Now the time has come and your due date is edging closer and closer and its time to pack your hospital bag - what should you pack, what are the essentials? It can be such a daunting task and its so furstrating on where to start. Here is some checklists on the essential items you need to be packing - hope this helps.
What should I pack for labour?
- Your birth plan and maternity notes.
- Dressing gown. This can be useful when you are pacing corridors in the early stages of labour, hospitals can be very warm so try to pack a nice lightweight one.
- Backless slip-on slippers, that are easy to get on and off.
- Socks. Believe it or not, your feet can get cold during labour.
- Old t shirt or nightie (one that you feel super comfortable in). It will probably get a bit messy, so don't buy anything specially to wear in hospital.
- Massage oil or lotion if you would like to be massaged during your labour.
- Snacks and drinks for you while you are in labour
- Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, magazines, or a tablet computer.
- Hairbands or a clip. If you have long hair, you may want it tied up.
- A Tens Machine if you are planning on using one.
- Bottle of water – choose one with a sports lid
- Healthy, energy-boosting snacks – labour can be a long and tiring business
What should my birth partner pack?
- Water spray or a hand-held fan, to cool you down while you're in labour.
- Comfortable shoes. They may be pacing the corridors!
- A change of clothes. Your birth partner might not get the chance to have a shower for quite a while!
- Bendy straws, to help you to have a drink during labour.
- Swimwear, if they want to join you in a birth pool.
- Mobile phone and charger. If their mobile has a stopwatch/timer function, they can use it to help time your contractions. Or if they have a smartphone, there are apps available that can do the job for them.
- Digital camera or camera phone to take photos or a short film of the birth and early moments with your baby.
- Snacks and drinks. You don't want a dehydrated, hungry birth partner looking after you. If they bring some snacks and drinks with them, they can stay with you, rather than leaving the room to search for food!
- Magazines, newspaper, tablet and music – there’s often a lot of waiting
- Change for car park/vending machine – in the rush, this is easy to forget
- Contraction timing app – very handy indeed!
What shall I pack for after the birth?
- A going-home outfit. You'll need loose comfortable clothes to wear while you're in hospital and for the journey home. It will take a while for your tummy to go down, so you'll probably still need your maternity clothes when you get home.
- Handouts about how to get breastfeeding started, which you received at your antenatal classes. If you have a contact card for a breastfeeding counsellor or specialist, take that with you too.
- Nursing bras. Bring two or three.
- Breast pads.
- Maternity pads. Bring a couple of packs. Old pant or disposable maternity knickers
- Nightshirt or T-shirt. Front-opening shirts are useful in the early days of breastfeeding.
- Toiletries. Decant these into smaller bottles, or buy travel versions, to save on space in the postnatal ward. You may sweat more after birth, so take a deodorant.
- Towels, hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Old or cheap knickers, or disposable knickers. Don't bring your best ones as they will get messy.
- Nipple cream – works wonders on sore nipples during breastfeeding
- Eye mask and earplugs, to help you sleep on a brightly lit, noisy ward.
- Mobile phone and charger – let close friends and family know the happy news
- A comfy going home outfit – you’ll probably still look 5 to 6 months’ pregnant and you’ll want your clothes to be comfortable
What should I pack for my baby?
- Two or three sleepsuits and vests.
- Baby blanket. Although hospitals are very warm, your baby may need a blanket if it's chilly outside when you leave.
- Nappies, cotton wool, nappy bags Your newborn will go through as many as 12 in a day.
- Muslin squares, for mopping up any milk your baby brings up (possetting).
- One pair of socks or booties.
- Scratch mittens if the sleepsuits don’t have these built in
- One outfit for the trip home (all-in-one stretchy outfits are easiest).
- Baby car seat. Some hospitals won't let you leave by car without one.
- Jacket or snowsuit for winter babies (remove before placing your baby in a car seat)
Other bits and pieces
- Lip balm – the air on hospital wards can feel very dry
- Support pillow – hugely helpful for the first feed
- Contact lenses or glasses – only if you need them!
- Flannel or sponge – even a quick wash will help you feel fresher
- Disposable bags – useful for taking home dirty clothes
If you haven't already been in touch and booked in your newborn photography session for when your little bundle arrives - please ensure you get in touch asap to secure your slot so that we can capture these special first memories.
Love Nic xx
drop me a text with DUE DATE (your due date) to 07912966299 and i will check for availability