When I was packing my hospital bag I found myself asking every Mum I knew what I should pack, plus doing some good old fashioned Pinterest & Google searching. So, through thorough research and my own experience here is a list!
I’ve separated it into three categories: Your bag, Babies Bag & a Labour Bag! Never forget though, that each hospital varies & your length of stay also varies depending on a whole range of things! So just to be sure, I say pack extra!
Pads: Ladies – these are a MUST! You think one pack is enough? Mate – pack 3. Pack 4 just in case! If you don’t use them in the hospital you’ll use them at home. I was wearing two at once so they covered both sides of my groin like a nappy. If they have adult size nappies – maybe even pack some of those because you will bleed. A lot.
Flushable Wet Wipes: I had a vaginal birth and I can tell you right now I didn’t use normal toilet paper for like a month after! No way in hell that shit was coming close to my fragile fanny. Wet wipes can be found near the toilet paper in the supermarket. Do yourself a favour, grab like 4 packs. You will use them. You will need them. Your vagina will thank you for them.
Nursing tops/bras: Now, for me, I went in with nursing bras and normal singlet tops – so every time I had to feed Jagger (which was every 1.5hrs from the time he was born) I had to take my bloody arm out of my singlet top. This doesn’t sound like a HUGE inconvenience, but remember, you’re running off barely any sleep – easy is what you need. Easy is best! You can grab some from Kmart, Target or BigW! I’d recommend getting the size up because once your milk comes in your boobs will resemble melons – big rock hard melons. These nursing tops have the inbuilt bra so it’s just SO much better!
Socks: So apparently after you give birth your body also wants to get rid of the fluid you’ve been lugging around. So how does it get rid of said fluid I hear you ask? Through weeing like a champion and also SWEATING! So – I put socks on to soak up my Sweaty Betty goodness!
Undies: Two words guys: HIGH WASTED! Get as many pairs as you can and pack as many pairs as you can carry! These bad boys will be SO incredible for you – they may even feel like they are the glue holding your organs together. Get two sizes – some in your normal size, some one size up. You may wanna feel a little more comfy and not have something tight around your jelly like tummy once the pineapple which is your baby has exited. The best ones for me are from Bonds & Target – I’m 5mnths Postpartum and wear them every single day! I also packed some low-waisted ones (the best are the maternity undies) in case I had to have a c/sec and needed the wound uncovered by clothes.
Pillows: I packed my breastfeeding pillow which helped SO much with learning where and how to position Jagger. I also packed my sleeping pillow because I’m a pedantic pillow person.
Makeup: Look, I didn’t wear any because I made damn sure I had my eyelashes done and my tan was on point every day after 41wks. BUT – if you wear some in day to day life just pack some powder, bronzer and moisturiser.
Lip balm: You will thank me later.
Toiletries: I loved getting the mini toiletries from Kmart – they took up less room and were easy for me to take into the bathroom. Make sure deodorant is in there guys.
Water bottle with sippy lid: Not only during labour you will have to keep your fluids up, but afterwards you will feel a thirst like no other, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Ice cold water is amazing – ice cold water in drink bottle between your legs and on your nipples is also amazing. DO IT!
Kimono/dressing gown: Something easy to just chuck on and pull around yourself as you get up off the bed or visitors come to see you. They will really only want photos of themselves with the baby but they may want one of you too.
PJ’s: I wore only pj shorts the entire time I was in hospital. The only time I changed into everyday clothing was to go home. If you need stitches your doctors may come check them, so some nighties will be easier for you to wear if you need that area looked at on the daily. It’s all about comfort guys – COMFORT!
Shoes: Some thongs for the showers if you’re like me and a bit of a clean freak.
Home outfit: Yep – what do you want to leave the hospital in? Remember, if you’re breastfeeding it should be breastfeeding friendly just to make life easier.
Zip lock bag: This is important and probably the BEST tip I got. Inside your hospital bag, pack a ziplock bag (or just a plastic bag) with everything you will need for you’re first shower after labour and everything you want to wear after that shower which includes some pads ladies. This means you don’t have to go rummaging through your bag. You simply grab this bag & waddle to the shower whilst leaving a trail of blood behind you. This shower is amazing – please enjoy it and please know how incredible you are no matter WHAT labour looked like for you. (In my plastic bag I had: pads, nursing top, high wasted undies, more pads, shorts, pants, deodorant, soap – the mild non sting kind, breast pads, hair tie, bobby pins, face washer, socks…a bit of a mixed bag so I could choose what I wanted to wear & felt most comfy in)
Food: Pack snacks. Labour snacks. Pre-labour snacks. Post labour snacks. It’s about food. Food food food! And hospital food doesn’t exactly set your tastebuds on fire. Plus – you won’t know when you’ll go into labour so you don’t know when your next hospital meal will be.
You know, you’re gunna pack A LOT for your bubba but in all honesty they don’t actually need that much.
Clothes: No scan is 100% accurate when it comes to the size of bubs, so it’s great to pack different sized outfits as you never really know what size will fit bubs. We packed 4 x outfits in sizes 00000 & 0000 & 2 x 000 outfits just in case he was a monster newborn. Just to be prepared, we had his “first outfit” in all those sizes as well as some beanies. I left 2 bags at home each filled with 00000 & 0000 for Brad to then bring to the hospital once we knew what size he was wearing so it didn’t take up lots of room in our hospital bag & we weren’t going to be foraging through his bag trying to find the correct size.
Essentials: Nappies, nappy cream, wipes. Legit – they don’t need much more!
Bits & Bobs: Blankets and mittens! BUT – when I found out that most of our onesies (from Bonds/Cotton On) had little mittens and socks that you could fold over (I found this out when we got home – don’t even talk to me about how much of an idiot I am) that made life SO much easier! ALSO – any signs/milestone cards and what not if you want to take a photo of bubs in the hospital for your announcement photo.
Ok, this is so personal & everyone wants a different labour environment & each hospital I imagine, has different things available. We wanted a very calm space – so I packed: essential oils for my wrists (lavender & citrus), colouring book, water bottle, snacks, phone charger as I’d already downloaded meditation music on my phone, salt lamp, gym ball to bounce on during contractions which really helped, electrolytes, birth wish list (I called my birth plan my “wish list” as I don’t think you can “plan” for what’s going to happen), labour outfit (yes I had an outfit which I didn’t end up wearing BUT I wish I did because we had a birth photographer and I was naked during most of the experience so we have quite a few photos of my dinner-plate sized nips) & my support people – who I didn’t necessarily “pack” but they were on stand by and ready to be at the hospital within minutes. So, take some time to think about what you want!
I hope thats helpful guys! Remember – if you forget something don’t stress, someone can bring it in for you. This experience is going to be one you will never forget, i hope it is an incredible one for you like mine was for me. Look up some birth affirmations, remember them & remember you got this Mumma!
The Peninsula Mumma xo