Hospital Bag

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hospital bag It's one of those things we get excited about: packing for the hospital birth. I wasn't a special case: packing and unpacking my hospital bag about 14 times.

I started at around 5 months. Of course, it was the baby's famous coming-home-from-hospital outfit that was the first to get packed. By the time I needed to be rushed to the labour ward, that outfit was washed, ironed, packed, unpacked, changed with another one about 5 times.

Whatever you do, don't take everything and the kitchen sink, because it is likely that the midwives will ask your partner to take back a lot of the stuff.

 

Keep in mind though that you might need to stay for a longer period, if you have a caesarean section or if baby needs supervision after birth. But, then again, that's what mums and partners are for: to bring you more things if you need them after birth.

In your search for information, you will probably find some interminable list of things, including aroma therapy and knitting kits, but the truth is you won't feel like doing anything like that while waiting to give birth. Your head will be spinning with a million different things and most of them will be related to the pain from the contractions and the excitement of the experience.

If you have a long enough labour to knit or start an aroma therapy session in the waiting ward, it's likely that the midwives will send you home and ask you to come back when you're desperate enough to throw the needles and eucalyptus oils at them.

The Baby Hospital Bag Checklist:

 

  • a long T-shirt or front-opening nightie, dressing gown and slippers;
  • drinks and snacks for you and your partner;
  • your usual cosmetics bag, including hair brush and a hair clipper if you think you need one while in labour and after birth. Don't go mad now bagging your waxing stripes as well, hoping your partner will be of some use while the epidural still works;
  • underwear and maternity pads, if the hospital doesn't supply them;
  • a TENS machine, if you tried it before and it worked for you;
  • a photo/video camera;
  • coming home outfit for you and the baby;
  • one blanket;
  • 20 breast pads;
  • at least 3 sleepsuits for the baby in two different sizes (newborn and 0-3 months);
  • at least 5 bodysuits in two different sizes;
  • at least 30 disposable nappies;
  • one pair of mittens and one hat;
  • your birth plan;

If you don't have a birth plan yet, download the BabyWonderland birth plan, complete it and take it with you to the hospital. It's OK to change your mind and to wish to make alterations to the plan, you can always download it again and fill it in again.

If you don't plan to breastfeed, don't bother with the formula, as the hospital will certainly have a variety of choices for you and ready made milk in sterilized bottles and teats, ready for your baby. (You might still want to consider a dummy.) Don't forget the car seat if coming back by car.

Find out more about giving birth in hospital on our website.