Thursday 28 September 2023

5 Things All Mums-to-be Need in Their Hospital Bag

 **Collaborative Feature**

I remember being pregnant with my first baby and putting off packing my hospital bag for as long as I could! Something about packing it meant I had to come to the realisation that I was actually going to have to give birth at some point and quite frankly I just wasn't ready for that. Ok, so that did backfire on me since I actually finished my bag whilst in labour the day I gave birth (don't be like me!). But another reason I put off packing it was because quite frankly I had no idea what to pack! Searching online gave me varying results with some lists meaning I would probably need a suitcase suitable for a family of5 to take everything it suggested! 

The reality was I threw bits in but when I actually gave birth there was so much I didn't actually need and other things I wish I had packed. Packing for my second pregnancy was so much easier and more organized! So with hindsight in my favour, I wanted to share with you 5 of the things I think all mums-to-be need to pack in their hospital bag so keep reading to find out more. 

Pain Relief, Arnica Cream, and any Medication

Whilst you can of course get pain relief from the hospital once you are there I found it super handy to have some standard paracetamol and ibuprofen etc. in your bag so you don't have to ask and wait, especially in the early stages or after once you are on the ward. You will of course need to let medical staff know you have or plan on taking them just in case. Another thing I wish I had packed the first time was more natural pain relief options such as arnica cream from Doctor Hoys! It helps speed up the healing process when you suffer from any bruising, inflammation or muscle damage and lots of mums have said it really helped speed up their recovery, it definitely helped with the soreness I felt after giving birth compared to the first time personally. 

Another thing not to forget is any medication, take at least 48 hours' worth with you as you never know how long you will be staying, Ideally, take a list of all medications you take on a regular basis with you, this may be helpful for doctors and midwives should they need to administer anything. 

Pads, Pants, and more Pads

Now without wanting to scare anyone, the bleeding after giving birth can be compared to nothing. Luckily for most this heaviness with slow down after a couple of days, but for those first couple of days you will likely be changing every hour or so to stay comfortable (yes really). So when I say pants and pads, I mean pants and pads, and when I say pads I mean the heaviest flow, longest length, and definitely with wings! Also pants, Bridget Jones style high-waisted, full coverage pants, and most definitely in black. I know this sounds extreme but the last thing you want to do is run out and the likelihood is you will leak so don't take in your favourite pyjamas either. 

Headphones and a Powerpack or Charging Cable

If you plan on announcing the birth of your baby whilst you are still in hospital be prepared for a barrage of calls, texts, and social media "congratulations" oh and of course the requests for pictures, birth weight, and the all-important "how is mum?" question. Your phone will be pinging off (so remember to at least set it to silent and vibrate so it isn't going off all the time) and this will of course drain your battery. But you will likely want your phone to capture all those precious first memories and photos and of course, reply to family and friends once you feel up to it. So having a power bank can be a lifesaver to keep your phone charged up whilst you are staying in the hospital. 

Another thing I quickly wished I had brought with me the first time (when I faced an overnight stay) was headphones! Not only are they ideal for having a semi-private phone conversation but they also mean that you can watch your phone, watch shows or podcasts etc. when you are on a ward without disturbing others. Waiting to get discharged can take a long time and if the baby is sleeping having headphones allows you to catch a moment to relax without worrying about affecting anyone around you. 

Slippers, Crocs or Sliders

Whatever your comfortable footwear of choice is, take it with you! Once the baby is here and you are settled in a room or on the ward you are encouraged to move around (not to mention the frequent toilet trips you will be making to change your pad) and you will need something on your feet to walk around the hospital. You will want something that is easy to slip on and off and slippers, sliders, or crocs are perfect for the job. 

Snacks and Drinks for You AND Your Birthing Partner

Whilst you are in labour you probably won't want to eat or drink much but don't let that deter you from packing plenty of snacks as after the birth you will likely be super hungry. Depending on when you give birth and end up down on the ward, you may miss out on a meal too! Whilst there is usually a canteen on site this isn't always open and nobody wants to rely on super expensive vending machines when in the hospital! 

The first time around I made the mistake of only really packing snacks for me, by the time I had got through my 20-hour labour and down onto the ward, my husband had practically cleared the bag of snacks and since we arrived on the ward after tea time, there was no meal either! This means he ended up dashing out to get my stuff as I was starving a few hours later! So yeah when packing snacks take plenty for both you and your birthing partner (and the odd bit of change for the canteen on the vending machine is handy too!). Flavoured water is also handy to have and will keep you hydrated too, giving birth is thirsty work! 

Of course, this list doesn't include all of the obvious things you will need like clothes for you and your baby, nappies & wipes, change for parking, etc it is just 5 things I didn't really think about when packing the first time but that definitely came in handy the second time around! If you are packing your hospital bag hopefully these tips will help. If you are a mum and have any helpful tips, tricks, or additions you think should be included in every hospital bag please do add them to the comments below. 


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