If you’re anything like me, you thought you’d have your bags packed well in advance, but for some reason have put this task off until the very last minute. I think I just found it so daunting because I could not wrap my head around what to expect. What I ended up doing was buying just about everything on the market and using hardly any of it. So here is a breakdown of the essential items I actually needed to make packing your hospital bag a whole lot easier.
- Wipes x 2 packs - I use Water Wipes.
- Nappies - New born size 1. You might as well buy these in bulk and just bring one pack to hospital.
- Nappy cream - Moogoo is the best! I didn’t actually need this during the hospital stay, but it can go in the nappy bag anyway just in case.
- Singlet bodysuits - being able to button these up is so much better than singlets which alway ride up their body. Pack 2 for every day you will be spending in hospital.
- Onesies - probably long sleeved unless it’s a real heatwave. Get ones with a two-way zip and feet and hand covers so you don’t have to worry about socks. Pack 2 for every day you will be spending in hospital.
- Swaddles - you’ll learn how to swaddle your baby, so bring a few of these. I’d have a selection of stretchy and non-stretchy to see what you prefer.
- Blanket - The hospital will supply a blanket but it’s nice to bring one from home and you may need this on your discharge day if it’s cold outside.
- TENS machine - you can hire one of these, book in advance though so you don't have to go running around looking for one.
- Oil diffuser - this was nice to have in our room after birth as well, definitely not an essential but I liked having it.
- Bluetooth speakers to play your own music (also handy for calming music or white noise for baby in your room).
- Anything else you have in your birth plan to help get you through.
- Maternity pads - you’ll be changing these regularly, so pack about 5 per day and you can always ask someone to get more if you run out.
- Adult nappies ( I lived in the nappies! This was my preference over the pads, but it’s probably good to have both and see what you are most comfortable in).
- Frozen pads are a great way to reduce swelling and ease pain after a vaginal delivery so find out if your ward supplies them and maybe pack some extra pads to freeze if not.
- Big black undies - make sure they’re really comfy and bring 2 pairs per day for hospital. You really do bleed a lot after giving birth, so be prepared to need to do some washing when you get home.
- Lansinoh nipple cream - this is very good stuff.
- Gel nipple pads - these are really soothing, you can leave them in the fridge and pop them on cold.
- Compression - I packed compression undies, compression leggings and a piece of tubigrip. The tubigrip was my favourite, I found it the most comfortable and therefore the easiest to commit to. I didn’t wear the others until I got home, so I could have done without them in the hospital bag.
- Feeding bras - bring a feeding bra for every day in hospital because you will probably leak.
- Breast pads also help with this, so pop them inside the bra so that you don’t leak all over your clothes. I loved the Modi Bodi feeding bras and singlet, but you won’t be able to wash them in hospital so they might be more useful once you get home.
- Comfortable clothing - I lived in my nappy and feeding bra for most of my hospital stay, it was a great look. Pack some loose black pants and a few comfy tops though and something you’re happy to wear in public on the way home.
- Slippers or slides - pack a pair of shoes to wear around your room and the ward. I wore my slides but you might prefer slippers.
- Button down PJ’s to make feeding easier.
- Your own pillow.
- Toiletries - the usuals plus some shower gel and nice moisturiser and don’t forget dry shampoo!
- Movicol and Benefibre - the first number 2 can be a scary experience so anything that makes the job easier is very welcome in your hospital bag!
Things I packed and didn’t need:
- Snacks - hospital is not short on food, so these came home again with me.
- Baby pants, tops, socks, singlets, beanie, so many baby clothes! You might want one cute outfit for the day you leave, but keep it simple for the rest of your stay.
- Heat pack - you aren’t allowed to heat these up in the microwave on the ward and they can supply them if you need one.
- Baby moisturiser and oil - I didn’t use this in hospital, but they are handy to have at home in the nursery.
I ordered most of this online to make life easier and packed my bag a couple of days before I was induced. So thankfully I didn’t go early! Having said that, depending on where your hospital is, it’s very easy for your partner or a family member to get something for you down the street. So I wouldn’t stress too much about packing everything you might possibly need. Everyone’s experience is different, these are just the items that I found most useful. If you don’t know where to start, my suggestion is to make yourself a spreadsheet, purchase your items and tick them off one at a time. You won’t have to do this too many times in your life, so enjoy the process and when in doubt, ask a friend or DM me - I’m happy to help.