Packing the hospital bag; such a pivotal moment whilst preparing for baby. If all goes according to plan I'll birth in a low-risk maternity ward at our local hospital and return home about six hours after meeting baby. My midwife will visit every day for a week afterwards; she'll drink earl grey (her tea of choice) whilst chatting to me about feeding habits and sleeping patterns. She'll also ask me how I'm feeling - in body and mind. It's hard to believe that such nurturing, attentive service comes at a financial cost of absolutely nothing. Grateful is an understatement. Because an overnight stay in hospital isn't my intention, the contents of my bag is minimal. However, whilst two change of clothes will suffice, I have still packed the essentials that every woman needs for labour, birth and the tender (breathe, breathe, breathe) recovery days. My list of essentials includes:
- a pillow (because burying your face into your own pillow whilst contracting is far nicer that the plastic hospital variety) - my beloved drink bottle - a thick headband (hair on the face is never preferable during labour) - lip salve (long exhalations create dry lips) - black underpants of the boyshort variety (always black and never skimpy) - maternity pads (more than you think you'll need) - a sleep bra and cotton breast pads (this range is great, too) - a robe (worn every day for the six weeks post-birth) - hot water bottle (for after-pains which tend to get more intense with each baby) - camera, batteries and memory cards - shoes, slippers and socks (easy to forget as you waddle out the door) For me: - a supportive singlet for post-birth - a comfortable tee (worn here - so flattering at this stage of pregnancy) and nursing-friendly singlet - black skirt - yoga pants - cardigan - linen scarf (the heat of labour soon dissipates once your baby is born...a scarf is a necessity) - toiletries - tea bags and tea cups (because that cup of tea after birth is one of the best you'll ever drink...and it's always nicer to sip from a decent porcelain cup) - fresh fruit For baby: - nappies + wipes - singlets - a beanie - booties - onesies of the kimono variety (so much easier to dress them in) - swaddle wraps - a blanket (my essentials for baby detailed here) For dad: - warm clothes (hospitals get cold, especially at night) - sustenance of the snacking variety - loose change (for more sustenance) - phone chargers - boardshorts (if you want to share the bath)
What have I forgotten?
If you are intending on spending a few days in hospital, remember that comfortable clothes and button down PJs are an absolute priority, as are at least 10 pairs of black underpants.