The time has come to pack your hospital bag. You are in your last trimester and no doubt getting really excited!!! Try and have your bag packed by 36 weeks just in case something unexpected comes up. It is always a great feeling to have everything organised and ready to go. Hospitals may vary with what you are allowed to bring in with you from home. Space may be really limited so bringing pillows and bedding may not be allowed. Having a comfy pillow from home can make you feel a lot more settled, so it is definitely worth asking the questions. If space is limited, you could pack 2 bags – one for labour and one for afterwards. If you have a straightforward birth you may not even need the second bag as you may be leaving the same day. Worth giving some thought, as the second bag could be left in the car.. So for the labour the following should be packed:
- Your birth plan and any notes you may have taken in antenatal classes. If you are wanting to be a strictly breastfeeding mum, you may want to put this clearly in your plan, and also request wrist bands for you and baba saying BREASTFEED ONLY.
- Pyjama’s for each night of your stay. Nighties are also a good option. Have a look at the annabella vintage summer or winter PJ sets – they will also facilitate easy breastfeeding as they are technically crafted with this in mind (shelf bra’s and clasps). The annabella nighties allow for pull aside breastfeeding. These items are for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- The annabella Kimono is the perfect cover-up when you are pacing hospital corridors in early labour. You’ll also need one on the postnatal ward. Hospitals can be very warm, so ours is lightweight. A dark colour will help to hide any stains.
- Backless slip-on slippers, that are easy to get on and off.
- Socks are a good option for while in labour for the colder times of the year.
- Massage oil or lotion will ease the pain and stress levels. Please ensure that you check with your health practitioner that the properties in the oil or lotion are safe for pregnancy.
- Aromatherapy burner (remember the lighter) with some soothing oils – like lavender – again, check to make sure that whatever you burn is safe for labour and child birth. This can hugely calm the birth environment and make the process more manageable.
- Candles will help with the setting and to make the space calm and relaxing.
- A birth ball can help you to labour effectively. Check whether the hospital has the right size for you. If not, take your own. Remember to bring a pump so your birth partner can inflate it for you.
- Your lips can dry out quickly on a warm labour ward so pack a soothing lip balm.
- Snacks and drinks for you while you are in labour. Isotonic sports drinks are good, or take some glucose tablets to keep you going.
- Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, magazines, or your ipad. A journal is also a good idea so that you can document the stages and experiences.
- You may want your hair out of your face, so pack some hair bands and clips.
- Pillows are a great idea especially a V-shaped pillow, like the one from Rhubarb and custard that you will find in the annabella mum and baby section. This can give you extra support when breastfeeding your baby after you have used it for labour.
- TENS pain relief machine, if you are planning to use one.
- Definitely take your ipad, cd player etc with your play lists. Taking the focus off the pain through calming music will be hugely beneficial. Some hospitals provide their own CD players, so you may be able to pack some CD’s, but definitely check first.
What should my birth partner pack?
- Water spray or a hand-held fan, to cool you down while you’re in labour.
- Comfortable shoes as they may be pacing the corridors with you.
- A change of clothes, as a shower may not be very forthcoming for quite a while!
- Bendy straws to help you to have a drink during labour.
- Swimwear to be able to join you in the birthing bath.
- Mobile phone and charger. If their mobile has a stopwatch/timer function, they can use it to help time your contractions. Or if they have a smartphone, there are apps available that can do the job for them.
- Digital camera or camera phone to take photos or a short film of the birth and early moments with your baby. Be sure to tell them not to take any shots from your feet up!
- Snacks and drinks. You don’t want a dehydrated, hungry birth partner looking after you. If they bring some snacks and drinks with them, they can stay with you, rather than leaving the room to search for food!
What shall I pack for after the birth?
- More sleepwear. The annabella sleepwear sets have comfort waist bands and tunic cut tops..so will be very comfortable, as well as looking beautiful. Pack some of the breastfeeding camisoles and comfort pants or leggings to go home in. A cardi wrap will give you the coverage you may be looking for.
- Any lactation information…maybe a lactation consultants name and number so that you can have someone on stand-by should you need help. The nursing sisters are always amazing…but have a back-up in place.
- Nursing bras. Bring two or three. Look at the annabella underwear section – the Triumph Bra’s and the annabella crossover bras are perfect!
- Breast pads – the disposable ones (nuk or pigeon are good).
- Maternity pads. Bring a couple of packs. Some private hospitals give you some – so check first.
- Pack travel sized shampoo and conditioner, cream, face product and of course your deodorant. Sometimes towels are provided – check with your hospital. Tooth brush and tooth paste will also be a good idea.
- Old or cheap panties, or disposable panties – and the bigger the better. Don’t bring your best ones as they will get messy.
What should I pack for my baby?
- Babygrows x 4
- Baby blanket. Although hospitals are very warm, your baby may need a blanket if it’s chilly outside when you leave.
- Nappies. Your newborn will go through as many as 12 in a day.
- Muslin squares, for mopping up any milk your baby brings up
- Swaddling blankets
- One outfit for the trip home – baby grow that is really cute for all the photos
- Baby car seat. Most hospitals won’t let you leave by car without one.
- Jacket or shawl for winter babies.
Now that your bag is packed, and the baby room is ready, make sure you have noted the first signs of labour!!! Good luck ladies, and remember to enjoy every second. Love Claire & Gill www.shopannabella.com