I’m nearly 35 weeks now so it’s officially time to start packing my hospital bag/s. I have heard you’re supposed to pack it around 6 weeks before your due date and carry it with you but after asking some of my Instagram friends there is a range of packing in the early 30 weeks and some as they left for the hospital. So, I’d say when you feel you’re ready, get packing!
I love packing my hospital bags, probably because all I want to do in my third trimester is nest. Washing all the clothes, thinking ahead to the birth and getting everything sorted is a really lovely thing to do.
In this post, I’ll show you what I’m packing along with sharing some tips I’ve learned from giving birth twice previously.
What I’m packing in my hospital bag…
I usually pack two bags for my hospital stay, one for everything I’ll need for the birth and then one for my stay in hospital afterwards (as I have had two csections and will be having a third so will be admitted for up to 48 hours).
Here’s what I’ll pack for the birth
- Maternity notes (mine are on my phone so that’s easy)
- Birth plan, which again is on my phone but as I’m having a c-section it’s a little easier. Make sure your partner has access to this as my husband had to take over conversations when I was in labour with Amelie and it was good he had these to hand
- A comfortable nighty for after the birth. I have two blue Seraphine ones which I used with Evie. These were brilliant for breastfeeding and skin to skin time
- Things to do – I’ll have a bit of a chill-out kit to keep me occupied if I have to wait for my C-section. I also found this really useful when I was being induced with Amelie as we had a long wait. This time around I will be taking a book, music and will have some of my favourite podcasts ready
- My phone, charger and camera
- Hand sanitiser
- Hairband – I found my hair annoyed me A LOT when I was in labour with Amelie and it’s good to have it off your face for the C-section
- Water spray – I had Amelie in the middle of a heatwave so having a water spray to cool me down was really nice.
- Nursing bra – I‘ll be wearing this anyway but it’s good to have a couple with you
- My glasses as I am not sure if I can wear contact lenses for my c-section
Things I used when I didn’t know I was having a C-section and would recommend…
- A TENS machine at the time I rented mine from Boots
- An old t-shirt for birth
- A water spray, perfect for cooling down
- Straws for having a drink (sounds odd but SO essential)!
- Lucozade and snacks
For the baby
You’ll need something ready for the baby to wear after you’ve given birth and if you’re having a C-section your birth partner will be asked to bring it into the operating theatre with you. For the first outfit, I will have: A vest, a sleepsuit, a hat, a cardigan and a blanket.
For the stay in hospital I’ll have the following for the baby:
- 5 sleepsuits
- 5 vests
- Scratch mitts
- 2 Hats
- Two cardigans
- Two blankets (one cellular one)
- A Gro swaddle for night sleeping. I’m not sure if I’ll use this yet but I will have it with me
- Nappies – I will be starting with some disposable ones and once the baby is older I am going to try reusable ones
- Cotton wool and a Tupperware pot for the first nappy changes (or you could have something like water wipes)
- Muslins for feeding/burping and lying the baby down on
- A going home outfit
- A warm fleece outfit for home as he will be a winter baby but will need something thin so he’s safe in the car seat
- A warmer hat for when we leave the hospital
- Car seat – this will stay in the car until we are ready to leave but have it ready to go.
For after the birth I’ll be packing
- Healthy snacks and drinks for after the operation when I’m feeling better. I really craved squash and drinks with taste after my last c-section so that’ll be a must in my bag! I will also take some peppermint tea as peppermint tea can be good afterward for aiding digestion. Snacks wise I will be taking snack bars with oats in them as apparently they can help aid supply.
- My travel pillow *GIFTED* from Snoozeworld. I really struggle to sleep after having C-sections so having a comfortable pillow is essential. I have been using this pillow over the last few weeks to prop myself up in bed a little more and it is so comfortable!
- I’ll also be taking my pregnancy pillow as I find it comfortable for sitting up in bed so I think it’ll be useful to have
- My wash bag with my toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, soap, dry hair shampoo, hair ties, a hairband, glasses and contact lenses
- Nappy sacks which can be really helpful to have on hand for the first nappy changes and any outfits that need to be taken home for washing
- Face wipes – as much as I would love to admit a full skincare routine when I’m in hospital frankly I am usually too exhausted and rushing to get back to the baby if I’ve left them so a quick face wipe is always really handy!
- Tissues – very useful to have on hand, especially if you’re like me and cry a lot!
- A comfortable nighty for after the birth and additionally some PJ’s as I remember being cold at night last time with Evie
- Big hand sanitiser – I think most people know that before you pick up a newborn you should use hand sanitiser so it’s good to have one on hand for visitors
- Dressing gown or a hoodie – I personally find having a nice dressing gown really handy for the first few hours/day when you’re in bed and want a cover-up that has easy access for feeding
- Comfortable going-home clothes – I am going to have a hoodie top and some joggers for when we leave
- Towel – having a nice and big towel from home for a shower is essential
- Maternity and breast pads
- Big knickers – I personally find knickers bought a few sizes bigger the most comfortable post-birth rather than throwaway knickers
- Nursing pillow – I find a nursing pillow really handy for feeding after I’ve had a C-section as often it can be hard to position the baby. I have just bought the BBHug me nursing pillow
- Eye mask – if you’re in a ward an eye mask can be useful for getting some sleep
- Flip flops and slippers – I tend to take both flip flops and slippers for after the birth. One for comfort the other for showering
- Shower cap – it can sometimes be hard to shower in the hospital showers without getting your hair wet so take a shower cap…
- Dry shampoo – for those days you need a refresh but don’t fancy a hair wash!
- Arnica tablets – I used Arnica tablets for bruising after my C-section with Evie to try and help recover a bit quicker.
That’s my list so far, what have I missed?