I am constantly asked what to pack in a hospital bag. This is what I say.. Packing for hospital is like packing a suitcase for a holiday…. in a third world country. What you would take to that kind of destination is exactly what you would take to a hospital. Oh and FYI the souvenir you are bringing home will weigh about 3-4 Kilos and screams. Alot.
I’m going to assume if you are reading this, you are pregnant and have baby brain so I’m going to make it easy peasy for you. I’m going to totally break it down for you into what you need, why you need it and where you get it from. Without tooting my own flute – I wish someone had done this for me the first time.
– Maternity Pads. Lots of them. 3-4 packets. You’ll probably need them for a while. Think gun shot wound to the hoo-ha.
– Lip balm
– Heat packs. Hospitals may say that they supply these but there is often a limited amount of them so best to bring your own.
– Flushable wipes. After labour you can for obvious reasons be quite sore and tender. Toilet paper can be quite painful. Especially cheap government funded toilet paper. Wet wipes will do the trick and be much more gentle.
– Panadol and nurofen. Yes the hospital will have these of course but when you need it, you need it there and then. Not 45 minutes later when your busy nurse gets around to it. (Don’t get all angry when you read this nurses, I am helping you not dissing you!)
– Laxatives: Pooing can definitely be quite scary. You’ve just pushed out a baby, do you really need to work hard to push out anything else? Laxatives might make it all a little easier so you don’t feel like you are giving birth all over again. Movicol (over the counter) is a bulking and softening agent which is both gentle and effective.
– Ural sachets or ureze: Believe it or not for most people weeing is actually worse than pooing. If you have had a vaginal birth and had any tears or even grazes..it can sting like mad!
– Breastpads. Pretty self explanatory.
– Lansinoh: If you plan on breastfeeding, you’ll need it for your nipples for quite a while. Start using it before you go to hospital even. (But be careful.. nipple stimulation can cause labour onset, you have been warned!)
– Phone charger.
– Socks (most people only learn this when they are there, but heads up. Delivery rooms can be cold and if you have had some drugs, you can get even colder!)
– Undies/disposable undies. I went to big W and bought 20 pairs of the ugliest undies you have ever seen. Think Bridget Jones, no wait, worse – Think old granny undies. They were $1 each and it was money well spent. I also bought them in a huge so they were super comfy and I could just chuck them out rather than sending them home from the hospital with my (domestically useless) husband.
– Towel. Same situation as the toilet paper. They are hard and a kind of scratch your skin while it dries you.
-Toothbrush & Toothpaste.
– Hair dryer. This is also a trick some people use for after weeing. I didn’t do this because (thankfully) my wounds weren’t that bad, but people swear by it.
From the Supermarket:
– Lollies, something to keep you going during your labour. (At this stage you aren’t going to get any fatter so why not!)
– Dry Shampoo, trust me you don’t want to worry about glamming up in the hospital. You know what, buy in bulk. Dry Shampoo should be your new best friend during motherhood.
– Favourite snacks for you and your partner. Don’t give them an excuse to go and walk the halls, who knows what they will miss out on!
Clothes for you:
– 4 feeding bras.
– A few loose tops. Remember your tummy doesn’t automatically deflate (unfortunately) and it goes wobbly so don’t expect to be back to your usual clothes straight away. Your tummy kind of goes to what it was when you were 4-5 months pregnant. Only not hard with a beautiful growing baby in it. Flabby like its just given up and over it all.
– A couple pairs of trackie pants and pajama pants. I also really loved harem pants because they were baggy where they needed to be and they also generally have elasticy waist. Otherwise hit up the Bonds website.
– Capsule or car seat fitted in your car. They won’t let you leave without it.
– 4 onesies for the bubbi to wear
– Check to see if you need to bring your own nappies/wipes
– Blanket for going home
– Muslin wraps
And for the mother that know that they will be in a hospital with a shared ward: Thongs for the shower, Cleaning Wipes to wipe down the toilet and bathroom before you use it.
There is also something that I want to warn you about.. I try to tell EVERYONE that is about to have their first baby. It has nothing to do with the theme of this blog but just while I have your attention….. Let’s discuss after pains. For me personally, this was worse than the birth. I wish there was an epidural for this. It often happens as you latch your baby on, you feel intense pain in your lower stomach, they feel very similar to contractions because that is what they are..Only you are holding your baby and trying to concentrate on feeding the screaming baby. It is your body’s way of bringing your tummy down, its your uterus contracting back down to size. In theory you want this to happen..
There you have it.. Wishing you an easy labour.
(P.S if there is anything I have left off the list that you found helpful please feel free to contact me so I can add it)