It’s taken me some time to think about this post and I thought I would divert away from our pregnancy story slightly and write about a couple of the useful things I packed in out hospital bag.
I spent forever looking online at other peoples blogs and various websites getting ideas of what to pack to take to hospital, so much so that I think I was a little overwhelmed at the prospect of having to actually pack a bag. Another internet search brought me to the ready packed bags that you can buy with everything that you would need but did I really need another overnight bag? And I was positive I could buy all the things for a lot less than the cost of a pre packed bag.
I knew that I was having to be induced at 39 weeks, if she hadn’t arrived before, and had been told that the induction process could take a few days so had to take this into consideration when I started writing the list of things I would need and pack a few extra bits “just incase”.
Toiletries- I packed a fair few bits in way of toiletries because we didn’t know how long I was going to be in hospital for. I took the obvious bits such as toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash and shower gel. I also took shampoo and conditioner but never ended up using these as I was so tired after having Paige and I didn’t want to spend the next 24 hours (our hospital stay) with wet hair. I also took and highly recommend taking some sort of lip balm, I used mine (Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour) while on the maternity ward as I’d used gas and air and dried out my lips during labour. Maternity pads are also a must, I took Asda own brand maternity pads but they were too thin and the midwife who delivered Paige gave me a packet of the hospitals and they were fab. Once I got home I just bought Asda own brand sanitary towels for heavy flow and they were as good as the ones from the hospital and an added bonus of less than a £1 for 20.
A hair tie was very much needed as I got so hot and sweaty but I already had my hair tied back when we got to the hospital but if you are unlike me and have your hair down, remember to pack one.
Baby Milk- I was adamant that I was going to breastfeed but wanted to take something as a just incase. We bought the small ready to feed bottles that come with the sterilised teats. Turns out these did come in handy as we ended up feeding her with these as I got no help in feeding her myself as there were not enough midwives on shift and she was crying for milk. They were so easy to use and had measurements on the side so we could see how much milk she was drinking in those first few bottles. The leftover ones also came in useful for the changing bag on those first few outings.
A straw- My God did this come in useful. A friend who’d had a baby just before us had recommended taking a straw to take sips of water between contractions. This was the best bit of advice. I was sucking on the gas and air like it was going out of fashion and my mouth was so dry, having the straw meant that I could have a sip without tilting my head back and as it turned out, I gave birth on all fours, so Matt could hold the straw to my mouth and I didn’t really have to move.
Water Wipes- These were massively helpful not only in the hospital but in the first few weeks after Paige arrived. They are like extra wet, wet wipes. They are made with something like 97% water and they helped hugely with the first of the black sticky tar nappies. Although I think Matt took charge and changed all of those. Because they were so wet they didn’t drag on her new little bottom like some of the other brands we have tried over her many months. The only downside to this brand is the cost but just for a couple of packets for the hospital bag they are definitely worth it.
A couple of things that I found that was a waste of bag space:
Disposable maternity pants- I found these a waste as they were very thin and flimsy. I also thought that they would be in replacement of pants and a pad but a pad was also needed with these so I didn’t end up using them.
Breast pads- For me, I didn’t need these in my bag taking up space. I didn’t end up using them for the first four, maybe five days as it took that long for my milk to come in.
Too many clothes- As I was induced and had been told to pack enough stuff in case we ended up being in hospital for a few days, I packed loads for me and Matt but from arriving at the hospital to giving birth was 13hours. Obviously not everyone is the same and on my ward was a lady that had already been there three days with no signs of the induction working. I wore the same to go home in as I’d arrived at hospital and Matt never touched his stuff.
Too much baby stuff- We were kept in for 24hours post delivery to check Paige’s blood sugars and I’d packed three lots of vests and baby grows and on top of that a coming home outfit. She only wore one of the vests and two of the baby grows because I wanted to fetch her home in something clean.
And lastly a couple of things I wish I had taken with me,
Better snacks- I declined dinner as I was in too much pain, Matt didn’t want to leave me to go to the shop and by the time I was moved post delivery to the ward at 5am I was starving. I’d already sent Matt home at 3am and he had to stop off via McDonalds as he was so hungry. We had only take a could of bags of sweets and a few breakfast bars that we had already had in the cupboard.
My own towel- The hospital ones are ok albeit a little small and scratchy. After my post delivery shower I would have loved to have wrapped myself up and just snuggled on the bed. The benefit of using the hospital towel though is you wouldn’t have to transport a dirty, bloody towel.