Some websites will tell you to start prepping your hospital bag from sometime in the second trimester! When I was pregnant with my first baby, I remember thinking just how much does one have to pack? What’s the emergency? It’s another thing to add to the never-ending list of prep for this new baby. The truth is, it’s not a big deal having the perfectly prepped hospital bag, and someone can always bring something in for you! So don’t stress about it, but do have it ready from 36 weeks. Make sure you’re partner is involved in the process so when you’re in labour and you need something NOW from that bag, they know where it is! Here are a few of Bump to Cradle’s tips on what to put in…
o Your midwife/hospital notes if you have them
o Your phone and charger
o Change for the car park (keep in the car)
o TENS machine if you want to use one
o Toiletries – remember toothbrush/toothpaste, shower gel, hair ties, dry shampoo if you use it, face wipes.
o Comfy dark coloured knickers – a few pairs
o Dark coloured trousers (blood loss can be heavy) and clothes to go home in
o Nighties, dressing gown and slippers
o Swimwear if you think you might have a water birth
o Flip flops for shower
o Maternity pads (bring lots just in case)
o Breast pads, nipple cream
o Food and drink (for you and partner). Straws are useful for drinks. Coconut water is great for hydration and good if you are fed up of water. Flapjacks are a good energy source.
o Any other home comforts that will help – lip balm, massage oils, playlists on phone/ipad and mini speakers , comfy pillows, candles (fake battery ones)
Your partner might want to bring his own bag if he’s staying over. Also for him, remember comfy shoes, like trainers not work shoes.
FOR YOUR BABY
o Car seat (note - probably won’t fit in the bag!)
o Nappies/wipes suitable from birth
o Babygros/sleepsuits – bring a few as may need regular changing if accidents!
o Hat and mitts
o Muslin cloths/swaddle cloths
o Coat/warm all in one suit
For more practical, realistic and up to date information on having a baby and for the support you need in learning about labour and the postnatal period, see our expert led antenatal classes at www.bumptocradle.com. They can be a brilliant way to make new friends at this special but sometimes overwhelming time.