Preparing for your big trip to the hospital can be daunting and especially for your first birth, you really have no idea what you will need.
I've jotted down some essentials that you will need for your stay in hospital whether it's a few hours or a few days. I was so grateful for these items when i went in to labor with my first son recently.
Make sure you have this bag ready around the 33 - 35 week mark just in case the little one decides to come early and just keep it in the car.
Hospital Bag Essentials - For Mum
- Dark coloured high waisted cotton underwear. I bought a size bigger than i was at the end of my pregnancy. You want these to be comfortable and we able to accommodate a maternity pad. You will end up throwing these out eventually so don't be concerned they might look like parachutes.
- Maternity pads. These things are huge so don't be daunted, you'll be glad for their size after the birth. I also took in some depends which were amazing for those first few days after the hospital. What most first time mums aren't prepared for is the amount of both blood and fluid you loose in the first 2 weeks after the birth so be prepared with some good pads.
- Big dark coloured soft towel. I was so grateful for this with my first shower. The hospital towels just don't compare.
- Comfortable hospital clothes. Tights, tracksuit pants, socks, PJs, Nursing singlet, jacket and slip on shoes/thongs.... bending and sitting after birth may not be the most comfortable so you want items that you can walk around the hospital in that require little effort putting them on. With the tops, remember if you plan to breast feed you will be living in nursing tops/bra so take them with you.
- Clothes to wear home - a good pair of tights, slip on shoes or joggers, singlet/t-shirt and a jumper is what i took.
- Drink bottle. Make sure you pack a good one, and get your partner to keep filling it. It's important to keep hydrated and you don't want to rely on the meal times only for your water.
- Your normal toiletries such as face wash, moisturiser, Hair brush, tooth brush/paste for your showers after so you feel a little bit more normal.
- Gel breast pads and lanolin cream. I used the hyrogel breast disks from day 2 of breast feeding. Breast feeding was the second most traumatic experience for me after labour so you want to help your nipples recover from the frequent feeding.
- Saline spray. If you have a natural birth you may want something like this to keep downstairs clean. It can be pretty sensitive down there after labor.
- Paw paw cream or lip balm. You will be begging for this during the labour especially if you end up having any medication.
- Items for the birth if you plan to use anything i.e. music or playlist, essential oils with a hanky, stress balls etc
- Entertainment - I took my ipad to watch TV shows and my kindle. Depending on how long you end up being in hospital for. You won't have a lot of energy after the birth so bring things that are easy to read. You'll most likely end up sleeping staring at your baby for hours.
- Phone chargers
- Snacks. I took fruit and nut mix, protein balls and some allen's lollies. You may just need a little bit of energy so come prepared.
- Disposable change mats. These might sound random but if you have these in the car and your waters break while you are out, these are great to sit on until you get to hospital or home. If you don't use them before, you will when bub arrives.
What to pack for bub
- Cotton singlets. The hospital will have a couple but it was also useful to have our own. Especially if you have a little boy and have a few accidents while changing them along the way. We went through 3 singlets in the first day until we learnt the "willy down" rule.
- If it's cold, bring a little beanie to wear when you leave.
- Baby will most likely stay in a singlet a nappy while in hospital but pack a couple of zip onsies with the feet for when you leave. I packed both 0000 and 000 unless you know how big your baby is going to be.
- One or Two bamboo cotton swaddles. This will be for leaving the hospital but i also liked to wrap my baby in one when we were sitting in hospital together. We must of taken 100 photos of him lying there in the first few days so it's also nice to have something cute to photograph them with.
- Carseat - make sure your partner knows how to put this in and out of the car and also how to loosen/tighten the straps. It's one thing you don't want to have to worry about when you are leaving.
- Newborn nappies and wipes
- Any announcement items you want to use or if you plan on getting a newborn photography shoot take some outfits for this.
Lastly, make sure you and your husband are clear on visitors and when you want to messages to go out. You may not want people at the hospital so make sure you are both clear on this so your partner can help manage this.