So following on from last weeks blog 10 things to do in your third trimester. I wanted to talk to you today about what to pack in your hospital maternity bag. Some of these items will be obvious for some people and I know that there are loads of lists like this on the internet but I hope to bring some new ideas of things that you may not have thought of but could come in really handy.
It’s important to remember that your babies exact arrival date cannot be predicted, even if you’re having a planned c section, labour could still start before that date. Therefore I recommend packing your bag when you are between 34 and 36 weeks just in case.
Even if you plan on having a home birth, it’s still handy to pack a bag so you don’t need to worry about finding things once your labour has started. Also if things don’t go to plan at home, you may need to be transferred to a hospital so it will be handy just to be able to grab your bags and go.
I recommend packing two bags, one for your labour and one for after in the hospital.
- Don’t forget to pack your hospital notes! I have had quite a high number of my photography clients say their husband had to go back for the notes as they were forgotten on the big day. This was mainly due to needing the notes for hospital and midwife appointments between packing the bag and going in to have the baby, for this reason I recommend you always put the notes back in your bag after every hospital visit even if you think you’ll need the notes again soon as you just never know when you will go into labour.
- Several nightdresses or shirts that button down the front. I can’t stress enough about the BUTTON DOWN THE FRONT part. I was pretty sick during the labour for my second child and was accidentally sick down the front of my nightie. As I had an epidural I couldn’t take my nightie off because of all the equipment I was attached to. So I had to continue through labour with the lovely aroma of vomit every time I breathed in! If I had taken night shirts that buttoned all down the front I could have easily changed in to a clean one without affecting the wires and tubes for my epidural.
- Slippers and socks.
- Lip balm, gas and air can make your lips really dry.
- Maternity pads.
- Hair brush, bands and clips to help keep your hair off your face.
- A dressing gown.
- A water spray bottle and battery powered hand held fan.
- Snacks and drinks like Lucozade to keep your energy levels up and if your husband or partner get hungry.
- Your mobile phone and charger.
- Tissues and wet wipes.
- Clothes for baby, I recommend putting the outfit you want baby to be dressed in first in a ziplock bag so you can easily grab it without having to go through the whole bag.
- Two to three nappies.
- Change for the vending machine and car park.
- A sport bottle to drink from so you don’t have to sit up to have a drink.
- A bin liner for dirty clothes.
- Toiletries for yourself and your partner in case labour lasts a long time.
- And last but certainly not least! A camera as well as batteries and chargers to capture those precious first moments. I have another blog here that has some great tips on how to photograph labour and birth.
Bag for the ward
- Loose comfortable clothing for when you go home.
- Toiletries: washing items, toothbrush and paste, deodorant.
- Breast pads, even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding just in case you leak.
- Disposable pants or ones you don’t mind getting ruined or stained.
- Nursing bras, take two or three.
- Clothes for baby, vests and grows, I recommend the grows with the scratch mits that fold over the hand.
- Open fronted or button through nighties for breastfeeding (if you plan to)
- Bottles and formula milk if you plan to bottle feed.
- Nappies and cotton wool.
- Cheap flip flops, these are handy if you want to use the hospital showers.
- Books or magazines.
If there is anything else you think you could add to this then please do comment below with your suggestions and I can update it.
Fellow photographer Mya Lau is blogging about Newborn pre consultation prep she has some great advice here and you can read her blog newborn pre-consultation prep