We know you’ve probably read way too many lists, telling you to take this and not to take that into hospital.
Well, here’s our ultimate list of what to pack in your hospital bag. We both had pretty different experiences in hospital. Alex was in and out of the delivery room in one day (short and not so sweet), I however went in on the Monday morning and came out on the Wednesday (long, oh so long).
From both our experiences what we learnt is, it’s better to be prepared then to go without.
Lesson: Take plenty, and then some.
Try and take old clothing with you (or if you’re buying new, buy cheap) as you’ll probably throw them straight in the bin once you’re home. Either because they’re messy, or you just can’t face looking at them anymore.
We found it best to take one bag for mum, and another for the baby. (Baby bag post to follow shortly… watch this space).
- PJs/night dress that are dark in colour and if you plan on breastfeeding straight away make sure they open at the front easily.
- Cotton dressing gown.
- Comfy flip flops. Sometimes you share a bathroom once you’re in the delivery room, so you don’t really want to walk around barefoot. A lady next door to me basically had her baby in our bathroom, so it was a bit messy when I popped in for a wee.
- Dark coloured towels for when you shower.
- Vaseline. That gas and air will dry your lips out.
- Good quality hairs bands. You don’t want them breaking a few hours in, you’ll need to carry off the sexy bun look from start to finish.
- Cheap granny knickers. A lot of people told us to take disposable knickers. They are just horrid! Instead pop to Primark, Tesco, Matalan and buy a pack of big granny knickers that are a couple of sizes up. Trust me, you’ll love them. (I’m still wearing mine on lazy Sundays…)
- A couple of packs of maternity pads. Expect the worst, then times by 10. It’s really not pleasant.
- Breast pads. You can pick these up from most supermarkets. I personally found the Boots ones the best.
- Chewing gum.
- Eye mask. Once up on the ward, you’ll need as much help as possible to get some shut eye.
- Magazines/books/kindle. Just in case you get 5 minutes to yourself.
- Phone charger.
- Massage oil. No, not for sexy time. This is a nice to have during labour for back rubs and foot massages.
- Slippers/bed socks. For when you’re up on the ward after having bubba.
- Energy food and drink. Granola bars, chewy sweets and Lucozade are great. Take a sports bottle as this will be easier to drink from during labour, rather than sipping from a cup.
- Air conditioning in a can. The delivery room gets very, very hot. This was a life saver for me. Spray it on your feet as well as your face. Amazing.
- Music. My other half made me some CDs (I recommend Ben Howard). We then donated these to the delivery ward afterwards. Music definitely helped me keep sane over the 14 hours of being on the hormone drip. You might be able to play your iPod – I suggest checking with your midwife first to see if they have the equipment.
- Nursing bra. If you plan to breastfeed.
- A comfy going home outfit. You’ll want something loose and soft. I wore a maternity maxi dress and flip flops as it was summer, Alex wore baggy lounge pants, long sleeve loose fitted top and an oversized cardi with her Ugg boots as it was getting ready to snow.
- Travel toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, shower gel, body moisturiser, deodorant and hairbrush. Try to get non-scented products as you’ll want your baby to smell you and not some overpowering, sickly perfume smell.
- Pack of face wipes. Quick, easy and refreshing.
For your birth partner
- Change of clothes. They’ll get very hot and sweaty too. And if they’re lucky, like my other half, the baby might even do their 1st poo on them.
- Phone and charger. They’ll be your main communicator with the outside world. Give them this responsibility, so you can concentrate on yourself and the baby. Turn your phone off!
- Change for the hospital car park and vending machines for emergency chocolate. You’ll most probably be in the hospital when the cafe and hospital shops are shut.
- Snacks and drinks. Their own. You don’t want them stealing your stash.
- Camera. We both agree that you should take way too many photos. You’ll want to experience it all again and again, and the best way to do that is through photos. I love Nikon cameras, and you can’t go wrong with a Nikon COOLPIX ).