Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What to take to hospital/Birth Center (aka your Labour Bag)

When your pregnant one of things you hear is often “make sure you have your bag packed early, you know, just in case” but what does one pack in your bag (or bags as the case may be)? There are so many lists out there and the lists may seem so overwhelming! I’m 32 weeks now so am starting to put together what I’ll need/want to pack.
I’ve created a couple of lists - what I found useful, what I wished I’d taken and stuff I left in my bag and never used.
What I found useful (& must remember to pack this time)
  • a couple of muslin wraps for bub
  • a couple of suits for bub in at least 2 different sizes (you never know what size your baby will be). Extra clothes can b brought in to you if needed depending on how long you stay.
  • newborn nappies
  • comfy pjs
  • a couple of nursing tops & some nice, loose pants/trackies for the daytime
  • a couple of nursing bras.
  • maternity pads - at least 2 packs. Have more on hand at home that can be brought in if needed (& you will need them). I’ll be honest - hospital pads suck!
  • Toiletries: deodorant (for a quick freshen up), a nice body wash, hair ties, toothbrush & toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner
  • slippers
  • Granny pants - a least a couple of pairs - NOT WHITE! someone suggested men's undies - more room 
  • phone charger/iPad charger
  • birth plan & any hospital papers
  • pen, paper & a folder to keep everything in
  • old clothes for labour (even though I’ll probably end up nude again)
  • a bubby bundle (blanket, onesie, singlet, nappy) to dress bub in after it’s born
What I wished I’d taken
  • a labour/birthing kit (I did pack hair ties, a brush & water last time & will again)
  • a post partum care kit - especially the moist toilet tissues cause toilet paper hurts
  • a journal & pen
  • my own pillow
  • some lip gloss
  • some nice hand cream
  • a stash of lollies
  • Lansinoh - it was a godsend when I got home
  • warm socks
  • someone suggested having a nappy bag packed for the trip home, just in case. That way you don’t have to dig through a suitcase
  • pregnancy/breastfeeding multivitamins
  • spare clothes (& bathers) for your birth partner
  • sample size products! saves taking big bottles & takes up less room. 
Stuff I left in my bag
  • my laptop - never used it
  • books - didn’t really feel like reading (was too out of it from the gas)
  • TENS machine - but will pack it again just in case. no drugs this time
  • you will need to have an approved car restraint fitted in the car before you go home.
  • a garbage bag and towel in case your water breaks on the way
After talking to the ladies in my birth group on FB and here’s some of the suggestions they came up with:
  • Tea! The hospital only had gross stuff
  • a plastic bag for washing
  • soft toilet paper/flushable wipes
  • toiletries for your partner if they will be there with you
  • packing a bag for siblings who may be staying with others while you have the baby
  • Katharine suggested “I had a summer baby so I took lots if maxi dresses with me to avoid anything on the scar, they also made me feel prettier. I bought some maternity nighties from Peter Alexander (also a lovely luxury) and take a cosy dressing gown. I made a point if getting up and dressed every day too. I took high waisted undies (oh so sexy) but really they weren't overly necessary and next time around would spend some money on nice soft (and supportive) cotton briefs like bonds in cute colours. I took some king sized dark towels, washers and floor mats (took one set and Martin would take them home and bring back clean ones every couple of days). Took our own pillows and bring a vase or two for flowers. Oh and I also took my hair dryer which can be used to dry the scar if it's too sensitive as well as your hair. Oh and you cant have nail polish on and I had a lot of free time so brought a manicure set and nail polish for my toes and I was saved the hideous razor as I've had laser but you may want to 'trim'
    Hmm have I forgotten anything? I didn't have support bands or anything but they might help, my dr said he stitched my abs back together to avoid the separation that a lot of women get. Ooh take slippers/thongs and a book to keep you awake during mid night feeding. Um and any little snackies, I was hungry when my milk came in. You may want to pack a few nice things for hubby too - it's really hectic for them too.
    When people visited and asked if I wanted anything, my main requests were fruits a cheese platter and magazines.
    I also found it very handy having an eye mask as hospital lights can be bright when you're trying to nap in the day, particularly as my hospital has wall to wall and floor to ceiling windows (with shades)” (I’d never thought about packing for a c-section)
  • iPod or portable CD player for music
  • think comfort over looking awesome - you’ve just had a baby! Guessing this would be especially important if you’ve had a c-section, cause you don’t want anything sitting on our scar.
Did I forget anything? Did you pack anything when you had children that you didn’t use? Anything you wish you’d packed?

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