packing your hospital bag

I know a few readers are quite pregnant and I noticed that a few people had been reading my post this time last year about what I had packed in my hospital bag, but what I never wrote was an update as to what I actually needed or used. So, better late than never, etc.

(blue items are things I used. Italics are my notes 1 year on. List is copied and pasted from last year’s post)

Hospital notes essential! they won’t admit you without these
Notebook and pen I did make some notes but not many. I’m glad I packed them.
Money I didn’t have a chance to spend any money in the 4 days we were in, but Marto did, in the cafe etc. 

Sponge bag containing shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hot cleanser plus cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant etc the day after Pip was born it was wonderful to hobble to the shower room & have a shower, wash my hair and so on. My recommendation would be to pack the very nicest toiletries you have in travel size but also pack ones which are gentle. 

2 old bath towels I used my own towel for showering and the only thing I would add is ‘soft’. my skin felt very delicate and like it needed protecting.

2 flannels
Eye mask essential for attempting sleep or rest as some times the lights are blazing when you need to rest.
Ear plugs I think I might have used them on day 3 when Marto was also there, but whilst I was desperate for sleep, I was also keen to not let my baby cry unheard too.
Hair band (soft Alice band as well as hair elastics)
Flip flops (havianas which can get wet) essential – make sure you can go in the shower in them. you won’t want to put your bare feet on the floor!

2 dresses (old) which I can wear to birth in I wore my dresses after the birth. for the actual birthing I wore nothing. nothing at all.
2 bikini tops unworn but you may want to pack them just in case
2 vests
Hareem trousers (soft and loose but cooler than leggings or jogging bottoms)
Long soft cotton jumper
Dressing gown
Slippers (not my sheepskin ones but cow print fleece ones with grips on the bottom)
Several pairs of different sized knickers inc some Primark large high waisted ones all useful for after the birth. that said, we were in hospital for 4 days, so if you are in and out overnight, you might not need all this. high waisted Primark knickers were very useful to hold the maternity pads in place.

T-shirt, pants and pyjama bottoms for Marto the first night, Marto was sent home but the rest of the time he was allowed to stay. if we’d stayed put in the birthing centre Marto could have stayed so these would have been essential

Plastic bag for dirty clothes
iPad I’m not sure I used it, but Marto spent a lot of time playing fifa in the days after the birth whilst Pip and I slept
Camera we forgot the charger so I don’t think we used it. Marto isn’t a big photographer either. I would pack it though.
Headphones can’t remember why I packed these. certainly didn’t use them

Drinking straws Didn’t use these but useful to pack as might have been useful

Sieve (required by hospital if planning a water birth) didn’t use but had to pack this

Mirror (ditto) apparently my mirror was too small so they provided one

Body cushion/pillow very useful for breastfeeding and comfort in the hospital bed afterwards
Wedge cushion/pillow ditto

Night dress for me (soft old shirt of M’s)
Maternity pads pack far more than you think. I was using a box a day (having only ever used tampons before, I wanted to change the pad frequently.
Breast pads

Lanisoh nipple cream


several different suits in various sizes as we were there for 4 days, essential and had to be replenished.
2 hats
10 disposable size one nappies the Bounty lady brought more & they also had to be replenished. Pack more than you need.
Cotton wool
Muslin for swaddling
Elephant soft toy
Changing mat I recommend a folding changing mat like this one we have from JoJoMamanBebe. Essential. I still use it now.

I would also add plenty of water, iced tea, lucozade etc for during labour. Food for your birthing partner. We thought Marto would be able to run to the cafe but it wasn’t open when we arrived in the middle of the night and labour progressed fast so he didn’t want to leave me to go to the cafe.

I had to change Pip’s first nappy full of meconium in the middle of the night, without my glasses, in dim lighting, on my lap as I had a catheter still fitted. It was a challenge. I’d recommend packing your wipes and nappies and so on to be easily accessible in a bag altogether and then making sure this is accessible from the bed.

As ever, any questions, just ask.


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