Ok, so I am currently 37 weeks pregnant, and according to all of the material I have been reading in pregnancy, I should have my hospital bag packed and ready by now. It’s been something that has been on the back of my mind for the last 2 months and I have been slowly collecting things for the bag to then pack all at once. I’m not going to lie, I have found this process to be the most overwhelming. There are soooo many lists out there with recommendations as to what to pack. Some of the ones I have read would mean you would have to take about 4 suitcases in order to fit everything in!
I have tried to collate my list with the absolute bare essentials. This is also based on me having a simple, straight forward birth. We don’t live far from the hospital so anything else that’s needed or if I am required to stay in hospital for longer than anticipated then I kinda figured Mark would be able to pop home and get more bits. Of course, if you are having a planned C-Section then you would need to pack double the amount of things on here for a longer hospital stay.
A piece of advice that I am definitely taking is for the birth partner to pack the hospital bag for you. Of course, I am going to be there to oversee that everything that’s needed goes in! The idea behind this is so your husband/ partner/ other, knows exactly where everything is. Eradicating the panic of not being able to find that requested hair tie that is floating around somewhere in the depths of your bag.
So here it is. My hospital bag list:
- Maternity notes (these are a must!!! They won’t be able to care for you at the hospital without them)
- Birth Plan
- Flip flops (to wear in the shower and walk around in during labour!)
- A bikini/ tankini for the birth pool (I have this maternity one from ASOS)
- Maternity bras (x2 – one for sleeping, one for the day)
- Big black pants (I have bought two multipacks from Primark that I will probably throw away afterwards). It might be worth making sure these are high enough to not rub on your c-section scar!
- Going home outfit (something dark, cool and loose!!)
- Water and healthy snacks to keep energy levels up (pack a couple of bendy straws to sip water through too!)
- Hot Water Bottle (to help with labour pains)
- Phone and Phone Charger (I am planning on turning my phone off as soon as labour starts, but it will be useful for after the birth to take lots of photos of the baby and make those all important texts to friends and family)
- Headphones (I’m planning on listening to hypnobirthing tracks and have also compiled a couple of playlists for when I’m labouring to help distract me)
- Pyjamas (preferably ones that button at the front if you’re planning on breast feeding/ having skin to skin. I get so hot at night so mine will be shorts and a vest top combo!). I have bought a couple of BShirts Vests too that I will be packing.
- Cosy socks
- Button down shirt (to labour in – one that you don’t mind getting dirty if you’re planning on having skin to skin). I bought a cheap one from Primark.
- A flannel (to mop away any sweat/ cool your face down)
- Hair tie and clips (a must for me to get hair out of my face! I find nothing worse than this when I am hot!!)
- Ear plugs (maternity wards can be noisy)
- Handheld fan (another way to cool down!)
- Hypnobirthing recommendations to create a calm atmosphere:
- Photos from home
- Affirmation cards
- Blu Tac to stick the above on the walls!
Toiletries for me
- Lip Balm (I always use good old Vaseline)
- Toothbrush/ toothpaste/ mouthwash (minis to save space)
- Tissues. There will more than likely be tears!!
- Make-up. I wasn’t sure about this one but I know what I’m like and will want to try and make myself feel a bit more human afterwards. I am just planning on taking concealer, mascara, and liquid blush!
- Femfresh wipes (to freshen up)
- Face wipes (also to freshen up. Don’t get confused with the above)
- Dry shampoo (mini)
- Hand cream (mini)
- Nipple cream
- Breast pads (i’m taking about 20 of these Lansinoh ones, they pack really small)
- Maternity pads (These ones from Boots. And lots of them!)
- Deodorant (mini)
- Shower gel (mini)
- Shampoo/ conditioner (mini)
- Towel (dark colour)
- Hair turban (if you’re planning on washing your hair. It’s smaller than bringing a second towel)
- Arnica tablets to help with swelling and bruising
- Newborn nappies (prepare for up to 12 per day)
- Cotton wool balls for washing baby’s face
- Water wipes (to be used on the bottom area but not face!)
- White vests (x5). I bought this 7 pack from M&S.
- Baby grows (x3)
- Going home outfit
- Hat (x2). I bought these organic cotton multipack ones from John Lewis
- Scratch mitts (if your newborn babygrows don’t have these already sewn into them). I also got these organic cotton ones from John Lewis
- A blanket. I was given the one in the photos as a gift, but it’s all sold out. Here is a similar one.
- A cardigan
- Muslin cloths (x3 – 4). I am taking this multipack from Mamas and Papas.
- A toy for the cot
- Bottles of Aptamil. I am planning on breastfeeding, however have packed x2 of these bottles just incase they are needed and I am unable to.
- Car seat! (They won’t let you leave hospital without one)
Nice to Haves (but not essential)
- Lightweight dressing gown (I treated myself to this linen one from H&M)
- Battery powered candles for the room
- Aromatherapy oils (to use throughout labour to help keep calm and relaxed)
Another tip I’ve learnt for a hospital bag is to prepare little packs for the baby in ziplock bags that include 1x nappy, 1x vest, 1x babygrow, 1x hat. This will make it much easier for your partner to find everything in one place when it’s needed.
And that’s it! I think it’s important not to over think your hospital bag. Worst comes to the worst your partner can run out to pick up anything forgotten/ needed and if you’re planning on having hospital visitors then lean on them to pick up anything too.
Good luck Mamas! Do you have any handy tips for packing a hospital bag?
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