Something I’ve been procrastinating over, although I know it won’t help me, is putting together my hospital bag. With two more working days left and maternity leave starting on Wednesday, I know I need to get cracking.
I’ve borrowed and paraphrased the the Baby Centre What to Pack list to help me plan my shopping list in advance of my shopping trip to Canterbury later this week:
What should I pack for labour?
- Your birth plan and maternity notes -These will be going straight in, no further comment needed really!
- Dressing gown. – I have a Chinese satin one already which I will be taking along. I plan to pace the corridors as much as required to get things going, utilising my funny walks learned at pre-natal yoga. But if I can find a super cheap one (under a fiver) I’ll snap that up, to spare my Chinese souvenir!
- Backless slip-on slippers – I need to get these. These M&S ones should do the trick
- Socks- apparently your feet get cold during labour, although I will believe it when I see it, I am generally always pretty warm, and I’ve been even more so than normal during pregnancy. I’ve got some cosy fluffy ones to bring along.
- Old nightdress or T-shirt to wear in labour – all advice says it’s going to get messy and you probably don’t want anything too special. That said, I don’t have any old t-shirts that are long enough to use as a nightdress, and I’ll probably want something to protect my modesty for the bits when I don’t need a medical professional’s head up there – so I’ll probably try and snap up a bargain one of those too – probably just something like this from H&M.
- Massage oil or lotion (if you would like to be massaged during your labour) – yes please! I’ve already got some Mama Bee Nourishing Oil which will do nicely.
- Birth ball – I’m going to talk to the midwife about whether it will be necessary to bring my own, or whether the Singleton Unit, where I am planning on having the baby, will have some.
- Lip balm – I’m sure this will be the least of my worries, but I’ve got plenty, maybe a good opportunity to get through some of my stacks of the stuff!
- Snacks and drinks (Isotonic sports drinks, glucose tablets) – Noted, I’ll pick these up. I’ve got a ton of Lotus biscuits which are pre-wrapped in twos, and oatcakes, apparently eating little and often is key, so this means I can space out my snacks
- Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, magazines, or a tablet computer – Hmm, can’t help feeling I’m not going to be able to concentrate much, but we talked at length about relaxtion and distraction at NCT this week, so I’ll take a funny book along, the giggles might help me unwind.
- Hairbands or a clip- absolutely! As mentioned, I get way to hot a lot anyway, so I’ll definitely be wanting my long hair off my back. Just plain black bands for a ponytail which I already have.
- Pillows. – I’ll bring along my V shaped one, which is helping me sleep at the moment
- TENS pain relief machine – I am not planning to use one, but if anyone reading (IS anyone reading) has a compelling story about why I must get one, let me know!
- Music- I’m still not sure about sleeping arrangements, whether Iwill have my own room or not (I hope so, and I’ll be talking to the midwife about thhis) but if I am, I’ll take a bluetooth speaker along from home. I’ve already got a Voombox Ongo.
What should my birth partner pack?
- Water spray or a hand-held fan- good plan, we’ve got a little spray bottle already, I’ll fill it with water and grab a handheld fan from a pound shop.
- Comfortable shoes – the trainer king will be sorted for footwear already
- A change of clothes- What he has in trainers, he matches in t-shirts. We’ll be ok on this front.
- Bendy straws- good one. I’ll grab
- Swimwear (if they want to join you in a birth pool) – No chance, he hates water. I’m hoping to see out as much labour as I can in the birth pool, so I’ll be taking along my old tankini and he can watch from the sidelines. It will be just like the dolphin show at Seaworld, only more dramatic.
- Mobile phone and charger – I’ve got him to download the Contraction Timer already
- Digital camera -He’s got a Panasonic G5
- Snacks and drinks- I’ll make sure we have plenty, I won’t want him to leave my side to go off to the vending machine, and having spent time at the bedsides of loved ones in hospital before, I know how expensive they can be.
What shall I pack for after the birth?
- A going-home outfit. – something loose and comfortable – I’ll take my H&M pyjama bottoms along, they double up as sweatpants, and one of my maternity tops. I doubt I’m going to get papped 😉
- Handouts about breastfeeding (from antenatal classes) – I haven’t had these from NCT yet, but I will whack them in the bag with my maternity notes.
- Nursing bras – I’ll pick these H&M ones up
- Breast pads – I somehow had the foresight to pick these up already in my last Boots shop, so there’s a tick here. The question is how many, it’s quite a large box
- Maternity pads. I’ve got a pack already, but Babycentre advice is bring a couple of packs :-S
- Nightshirt or T-shirt. Front-opening shirts are useful in the early days of breastfeeding. This nightshirt from H&M is pretty nice, but I worry about the colour, I imagine there’s going to be all sorts leaking from everywhere, so I’ll try and find something darker in colour
- Toiletries. Babycentre suggest decanting – no problem I’ve got loads of travel miniatures that I’ve nicked from hotels already.
- Towels, hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste. – the obvious.
- Old or cheap knickers, or disposable knickers.I probably won’t bother buying disposable ones, I have loads of knackered knickers that I plan to replace when things in the coming weeks (or months) to celebrate things getting back to normal down there.
- Arnica cream (apparently it can help to reduce bruising and helps the healing process) – It’s on the list.
- Eye mask and earplugs- D bought me both of these recently to help me sleep, TICK!
What should I pack for my baby?
- Two or three sleepsuits and vests. – I’ve realised that most of the clothes we have, which probably isn’t enough, are in 0-3 months, nothing newborn or 3-6 months. But what if we have a tiny baby? Or an absolute whopper? I’ll need more.
- Baby blanket – although they’ll have them in hospital, it’s recommended for the journey home. My mum’s got my old Christening blanket out, made by my late nan for the grand occasion.
- Nappies- I’ve started adding them to grocery shops
- Muslin squares – I’ve gone nuts for the pretty patterned ones from Aden and Anais on offer in TK Maxx
- One pair of socks or booties. – none yet, on the list. Polarn O. Pyret has some lovely ones, but I’ll probably end up going to Boots or H&M as they’ll be slightly better value for money. One piece of advice I’ve had is to just get plain white socks so you don’t drive yourself mad trying to pair up the tiny little blighters.
- Hat – I’ve got a bunch of Marrimekko ones I snapped up in TK Maxx.
- One outfit for the trip home (all-in-one stretchy outfits are easiest). Undecided, largely due to unknown size of baby as above (my friend recently had an 11 pounder). Another excuse to look at the cute stuff on offer in Canterbury.
- Baby car seat. Some hospitals won’t let you leave by car without one. Our Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus will get us home safe.
- Jacket or snowsuit for winter babies – It’ll be a May baby, we don’t need this.
Here’s a selection of the bits we do have – the Marrimekko hats and Boots sleepsuits go so well together (I got these in the January sales, £5.50 for 5, utter bargain) The Cath Kidston set was a gift from work and the little cardigan knitted by a friend of my mum’s so these might form part of the grand going home outfit.
Am I missing anything glaringly obvious? Anything here you think is baloney that I won’t need? I’d love to hear your thoughts!