My hospital bag’s been packed for a while now but a dream I had the other night left me trying to remember whether I’d packed a hat or a blanket for baby, or what I’d actually packed. So the bag was brought inside again so that I could sort, repack and take the opportunity to photograph the bits to create a post that I hope is useful.
The first three things are bulky items. I’ve packed these as flatly as possible at the bottom of my suitcase. See below for the size of the bag I’m using.
I’m taking my fluffy dressing gown that hubby bought me just before our wedding. Depending on the weather of when you are due, I’d opt for a light weight dressing gown in the summer and a fluffy one for winter. Dressing gowns are great for comfort and hiding any wobbly belly’s or leakages you may experience.
I don’t think I can stress enough that the towel you pack just has to be a black towel and preferably the biggest towel you own for maximum coverage. Seeing a blood stained towel is just horrific! If you have space in your bag, pack two, one for your hair and one for your body. Otherwise, one is plenty.
I didn’t actually pack this at first. I don’t know why but it just slipped my memory. I had checked the hospital website and it was one of the items they say I’d need, however, I’m not 100% sure I remember packing a blanket. We’ve opted for the traditional waffle blanket. I find these much safer than other more solid blankets. Ours is cot sized but a pram size would be sufficient.
The next set of items are for me and are for the duration of my stay. Obviously, I know that if I have to stay any longer than one night then I can get hubby to bring extra bits to the hospital.
Pack a pair of fluffy socks. I was once told that your feet get really cold during labour, it’s quite true. Plus, I hate slippers so the fluffy socks give me a little bit of padding when walking on the floor at the hospital during and after labour. My fluffy socks are also really loose so help with circulation.
Pack two bras. I only packed one with P2 and regretted it, we ended up traveling miles on our journey home to go to Kiddicare Thurrock for a new bra as the one I’d packed was irritating me. Before giving birth the bra was fine. Your boobies change in sizes drastically when you give birth, whether you choose to breastfeed or not will depending on the bra you take with you but make sure it’s comfortable.
Pack at least three pairs of knickers. I’ve opted for black ones for the after birth and some white/patterned ones for during labour if I need to change what I’m already wearing. Make sure they will fit a maternity pad comfortably and securely.
I have a long pink coloured top that I plan to take with me, it was actually in the tumble dryer when I took these photos, and as long as I’m at home when I go into labour and leave for the hospital I’ll be able to grab it as it’s a top I wear frequently to lounge in. It’s very baggy but is long enough to give me a little bit of dignity during labour.
I have also packed two baggy tops, one of which is my hubby’s that he’s kindly let me have. I wouldn’t necessarily opt for white as a colour preference but it just happens to be the only baggy tops I own. I’m saying baggy and loose as it will keep you cooler and allow for any wires to be attached to your belly for monitoring purposes.
I wouldn’t suggest wearing any bottoms during labour. The midwives tend to check you a lot and as long as you have a long top or dress, or even a nightie on, you’ll be absolutely fine.
After Birth and Going Home Outfits
Depending on if you’ve used both of the baggy tops from above, you can use one to wear after birth. Make sure it’s easy to use during breastfeeding though. Or even a nightie would work fantastically.
PJ bottoms will keep you warmer and a bit more dignified and will keep your maternity pad in a better position.
For going home, I’ve packed some jogging bottoms, a loose top and a jumper. These are to cover my wobbly bits and the maternity pad to make me feel more comfortable and less self conscious. I actually went home in my PJs with P2 and felt like everyone was staring at me as I left the hospital. I’m not making that mistake again.
Toiletries are important. With P2 I had packed a little bag for hubby that included a travel toothbrush and deodorant. He didn’t use it so this time it’s been left out. I’m using a waterproof makeup bag to put most of my toiletries in including the breastpads and cotton wool.
Breastpads are a must even if you aren’t going to breastfeed. Your boobies may leak and it will all depend on you as to how much so always be prepared for optimum comfort. I’m only taking 4 pairs (8pads) which is going to be more than plenty. I’m using a cheaper version whilst at the hospital and have my trusty Lansinoh pads for when we get home.
