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Packing your hospital Bag

Image provided by Hin255 and Freedigitalphotos.netImage provided by Hin255 and Freedigitalphotos.netLots of expectant mothers question when they should pack their hospital bag, some say it should be third trimester, others say it should be earlier. When I was pregnant with my rainbow baby it didn't even dawn on me to pack it until the day before, I was so scared of jinxing something (as silly and irrational as that sounds). Whether you are packing your bag in the first trimester out of pure excitement, or at the very last minute, we have put together some tips of what other women found useful to have in their bag.

Before you start putting everything in your bag, there are a couple of things you need to consider first.

1) What does the hospital provide you? (public and private provide very different items, so be sure to ask the midwife for a list of recommendations)

2) How long will you be staying there (some hospital keep you in for 3-7 days, while others send you on your way 12 hours later). Being an angel mum, you may have a very different opinion on how long you want to stay there. It is important to speak to your doctor about this.

If you are unsure of the answer to the latter question - child birth can be unpredictable - then it is a great idea to pack two bags; one for the birth and to get you through one - two days, the other with more supplies for a longer stay (hubby can bring to the hospital later). Even though the longer stay bag is likely to stay at home, we recommend packing it yourself and not relying on your partner - unless they know exactly which black top you want, or what 'toner' is, etc..

So here is a guide of what you may want to pack in your bag:

For Mum

  • 10 x pairs of underwear (some women opt for incontinent/disposable briefs as bladder leakage is common). Try to get 'granny undies' that pull up high in case you have to have a caesarian.
  • Toiletries – shower gel, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner (or dry shampoo if you prefer), any other face cleanser, moisturiser (I recommend taking cleansing wipes) and any cosmetics (if a preference).
  • 3 x maternity bras and/or maternity singlets (I preferred singlets so I didn't have to show off my stomach to everyone)
  • 3 x sets of loose, comfortable clothes (tops should be suitable for breastfeeding –if applicable).
  • Clothing to “go home” in – you will probably require to wear maternity clothes still.
  • Thongs for the shower! (swimmer top if you're not comfortable going in naked)
  • Jumper/jacket (I took my husbands big, oversized jacket to sleep in)
  • Glasses / contact lenses
  • Comfortable footwear (just a pair to wear if you need to walk around, or to go home in)
  • Phone number list of all the people to call once baby arrives (if you're old school)
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothes
  • Comfortable, large, loose t-shirt or night dress for delivery (if you plan on wearing clothes)
  • Warm socks for delivery, and some for each night.
  • Nightdresses or large t-shirts for sleeping (tops should be suitable for breastfeeding – if applicable) - avoid pants as you may have a catheter.
  • Brush, Hairties and bobbypins (headbands may be useful when in labour)
  • Slippers & dressing gown
  • A little squirter bottle (you will thank us once you’ve used the toilet after having stitches)
  • A water bottle with a built in straw so you don’t have to tip your head back (they also hold more water than a plastic cup the hospital provides)
  • Vasoline or some form of lip balm (essential if you have 'gas' as pain medication)
  • Box of breast pads
  • 2 packs of maternity/’super’ sanitary pads
  • Ear plugs
  • nipple cream
  • Any relevant cards/documents – relevant medical history, obstetricians details, medication, etc.

Other items (optional)

  • Back massager/ wheat pack / hot pack – for pain relief (check your hospital allows them)
  • Anything you want during labour to keep you sane – music (CD's, iPod, or MP3), massage oil, tip sheets from your antenatal classes, yoga ball (if not provided by hospital)
  • Phone charger
  • Camera and Camera charger
  • SD/Memory card for camera (always good to have a back up!)
  • Money for phone /kiosk
  • Snacks! You could be in labour for a long time and you may not want the hot lunch they make you. Pack snacks  high in protein for you and your birthing partner – enough for labour and your stay.
  • Money for parking/ kiosk/ vending machine / pay phone
  • Birth plan
  • Midwife gifts (or you can opt to return later)
  • Extra bag for gifts (multiple trips to car is also possible)
  • iPad with Headphones. (You or your partner may like to read e-books, Netflix or something in those long hours)!

For your partner / birthing partner

  • Food and drinks (this may be juices or other drinks, soup, instant coffee, foods that are easy to heat up, so they don’t leave you for too long)
  • Swimmers and a towel –if you are wanting them to get in the water with you
  • Camera – always need a back up!
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes (socks too) to spend a long time on the uncomfortable couch
  • Flip flops (again, for support in the shower)
  • Tooth brush, deodorant, glasses
  • Water bottle

 For baby (they don't tend to need much, but this is just a guide if you wanted to be overly prepared)

  • Nursing pillow (but a normal hospital  pillow may suffice)

  • Gifts to siblings from baby (to help rule out jealousy issues!)

  • Nappies! Babies can go through up to 10 nappies a day (usually supplied by hospital).

  • Clothes for the baby to wear home.

  • Nappy wipes, or cotton wool for nappy changes (usually supplied by hospital)

  • Soap or non-detergent baby wash for the bath (usually supplied by hospital)

  • 2-3 Change of clothes for the baby (if you do not want the baby to wear the miniature baby hospital gown))

  • Baby blankets (if you do not want to use the hospital blankets)

  • Terry-towel cloths for cleaning up spew

  • Suitable baby seat in your car

  • A teddy bear or something small to sit in their crib

  • Something to carry baby in to the car (optional)
  • Formula and Baby bottles (if needed)
  • Swaddle blanket / sleep sacks (optional)

  • Nursing cover

  • Socks & Beanie

  • Scratch mittens

  • Dummy

Angel Mums:

You may like to take something to symbolise that this baby is a rainbow baby, it may be a little rainbow soft toy or blanket to help keep your angel's memory alive.