what to pack in your hospital bag
I’m planning on spending a couple of nights in hospital this time ’round. I know a shared room isn’t for everyone but honestly, I really appreciate having the on-call support of the midwives during the first 48 hours…nothing quite like a little assurance in those first few days (even if this is my fourth baby!).
I also know that once I get home I’ll be juggling toddler attention seeking, a doting older sister/little muma and a big brother who wants to tell me everything about his day – every day. One-on-one time with the baby will be much harder to obtain and so my time in hospital will be a chance to recover, rest and bask in some quiet.
With this in mind, I’m packing my hospital bag a little differently to last time.
I am literally down to my last handful of clothes that fit comfortably. I wear these jeans (with a simple long-sleeve tee or this blouse) most days and, as soon as I’m home, I slip into these jersey pants which are basically the most comfortable bottoms I’ve ever owned. Of course, come late afternoon I’m quite happy to hop into my PJs and on weekends I potter at home in a mix-match of warm layers that are stylistically dubious to say the least. Alas, comfort is priority!
Comfort is an absolute must for the hospital too (denim is not allowed) and so I’m packing a bundle of essentials that I can layer to keep me warm. Your body temperature naturally drops after birth so covering up and warming your core is really important. Here’s what I’m packing to stay warm and comfortable:
- the lovely designers from Read & Bell recently gifted me this wool throw and it’s been so welcome considering the sudden drop of temperature of late. I’ll wear it over my shoulders for the first few weeks after birth.
- non-restrictive maternity bras are an absolute must in the first few days (and weeks) because any restrictive fabrics can dig into the breast and prevent milk flow (and cause blocked ducts). I am currently wearing the Amy Bra (highly recommend!) and at night I’ll switch to the Sonata Sleep Bra
- PJs with a button-up top
- Support Singlet – I’ve had this since I was pregnant with Percy and I found it incredibly beneficial in the first few weeks to support my core and lower back.
- easy-to-wear pants : I’m packing these jersey pants, slouchy cotton pants and black leggings.
- 6 pairs of black cotton undies
- socks + slippers
- nursing-friendly tops : loose blouses are always a good choice (I’ll pack this and this) and a button-down top will go in the bag, too
- lavender + chamomile oil : the tiniest bit on my temples or neck is really helping me to wind down of a night when my mind is in overdrive so I’ll take it with me to help me settle once baby is born.
- pure papaya ointment : all those exhales in labour and insatiable thirst once breastfeeding can lead to the driest of lips and this ointment is my absolute favourite (works well for sore nipples, too)
- toiletries : gentle soap, face cleanser, moisturiser, maternity pads and a hairband + hair tie
- my own pillow
- my favourite tea bags
- my water bottle
- a hot water bottle (afterpains – ouch!)
Of course I’ll also pack clothes, swaddles, blankets, wipes and nappies for the baby. And I’m sure I’ll forget something because…baby brain!
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I had just started pinning ‘what to pack for hospital’ you’d think being the third time round I’d have an idea 😉 Ha ha always take way too much. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the nursing bras, they look so comfortable!
Did you ever end up having an iron infusion? I’m on the verge of needing one and trying to control it with diet and supplements but I don’t think it’s going to be enough. Would love to know how it was and how you felt afterwards if so, I’ve never known anyone to have one so I don’t know where to turn! So excited for you and this baby, my friend and I are both avid readers and can’t wait to see what sweet name you choose!
I didn’t end up needing one! I managed to increase my levels (for the first time ever in pregnancy!) with diet + supplements. I’m sure a once-a-week roast beef, chicken broth, supplements and extra Vit C did the job. I was also really mindful of not having my supplements close to when I had a cup of tea or coffee x
Thanks so much Jodi for the tips, here’s hoping that’s the case for me too. Excited for you for what’s to come in the next few weeks!
Having low iron I’ve been reading up about it too. Caffeine blocking absorption was a new concept to me, but seemingly a vital one, and so I’m also trying to keep coffee and tea separate from meals and any time I take a supplement. I’ve also read that calcium competes for absorption with iron, and that gluten can block/limit absorption. Haven’t quite got my head around those. Just doing the best I can manage. All these little details that are pretty important but often not spoken of! Nutrition can be a minefield to navigate.
This is a great list. I was always so glad to have brought a mug from home to hospital as well – some hospitals only give you styrofoam or plastic or tiny little tea cups and I found having my biggish mug a real comfort (stupid, but true!)