Having a baby is a very exciting time. When approaching your due date it is important to start preparing your bag for hospital. Remember it is normal to have your baby anywhere from 37 weeks!
It is important you create your own environment in a foreign hospital setting. Music is one way to make yourself feel comfortable and at home. Make sure you have a device in which you can listen to music, whether you want it quietly via an iPod or through speakers in your room.
You need something you can grab and eat both when in labour and after when you are caring for your little one. This is a simple step in looking after yourself. More importantly your partner or birth partner needs to stay energised to support you through your journey. Bringing some spare change also goes a long way in allowing your partner to use the hospital vending machines.
Pack nappies for your baby and pack lots! Hospitals can provide the first few for you but not as many as your baby needs.
4. Baby wipes
With nappies naturally comes baby wipes. It is up to you whether you want to bring pre packaged wipes, simple cottons balls or dry wipes that you can run under warm water to use for a nappy change.
5. Baby clothes
While hospitals provide basic baby clothes you will need something to take your baby home in. Hospitals tend to just provide singlets. To make your baby extra cosy, cute or stylish don't forget to pack some cute little outfits.
6. Baby blankets
Again, the hospital does provide this but you also need a blanket to take your baby home in. If you want something extra soft for your baby your own blanket will do the trick. It is also good practice wrapping your baby in your own blankets not the hospital ones.
7. Phone and phone charger
As a Midwife I often find our desk becomes a charging station. You will be using your phone A LOT with your incoming calls, texts and Facebook announcement replies. So don't forget your charger! More importantly don't forget to bring your charger back home from the hospital. They are the most common things left at the hospital.
You want something to easily slip your feet into when moving around both in labour and after you have your baby. Most hospitals don't allow you to move outside your room without some sort of shoes as well. I often find women tend to bring the cutest slippers I have ever seen. So don't be shy bringing your giant pink fluffy ones with the pom poms.
9. Water bottle
Labour is like a marathon. You will be thirsty. You need to drink. In addition, a breastfeeding woman needs to drink at least 3-4 litres a day. Therefore you want to be able to reach for some water whenever and wherever you are. Not every hospital provides water bottles. You might just get plastic cups to drink your water from. To be able to carry your water with you and throw it anywhere you want bring your own to make it easier for yourself.
10. High waisted underpants
After you have a baby you bleed like never before. It is normal for your blood loss in the first week after birth to be like a heavy period. You therefore need maternity pads. What are maternity pads? They are surfboards. So your tiny hipster panties will not suffice. You need high waisted comfortable underpants. In addition, for any woman having a caesarian, hipster underpants tend to cut exactly where your wound is.
11. Maternity pads
Naturally, the next thing on the list are maternity pads. Really, you just need any large heavy pads during your hospital stay.
12. Comfortable clothes
You need clothes that are loose fitting, comfortable, easily taken on and off and have the ability to breastfeed in. For ideas check out the dresses at yu.
Enjoy your journey and your baby!