It’s about that time that I start thinking about packing my hospital bag. I’m 38 weeks pregnant and from now onwards I could go into labour at any given moment. Especially being my 2nd pregnancy, I’ve been advised by my midwife to stay close to the hospital from 37 weeks onwards and to keep things light and easy going as there’s a chance I could go into labour earlier than my due date. So, I think it’s time to get the bag packed just in case.
The first time I packed my hospital bag (when I was pregnant with E), I packed it and checked it 3-4 times to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I packed so much that I used a small cabin sized wheelie bag. To be honest it was probably my dressing gown that took up the most space. I had my stuff on one side and E’s stuff on the other. That way I didn’t need to take a million bags to the hospital. Just the one bag. The hubby had a small bag for his stuff too.
When deciding on a “hospital outfit” it completely went out the window when trying to get dressed to leave for the hospital. There was no way I was bending over to squeeze into a pair of leggings. I ended up going in my night Tshirt dress, my husbands pj bottoms and flip flops. 🤷🏽♀️ This time I’ll probably prepare a similar loose outfit to travel to the hospital in.
Here’s a list of what I will be packing, this time now knowing what is necessary.
- Dressing gown – after giving birth you won’t want to wear anything but a comfy fuzzy dressing gown.
- Shower slippers & cosy slippers – you could just avoid two pairs and pack flip flops which work for both uses. I preferred having separate slippers for the ward and for the shower. We stayed in the ward for 2 days after Es birth so it was more convenient to not be walking around in wet flip flops.
- Disposable knickers – these will be your best friend for the first week or so. You don’t have to worry about the mess and they save time and thought about having to do laundry.
- Maternity pads – these are not the same as menstrual pads, the material is different!!! You’ll need loads as you could be leaking lochia for up to 4-6 weeks. You’ll need to change often in the first few days so make sure you stock up. I’ll be taking a full pack of 10 in my hospital bag. The hospital may give you 1-2 but it’s expected for you to prepare your own. You can try 1 brand at a time incase you have a reaction to them but I was OK to go with the boots brand the whole way which was great as they’re always on a 3 for 2 offer and are relatively cheaper than other brands.
- Breast pads – there are so many brands out there and you’ll have to trial and error which one works for you as I found that some stuck to my nipple when I applied nipple cream. Again for me, the Boots disposable brand worked fine. It was practically the same as the disposable Lansinoh brand but cheaper and you can mix & match on their 3 for 2 offer. I also used reusable breast pads for night times.
- Nursing pyjamas x2 incase needing to stay over night/leakage. – I hadn’t decided to breastfeed exclusively until we had established a good latch, but I always said I’d try. Having nursing panels in my pj’s made it all the more convenient to breastfeed. To be honest I wasn’t wearing anything other than pj’s and my dressing gown at the hospital and at home for the first month E was born. LOL
- Nursing bra x2 – this also doubles as a sleep bra as you’ll need your breast pads to stay in place. Again this is for convenience but if you want to go for a slightly cheaper option then you can use a gym bra/bralet.
- Towel & toiletries – it’s pretty self explanatory but you will have the chance to have a shower after birth and after all that sweating, pushing, fluids etc you’re going to want a good clean scrub. Don’t use any products down below though and don’t get scared seeing a sea of blood in the shower when you wash your private bits. Don’t forget your toothbrush either.
- Disposable bed mat – the hospital will provide you 1-2 but it’s always good to have your own as you’ll need them at home anyway. You don’t want any accidents so it’s best to place one down wherever you sit until you aren’t leaking as much lochia. You can also mix and match these on the 3 for 2 offer with the breast pads and maternity pads in Boots, but I found you don’t go through the bed mats as much so I just reused the same mat if it wasn’t dirty/ripped.
- Comfy going home outfit – you may be sore or achy in a few places after birth so you’ll want some loose clothing that you can easily put on and feel comfortable in on your way home. Hoodie, Tshirt and leggings/tracksuit bottoms is always a good option.
- Snacks & drinks – I wasn’t able to eat much last time while I had contractions at home, which meant by the time I was in labour at the hospital, I didn’t have much energy. I’ll be packing food that’s easy to chew and snack on like fruit, crackers and biscuits. I’ll also have a twix and a lucozade in my bag for the really low energy moments. When I was in labour with E, my husband force fed me lucozade and my mum and midwife forced fed me toast to keep my energy levels up. 🤗
- Painkillers! Ibuprofen or paracetamol at the ready.
- New born nappies – I’ll be packing a small packet of newborn nappies just to ensure I have enough incase we have to stay a while.
- Cotton pads & nappy cream – I don’t use wipes for E and I think I’ll stick to the same for buba2 with water and cotton pads. I use Bepanthen on E’s bottom and it seems to work fine, so will use the same for buba2 unless he has a reaction to it.
- Onesie, baby grow, pj’s – I’ll be packing 2 sets of each as I don’t know if we have to stay over night like we did with E.
- Hat & mittens – when leaving the hospital you’ll want to keep baby warm and cosy as he/she has been inside your tummy for the past 9 months, he/she won’t be used to the open air. When you get home he/she won’t need to wear a hat but while out and about, it’s best to keep one on him/her.
- Swaddle blanket – the hospital give you one to borrow straight away but you’ll want to change it to a clean one after you’ve settled a bit after the birth.
- Car seat/carry cot – you won’t be able to leave the hospital otherwise. Lucky for us, buba2 has been handed down E’s old car seat which is still in excellent condition so we haven’t had to buy a new one.
- Change of clothes – you’ll be in the hospital for a while during labour and he may want to change clothes before heading home.
- Phone charger – although you won’t want him to be distracted with his phone, family members and close friends will want to stay updated. He doesn’t need to update them with every detail, but its nice to let them know how you’re getting on every couple of hours. I was in labour for 7 hours and the hubby was by my side the entire time keeping our family and close friends updated.
- Snacks & drinks – he’s most likely to get hungry cheering you on during labour. So he’ll want to have something prepared in case he needs some extra energy to keep cheering you on.
- Towel & toiletries – not all hospitals allow non-patients to use their shower facilities, but when we had E, we had an ensuite room for a few hours in the birthing centre before we were transferred to the labour ward, so we were lucky the hubby was able to freshen up and the midwives didn’t mind at all.