Pack a hair band for labour and for after. It keeps it out of the way whilst you’re in labour and is quite a handy little item to have for afterwards when lots of pictures get taken.
I’ve packed little travel sized shower gel, toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo mainly because they take up less room and are also quite cheap in the supermarkets. They usually offer 4 for a £1 or something similar. I haven’t packed my toothbrush yet but like I said about the top, it’ll be ok as long as I go into labour at home which is quite predictable as I’m always at home other than school runs.
Nappies are obviously important. I remember packing loads for P2 and coming home with loads, so this time have decided to take just 10 and will get hubby to bring the rest up if my stay is due to be extended.
I’ve packed cotton wool and for the first time ever I’ve packed wipes. With P1, being premature, her skin was too delicate for wipes, but with P2 the hospital laughed when I took cotton wool in and asked for a bowl of water. So this time I’m taking both as it’s a new hospital. Plus, the cotton wool can be used for a gentle clean for me or baby. I’ve chosen to use our usual wipes rather than opting for any special sensitive ones as we have never had a problem with the “supermarket own” wipes.
Maternity pads cannot be forgotten!! You’ll need them whether you are having a c-section or a natural birth. It does say on the packet that you need 20 pads for the first two days, but I’m just taking 10 with me. I haven’t tried Tesco own yet but haven’t been to a Mothercare this pregnancy to get the ones I really loved last time. Hopefully they won’t fail me. The Mothercare ones were very chunky and much more reliable.
I nearly forgot to take photos of the odd bod bits. My suitcase that I’m using is a standard cabin one. I am a strong believer to try and fit everything into one bag and preferably one with wheels in case you are caughty without your birthing partner/s for a moment. I hate the idea and get slightly gobsmacked when I see people pack separate bags for mum, baby and going home. It’s just not needed!
Take cash, change preferably. For parking or the sweet trolley, or for any emergency spends like extra nappies or maternity pads.
Mobile Phone & Charger
I haven’t actually packed my charger. Hubby has a clever little set up in the car where we can charge our phones so a charger will always be near if need be.
Take some magazines or something that you like to do. I never needed anything during labour as with P1 I was in and out of sleep, and with P2 it all progressed quite quickly. But afterwards when baby is sleeping you do feel a little lost and lonely, especially if you aren’t expecting visitors. I’m taking my birth announcement cards to write.
After I gave birth to P2 I felt very ill. It took a jaffa cake or two for me to feel a little better. Make sure you pack energy enhancing snacks and a bottle of juice like Ribena or just a plain bottle of water. After I’d had P2 and was transfered onto the ward it took them 4 hours to bring me a jug of water. I’m going prepared this time, even if we have to stop off on the way to hospital!
If you’re reading this and it’s your first baby then skip this bit. When I was pregnant with P2, we were living with my parents so I didn’t need to worry about her not having any of her belongings when I went into labour which happened to be in the middle of the night, so P1 woke up not really knowing any difference except that I obviously wasn’t there. This time round it suddenly dawned on me that I’d need to pack a bag for both the girls for when they get shipped off to family whilst I’m absent. I tried to pack sensibly, not over the top with toys or food or hundreds of different outfits for different weather situations. Here’s what I’ve packed all into one small rucksack:
For P1 who is 5 years old and at school
I’ve packed a spare set of uniform. This includes a fresh jumper, blouse, pinafore, knickers and socks.
I have packed a full outfit which includes a top, jumper/cardigan, leggings, socks and knickers.
She also has her PJs packed.
For P2 who is 19 months old
P1 has a complete outfit, including vest, top, leggings and socks.
She also has her PJs.
I have packed a new pack of nappies and wipes, she also has a spare dummy in the bag.
P2 will also be dropped off with her changing bag which has her usual bits and another set of clothes.
This post took forever to write but I hope that it’s helped in some way. I’d love to know your thoughts on how I’ve packed and what I may have missed so please leave a comment.