortunate, nothing is impossible to get hold of, and hospitals have the absolute essentials- so don’t panic. If you want to put things into perspective take a read of this wonderful article on the BBC news website - “In pictures: Inside the maternity bags of expectant mothers”. See the pictures taken by photographers working for the charity WaterAid, they took a peek inside the maternity bags of expectant mothers around the world. The decision on what to take is in part dictated by whether the hospital has clean water!!
However, packing a bag is an essential task for baby preparation so I have put together a list of ideas for you here.
- Maternity notes including your birth plan
- 2 nighties, button down ones are perfect for skin/skin and breast feeding.
- Socks, nice thick fluffy ones as it can get cold in hospital.
- Slippers or flip flops dependant on the time of year.
- Vaseline, dual purpose- lips can get very dry in hospital and also perfect to put onto babies bottom before they do their first “tar like” poo, it makes it MUCH easier to clean off!
- Drinks- at least a couple and make sure you like them. Isotonic energy drinks like Lucozade sport are perfect for hydrating and giving you energy at the same time.
- Snacks- biscuits, nuts, anything you like that is easy to eat.
- Your own pillow and/or a nursing pillow.
- TENs machine- we hire these at Fit Bumps and Mums for £20 including single patient pads and spare batteries.
- Birth ball if heading to Treliske. Penrice have their own you can use.
- Music and entertainment e.g. books, magazines to pass time.
- Wet wipes- to freshen yourself up.
- Camera (although most people use phones these days) and phone charger!
- Change for the car park, Penrice is free and Treliske you can buy a week pass if you end up being in a while
- Hair brush and hair tie
- Bikini top if you are hoping for a water birth and want a bit of modesty (do not even bother with a swim skirt...this was a silly mistake that I made. It continued to float up annoying me, until I removed it after about 10 minutes!)
- Large (at least a size or two bigger) inexpensive black granny pants.
- Maternity pads (consider Cloth Sanitary Pads- I will do a separate blog on these) have at least one pack in your bag the bleeding can be very heavy initially.
- Toileties, consider this Nivea Travel Pack which has all the essentials
- Abdominal support- soon to be stocked at Fit Bumps and Mums (another blog to follow)
- Nappies (newborns can go through as many as 12 in a day)
- A couple of vests and soft baby grows, mittens and a hat.
- Nursing bras- hotmilk are my absolute favourite, although you may just want some really soft cottons ones for in hospital
- Muslin squares
- A Blanket
- Jacket or snow suit for taking baby home if they are born in Winter
In a second bag you might pack:
- Extra clothes for yourself, keep these comfy Delivery Suite is not a fashion show
- Plenty of nappies and spare clothes for baby, again simple baby grows and vests are perfect for a new born.
- Earplugs and eye masks (to try and get some much needed sleep in a busy environment)
- Extra muslins
- Breast pads/nipple sheilds/lansinoh nipple cream
- Cotton wool- a must for cleaning up baby with plain water in the first weeks when baby wipes can be too harsh.
- Night time rescue remedy and Arnica capsules
- Dry shampoo- incase you don’t manage to wash your hair very regularly!
For your birth partner (as recommended by my husband!):
- drinks and snacks
- spare t-shirt/clothes