So I have finally officially packed my hospital bags – something I’ve been delaying for a while now. For weeks I had been gathering bits and pieces, putting orders in on line for things I might need and creating nice little piles of things to take with me. However; I just seemed to be reluctant to finally put all these pieces together and call my bags officially packed.
Its a strange feeling packing my bags this time around, most people say when packing bags for a second baby that they are not bringing half of what they brought the first time as it wasn’t needed. Unfortunately I was the opposite, as I was induced I went through my full 16 hours of labour from start to finish in the hospital and topped it off with a 6 night stay after my eventual C-section.
I ran out of lots of things and had to send Dear Husband (DH) off to our local Tesco lots of times. Poor DH was killed trying to get washing done and dry to bring back in to the hospital in the few short hours he had at home in between visiting baby and me. (Tip – if you get caught with an extended hospital stay and your DH has to do unsupervised laundry make sure he knows not to wash brand new black towels with lovely white / yellow / neutral baby clothes – we *may* have learned this the hard way last time).
This time round, part of me wants to pack enough stuff to last for 6 months but another part of me wants to stay focused on achieving a positive VBAC (natural birth after C-section) where I spend most of my labour at home only going to hospital to actually deliver the baby and then going home within 24 hours.
So heres what I finally have packed (*Disclamer I could end up changing this a million times before the big day but I’m pretty sure this is what I’m going with).
For Labour Ward
- Birth Plan
- 2 Nighties*
- Dressing Gown*
- 1 Pair of Pyjamas **
- 2 Spare Bras (in case they get wet in the bath/birthing pool)
- Slippers x 2
- Socks x 2
- 1 Packet Maternity Towels
- 2 Black Towels
- 2 Face cloths for Perineal Compress and 2 for Face/Neck
- TENs + replacement pads
- Phone Charger & Wireless Headphones to listen to Gentle Birth Tracks
- Lip Balm
- Hair Ties
- Shower Gel & Poof
- Yoga Mat
- Yoga Ball
- Own Pillow and Blanket***
- Aromatherapy Oils and Burner ***
- Baby Grow
* I got some lovely maternity nursing nighties while in New York last year – something I couldn’t get at all on my last pregnancy but I have seen some now available in Pennies in Ireland in the last few months if your looking.
** On my last pregnancy I spent early labour in the maternity ward with other patients, babies and their visitors – I found that my nighties which had looked fine when I tried them on standing up were way too short due to the size of my bump when sitting on my yoga ball so I couldn’t relax properly in them – while I hope this time around to be in active labour when I arrive at the hospital I’m prepared with Pyjamas in case things slow down on the journey or incase there isn’t a delivery suit free at first.
***Bringing my own blanket, pillow and aromatherapy burner is all to help create a relaxing environment in the labour ward. It also helps to set the tone and mark the space as mine so that when the midwives or medical staff enter it feels more like they are in my space than I am in theirs.
For The Hospital Stay – For Me
I’ve done my best to resist the urge to pack for an extended stay and instead have packed based on the hopes of coming home the next day. Assuming a straight forward delivery I’m told second time Mums can be discharged around 24 hours later at the hospital I’m attending. I’ve heard of some Mums getting to go home within 6 hours at other hospitals (wouldn’t that be great) but there are no early discharge programs like this at my hospital.
- Nursing Nighty
- Bath Towels x 2
- Hand Towel
- Boba Stretchy Wrap
- Book – The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding*
- Belly Bandit**
- Arnica for Postnatal Healing
- Sports Bottle of Water (to spray warm water on perineum while peeing – takes the sting away I’m told!)
- Ear Plugs (nights can be long on your own with a new baby so these are great to allow you to get a nap while DH minds baby during the day)
- iPAD & Charger
- Healthy snacks
- Mouth Wash
- Cleanser & Face Pads
- Lanolin Cream
- Witch Hazel
- Zita West Comfort Down Under Cream
- Hair Brush
- Hair Serum
- Hair Spray
- Nail File
- Nail Scissors
- 1 Pack of Maternity Pads
- Breast Pads
- Make-up bag
- Outfit for Going Home
*The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – terrible name I know but this is the breastfeeding bible to help with any problems we may encounter starting off.
**Belly Bandit – this is supposed to help tighten your tummy back up while all your hormones are working to heal the body after delivery, I got it after my last pregnancy but I think I got it too late so hoping for better results this time.
***I’ve packed loads of toiletries I know 🙂 The days after little mans delivery were like a blur, I was on so many drugs and was so unwell that I just kind of survived rather than being able to enjoy my little bundle of joy and visitors. This time around I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to take the time to have a nice shower and make myself look presentable for going home photos and the madness of the first few weeks.
For the Hospital Stay – For Baby
I haven’t shown the bits and pieces I have packed for baby as that would give the game away as to whether its a boy or a girl we are having – we do know and its not a secret, but I don’t want to reveal it on line until baby arrives. Note the pink bag isn’t intended as a clue its just a handy size bag that I happen to own.
- 6 Baby Grows or Gowns
- 6 Baby Vests
- 2 Dozen Disposable Nappies
- 1 Hat
- 2 Baby Towels
- 1 Baby Blankets
- 1 Pack Waterwipes
- 3 Pack of Muslin cloths
- Going Home Outfit
So thats my hospital bags packed, DH has also packed a small bag with a change of clothes and some toiletries to freshen up with up but thats not very interesting.
What do you think of my list – is there anything else you’d recommend? Let me know while I hopefully still have some time left to add them to the bags!