It’s week 33 and time for me to start thinking about packing my hospital bag. Like most elements of this pregnancy, I am approaching this task in a much calmer fashion than the first time.
I listened to all the advice and did lots of research – and then packed everything that was suggested. Too much of everything. A lot of things didn’t get used and it was awkward to move several large bags from the labour ward to the maternity ward.
So this time less is more. Or less, as that is the point. Here’s a few things I learned from last time.
1. You may only be in hospital for one night, if that, so pack just what you will need for 24 hours after labour. If you have to stay longer your partner can bring more supplies from home – keep extra clothes (for you and baby), nappies and other things you may need handy.
2. A lot of lists tell you to pack plenty to keep you entertained in case labour is slow. I couldn’t be bothered with any of that, I just wanted to close my eyes and get as much rest as possible. But if you want to take some entertainment just in case, download ebooks, games and podcasts to your smartphone rather than taking up space with bulky books, magazines and ipads.
3. Be realistic. I’m sure we would all like to step out of the maternity unit looking as glowing as Kate Middleton but most people won’t have the energy to put on a full face of makeup or straighten their hair for at least a few days (or months!) after giving birth. You will be too drugged up and exhausted high from the wonder of bringing new life into the world to really care so leave the unnecessary beauty products at home.
4. Its nice to feel prepared and comfortable, but you can make do or improvise for a day or two, and most hospitals will be able to provide some basic supplies if you run out or forget anything. You could use hospital pillows for a day rather than take a big bulky nursing pillow.
All the luggage got in the way, especially when visitors started to arrive as there is very little space on the maternity ward. So this time I’m keeping it fuss free. Here’s my list – still quite long but an improvement on the original!
- Maternity notes
- Nightie and slippers
- Drinks and snacks
- Phone and charger
- Wet wipes, lip balm and hair bobble
- Money for parking and vending machine
- Camera for those first newborn photos
- Nursing bras and big comfy knickers
- Maternity pads and breast pads
- Comfy clothes for going home
- Hair brush
- Toiletries, including shampoo and conditioner, face wipes, deodrant, dry shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste and tinted moisturiser (so I don’t scare the visitors).
- Newborn vests and baby grows x 5 (in case of sickness)
- Hat, cardigan and scratch mitts
- Nappies x 10, cotton wool and nappy cream
- Muslin squares and bibs
- Car seat and coat to go home (these can stay in the car until needed)
Now I just need to stick to this list and start packing… Wish me luck!