Tuesday, 24 July 2018

What’s In My Hospital Bag?

Man, I feel like I’ve totally dropped out of the blogging bubble again! Once my thesis was finally out of the way, I had all these great ideas for posts and content, but this pregnancy has really taken it out of me, especially with the horrible heatwave we’ve been experiencing! I’ve also become a bit of a night owl, which is frustrating because I’m then left exhausted during the day, and requiring constant naps to maintain my energy levels. I’m fed up and sore, and I’m counting the days until I get to hold my wee bundle of joy… pregnancy definitely seems to get harder the more times you do it!
Sunday saw us reach the full term 37 week mark, so I thought it was finally time to think about packing the hospital bag. I’ve seen a few other bloggers do similar posts, and I found them very helpful, so I thought I’d share what I’m planning to take to the hospital for those who are interested:

For Mum
- Nightwear (dressing down, PJs, nightie, slippers) – I don’t plan on packing anything specific to give birth in (the hospital gown is fine for me), but for afters, I’ve got front opening nightwear to make breastfeeding a little easier. The example in the picture is from Happy Mama, who do a range of stylish clothing with much more choice than you get in the usual high street shops!
- Daywear – On my previous times in hospital, I’ve mostly stayed dressed in the nightwear, as I’ve never been in for that long before discharging myself. This time around, there’s mention of a c-section (as my baby is currently breech) so I’ve packed some leggings and nursing t-shirts (again purchased from Happy Mama) in order to help me feel a bit more human, post-birth!
- Socks – The midwives have been telling us about how women in labour literally get ‘cold feet’, so I purchased a 5-pack from Tesco for the bargain price of £2.50!
- Nursing Bras – As I’m hoping to breast feed, I’ve bought another couple of nursing bras to make the process easier. The previous times I’ve had babies, the selection on offer didn’t appear to be very fashionable, but Mothercare seemed to have a pretty decent selection this time around.
- Breast Pads – Whether breastfeeding or not, your boobs will leak, so it’s important to have a stash of breast pads to avoid any embarrassing t-shirt disasters, especially when your baby is crying! The ones I have were among the goodies supplied in our Scottish Baby Box, which we received a few weeks ago.
- Maternity Pads – One of the less glamorous aspects of giving birth is definitely the blood loss afterwards, which seems to make up for the fact that you’ve not had a period for the past 9 months! You will need some heavy duty pads to avoid any accidental leakage, although they are not always the most comfortable things to wear. I’ve gone for the cheap ones supplied with the aforementioned Baby Box for the initial blood loss, followed by some comfier Always maxi pads for later, which seem to help ease any discomfort associated with stitches. Regardless of what you choose, make sure not to get anything too absorbent, as it’s important to change pads regularly after giving birth, to avoid the risk of infection.
- Big Pants! – In order to house these monstrously big pads, you will need some big pants to go along with them! I picked up a 5-pack from M&S (£12), but there are places where you can get cheaper alternatives. My Mum also supplied me with some disposable maternity pants, so I don’t have to wash any of the initial ones that I wear.
- Toilet bag and toiletries – I used Ayden’s hospital bag post to keep myself right when trying to remember what toiletries to take. I settled on the 3 for 2 holiday miniatures offer in Boots, and picked up: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, face wipes, deodorant, and a miniature toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Towels – I’m never sure if the hospital will have enough towels for the shower, so I’m packing my own spare ones, just in case!
- Magicool Cooling Facial Spray – This is the one item I’ve always had during labour, and it really does make a difference! My midwife even admitted that she loves it when ladies bring it into the labour ward as they often offer it to her too!
- Snacks – Labour can often be a very long experience and, while the hospital will provide you with some food throughout your stay, it’s sometimes nicer to have your own wee treats on hand. I’ve gone for some sports Lucozade drinks, some banana flavoured Japanese snacks, some Kinder Bueno and a personalised bar of chocolate that my pal Lesley gave me at our baby shower!
- Lip Balm – This is an easy one to forget, but your lips can get very dry during Labour, especially if you are using gas and air. Megan spotted a cheap cherry flavoured one the last time we were at the shops, so I picked up that for the hospital.
- Hair Bobbles – Another easy one to forget, and definitely something to consider as your hair will get awful sweaty during labour!
- Nipple Cream – From my own experiences of breast feeding, I know that nipples can get very sore and cracked. Packing a good nipple cream is definitely an essential item!
- Plastic Bag for Dirty Washing – You don’t want to get anything else dirty when you’re throwing all your stuff together when you’re discharged.
- Maternity Tankini – just in case a water birth becomes an option!
This is by no means a full and complete list, but more a guide to give ideas for things to include. My baby list is much more concise, as they actually seem to be easier to pack for!

For Baby
- Sleepsuits – we went for ‘newborn’ or ‘up to 1 month’, I’m just hoping we don’t have a big baby!
- Vests – I’ve packed more of these as they are worn under both sleepsuits and regular clothes.
- Hat – Babies are always given woollen hats as soon as they are born, but I’ve also packed a cotton one too.
- Scratch Mits – Baby fingernails are sharp!
- Socks – for tiny tiny feet!
- Bibs – not that they will be drinking a whole lot of milk, but it keeps clothes fresh in case of spit-up.
- Muslin Squares – These are also helpful with spit-up
- Going Home Outfit – I always love to dress my kids in proper clothes for leaving the hospital, as I always associate sleepsuits with bed time.
- Blanket – Megan looked out one of her baby blankets from when she was born, so I’ve washed that and popped it in the bag too!
- Nappies – The hospital will provide nappies, but they are starting to ask people to bring their own where possible. The pack I've got came from one of the Emma's Diary gift packs.
- Wipes – they are so much easier than using cotton wool and water, and are not currently provided by hospitals.
- Small Stash of Nappy Bags – For obvious reasons…
- Car Seat – no hospital will let you leave without a car seat, so make sure you have it ready for the big event!
I think these two lists cover most of what I’m taking, but there are obviously some extra bits and bobs that can’t be packed until the last minute. For me, those things are: hospital notes, make-up bag, glasses and contact lenses, phone and charger, hairbrush and my pregnancy vitamins that I’m still working my way through. Thankfully, all of these items fit comfortably into both of the bags, although the snacks do have to go in the baby bag, ha! I’m also toying with the idea of taking my hairdryer and straighteners, but I’m not sure if the midwives will approve!

Hopefully this has been helpful to those of you who’ve read until the end, I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m following up this post with a birth story!
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