Maybe it’s wishful thinking that baby number two will arrive early but I have officially packed a hospital bag! At 35 weeks I’m ready to go. So from 37 weeks when I’m “full term” this baby is more than welcome to make his appearance (my pelvis and digestive system would be ever so grateful).
So I thought a “hospital bag list” post might be in order! I know I searched through quite a lot of them last pregnancy so some first time mums might find it useful. This is a pretty thorough list and you may not need everything I’ve listed, but every birth/hospital experience is different. Some mums will labour mostly at home and go home within a day so a lot of these things won’t be needed and you may think it overkill. This is based on my first experience where I was induced so spent the whole labour in the birthing suite and then spent 5 days in hospital due to monitoring jaundice and our trouble getting breastfeeding established. However I think most first time mums spend an average of 3 days in hospital so I would go off that – you can always send dad out to pick up anything you didn’t bring.
One tip I found last time which was really good was to have a separate little bag which has everything you need for your first shower after the birth. Clean comfy clothes, maternity bra, maternity pads and any toiletries for your shower + toothbrush. If you have this at the top of your bag, you don’t have to go searching for all the bits you need – just grab this little bag and go. That first shower feeling and cup of tea are the best.
- Comfy top/clothes to labour in
- Bikini (if you’re having a water birth and don’t want to be completely nude – although to be fair, you probably won’t even care. But I like to be prepared!)
- Music (depending on what your hospital provides, we brought our own portable speakers to play music from our phone)
- Tea light candles – most hospitals won’t allow actual candles but you can get battery operated ones if you want a bit of dark mood lighting (especially if you’re labouring at night). Although these never made it out of my bag last time!
- Stress balls – these are great for squeezing, throwing at the wall, distracting you from the pain etc
- Lip balm/ chapstick – with all the heavy breathing you’ll be doing this is essential!
- Massage oil – great if you’re getting back contractions like I did
- Rescue remedy – I packed this last time and never actually used it. Something to think about if you are feeling stressed about labour. It’s a natural flower remedy to help deal with stress and anxiety. I haven’t actually used it so can’t tell you if it works or not. But worth a try maybe?
- Water and snacks – depending on what time you are in hospital, it can be hard to get food if kitchens are closed. Your partner will need food too!
- Camera or phone
- Hospital card and medicare card
- 3 comfy/feeding friendly tops
- 3 comfy dark pants
- Maternity bras
- Big black knickers you’re happy to throw away
- Maternity pads and breast pads
- Lansinoh – this nipple cream is a must have! Start using it before you need to!
- Toiletries – toothbrush/paste, shampoo, moisturiser, lip balm, deodorant, face wipes etc)
- Phone charger
- iPad – I didn’t have this last time but I ended up spending so much time in hospital, it would have been nice to have some tv shows to keep me company when my husband got sent home!
- 2 long hippies
- 2 body suits
- 2 singlets
- 2 leggings
- swaddle suit
- muslin wrap
- mittens (newborns can have really long, sharp nails so these will help to stop them scratching themselves. although so will a swaddle)
- nappies and wipes – hospital will often offer some of these but good to have a small supply yourself
- 2 cloth nappies (to use as burping cloths)
- dummy – this could be a bit controversial depending on your views on dummies. I didn’t take one last time and Milla never took to one. I’m taking one this time to see if it helps with settling but it will depend how breastfeeding is going also. Just bring it, can’t hurt to be prepared!
Ok I think that’s it. Unless I forgot something? A sense of humour? Ha!
May the force be with us!