What to pack in your hospital bag
What to pack in your hospital bag
Having a well packed hospital bag really helped me during the birth of my Son Jack and the days immediately following his birth. I suffered a post-partum haemorrhage 38 hours after giving birth. This meant that my Fiancé Wayne had to take on all of the parenting in those early days. Whilst I may have missed out on some of those early moments with Jack, looking back I realise that knowing that Wayne had (pretty much!) everything he needed helped ease my worries.
After starting my Maternity Leave and doing some nesting, I decided to pack my hospital bag. I packed two bags – one for me and one for Jack. I would really recommend doing this if you can, as it made finding things so much easier.
Here’s a list of items I packed in my hospital bag that you may find useful.
Birth plan and maternity notes – Many people choose to make a birth plan filled with information on how they would like the labour and birth to pan out. Whilst I had a planned caesarean, I still made a birth plan detailing small things like how I wanted the early period after the birth to go.
Nightdress or loose pyjama bottoms and a dressing gown – You will probably spend most of your hospital stay in pyjamas so I would recommend taking ones you are comfortable in. I took a few nightshirts as I didn’t want anything to rub on my C-section scar.
Flip-flops or slippers – You will need something to wear on your feet whilst at the hospital.
Towel and toiletries – Whilst my first shower post-caesarean was not a pleasant experience, it was made better by taking a towel and all of the essential toiletries I would use at home.
Lip balm – The air on the postnatal ward can really dry your lips out so I would recommend taking a lip balm to help keep them moisturised.
Snacks and drinks – Perfect when in labour or post birth/caesarean (you are nil by mouth before the caesarean.) It will give you energy just when you need it.
A pillow – If you end up staying in hospital overnight, a pillow will make the experience far more comfortable.
Big knickers – Do not take your best knickers for after the birth. You will only end up throwing them away. I took the biggest knickers I could find. They were comfortable and did not rub against my scar.
Breast and maternity pads – Self-explanatory really.
Nursing bras or a Sports bra – Whilst I was intending to breastfeed, circumstances made this difficult. Depending on your decision, I would have either one of these packed.
Clothes to go home in – Pack something comfortable to make the journey home in. I went for leggings and a loose top.
Hairbands and clips – These are really helpful for during labour.
Items to pass the time – I took a book, magazines and my IPad. It really helped pass the time when Jack was asleep and I was alone. It would be useful during a prolonged labour too.
Baby Wipes – In those first 12 hours post-caesarean when movement was restricted, I used baby wipes to freshen up.
Bendy Straws – These made drinking so much easier as I found it hard to keep moving my drink.
FOR THE BABY:
Sleepsuits or vests – This is what your baby will wear in those early days. How many you take is dependent on how many days you may be in hospital following the birth.
Nappies and wipes – There are a lot of nappy changes in those early days.
Muslin clothes – To mop up any milk spills during bottle feeds.
Hat – In those early days, your little one can’t regulate their temperature so they will need to wear a hat indoors.
Going home outfit
Car seat – Essential for those planning to leave by car. You can’t leave hospital without it.
Baby blanket – A baby blanket will provide an extra layer to help keep your baby warm when you leave the hospital.
Socks or booties
Jacket or snowsuit – Helpful if your baby arrives during the winter months.
Bottle and milk – If you are planning to formula feed, a bottle and milk will be needed. The hospital where I gave birth actually provided small bottles for those early days.
FOR YOUR BIRTH PARTNER:
Mobile phone and charger – To let everyone know of your happy news.
Snacks and drinks – Your partner will need to eat too. The last thing you want is a hungry irritated other half.
Digital camera or phone camera – To capture those early moments.
I really hope this list helps you start your packing. Please remember that this list was only my essentials. If you are breastfeeding or have other special circumstances to consider, then it of course may differ.
I blog over at http://clairebellaloves.co.uk. I have also recently started a YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfx-kAENlqd9HsOWED9p1wQ I’d love to hear from you over on twitter – http://twitter.com/clairebellalove