Don’t forget your toothbrush! With so many things to remember on a daily basis when you are pregnant and the clock is ticking to your due date, it’s time to prepare for your hospital bag. If you haven’t been on a holiday in a while then you can imagine that you are going on one. So, lets get started.
What to pack for Mum (that’s you):
- The essentials. This means your identification, your hospital administration notice, your insurance card and if there is anything that the hospital need to know about your particular medical history with certification.
- Your phone, your charger and possibly a battery pack
- Extra hairbands and hair clips. There’s a lot of movement going on and it can be very annoying to be swiping your hair from you face every contraction.
- Toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, cleanser and moisturizer)
- Lip balm and body butter. Hospitals can by very drying.
- Heat pillow
- Your own pillow and pillowcase for sleeping better
- PJ’s that are nursing friendly and caesarian friendly. Think nursing chemise and robe.
- Water bottle – one handed if possible so you can operate easily
- Big undies and lots of them. When you have a baby, the flow can be like your heaviest hour on your period for more than 3 days or more. Make sure your knickers have a good amount of stretch in them as you don’t want them to be tight, nor do you want them to be baggy. These can be your throw away briefs. Not only will they have to hold your pad in place, but also can also hold an ice pack and your very very sensitive and tender parts. These will also be perfect if you have a caesarian.
- Spare change (coins and cash) for the vending machine, coffee, car parking, magazines etc.
- Face wipes
- Minimal make up (there’s a camera remember…)
- Slippers, Flip-flops and/or socks. Socks can sometime be easier if you are to be getting in and out of bed continually. Slippers or flip-flops can be preferred if there are a lot of trips to the bathroom.
- Transition bra. What’s a transition bra? The go between bra from maternity to nursing. When your milk comes in after you have your baby, your breasts may increase in size dramatically and may be super sensitive and tender. Opt for something that is seamless and super stretchy so you are comfortable and supported and wont cause any ligament damage that could result in sagging. You can wear these 24 hours a day. Try Charley Maternity Flourish or Serenity for great comfort on a budget.
- Breast pads
- What you want to wear home: Remember that you will still look approx. 6 months pregnant. Take note of the extra items that you may be stashing in your underwear, so skinny jeans might not be the best look. If you will be breastfeeding, you will need a top that opens easily for this.
- Music – most hospitals will let you play your own music but it’s best to check the source first. Try and have a mixed bag of music to take you from start to finish. Most mums end up turning off the relaxation session music and wish for something more uplifting. Remember to know yourself and what gets you in the mood for the task at hand – thinking ‘push it by salt and pepper’.
- Journal and pen (great for writing down contractions and also for reflecting afterwards).
What to pack for baby:
- Make sure your car seat is properly installed – most hospitals won’t let you leave without this.
- Nappies or diapers – these can also come in handy for yourself if you run out of sanitary items
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Wraps or muslins
- Baby blanket
- Clothes to take baby home in
- Clothes to change baby in and out of in hospital. Tops and pants as well as full suits. You might have a few leaks when you are changing 12 nappies a day, with a bottom that doesn’t quite seal with the new born nappy size. You never know.
- Socks and hat or beanie. Hospitals can be cold and newborns are very sensitive to cold.
What to pack for other siblings:
This might not be your first baby. It may be your first baby and not your partner’s first baby. It shows a great amount of consideration when you are packing something for the other members of the family too. Please note, even if they don’t need anything at all, make sure you add something in the bag for them. This could be something like the following, all age and gender dependent too:
- Colouring in book and markers
- Muesli bars (not peanut – in case of hospital allergen restrictions)
- iPad and headphones (fully charged and remember the charger / battery pack too)
Hot tip: Pre-download their favourite series or movies for brownie points.
What to pack for partner:
Snacks and lots of them. Your partner will most likely not be eating at least one main meal and could possibly be more skipped meals, so make sure to bring enough snacks to sustain them throughout your labor. Make sure they are healthy but not too healthy. Some suggestions are:
- Nuts. These are great as they provide fullness as well as energy. Avoid peanuts as mentioned above.
- Dried fruit (not too much because you don’t want them running off to the toilet mid-contraction)
- Protein bars (check out the nutrition aisle at your supermarket)
- Hydration tablets – these work wonders under stressful situations
- Water bottle
- Coffee refillable cup
- The notification list:
Have prepared a list of people to text or call for when baby arrives. Maybe the godparents won’t appreciate a public Facebook post. So it’s best to sort out who gets a special message before the baby arrives for when the baby arrives.
- Massage oil (this is for you by the way, but your hubby will be the wielder of it)
- Headache tablets (yes, you will be in a hospital and the moments will be stressful. Best to have a few, just in case)
- Charged camera and memory card
- Present from baby to any siblings (brownie points plus!)
Hot tip: After you have packed the bag, unpack it and ask your partner to re-pack it. They will be the ones that will need to know what is in it and where each item is.
Hot tip 2: avoid the celebratory cigars at this point as smoking is frowned upon within a circumference of most hospitals.
Remember that while there are no weight or luggage restrictions, you will have to take items home with you so try not to over pack. You will also be bringing home your baby and possibly flowers or gifts from the hospital so try and pack only the things you think you might need. Although a wise woman did say, “It is better to have and not need, than need and not have”.