When you near closer to the end of your pregnancy, it’s hard not to let your mind run crazy with all of the things you still have to do before this amazing little bundle arrives earthside.
One thing you can do to make yourself feel a little more ready and organised is get your hospital bag packed and ready to go. After all, you have no idea when your precious miracle is going to decide to make their grand entrance!
Hopefully you’re getting as much rest as possible in the weeks leading up to your birth. Let’s be honest, who really has the energy or motivation when you feel humongous and you’re beyond the stage of being able to tie your own shoelaces. But it’s a good idea while you’re resting at home to get organised with your hospital bag.
We’ve put together a checklist of all of the essential items that you’ll need throughout your labour and hospital stay:
- Hospital paperwork - Registration forms and admission papers. Don’t forget your Medicare card and private health insurance details too.
- Birth plan (if you have one) - This will be the guide to the type of labour you hope to have. Keeping in mind that births rarely go ‘to plan’ but it’s a good idea to let your midwives know what you would like to happen and what you want to avoid
- Oversized nightie - You’ll want to be as comfortable as possible during your labour something baggy is a good idea rather than anything fitted that could be uncomfortable. You will also need to have something that is suitable for the midwives, doctors or nurses to have easy access without having to remove your robe during delivery. Something with buttons is a good idea to enable crucial skin to skin contact once bub has arrived and easy breastfeeding access.
- Bathers - These can be packed if you plan on having a water birth.
- TENS Machine - These can be used as a natural pain relief by transmitting small electrical pulses to the body
- Socks - Even though you’ll be sweaty, your feel will be cold!
- Heat/ Cool Packs - depending on what you are needing, these can provide a lot of relief particularly on the lower back
- Phone Charger - You’ll want to make sure your phone has plenty of charge to take a million photos once the baby arrives
- Drink Bottle - It’s so important to stay hydrated during your labour so having your own drink bottle means you can have 700ml to 1L of water on hand to sip on throughout.
- Snacks - Keeping your energy up is crucial so it’s a good idea to pack some muesli bars, plain biscuits, bananas, apples, lollies and juice. These will provide energy without aggravating your stomach as you might be feeling quite nauseous.
- Music - You might like to keep busy in the weeks leading up to the birth by putting together a labour playlist. Pick songs that will make you feel relaxed or that have a special meaning to you and your partner.
- Book/ Magazine - Something to keep you occupied in between your contractions
- Laptop - Put some of your favourite TV shows on to pass time if it’s a longer labour
- Toiletries - toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, lip balm,hair bands and dry shampoo
- Maternity pads - Make sure you pack at least 2-3 packs of these, you’ll be surprised how many you will go through after the birth
- Maternity bras - Get used to living in these!
- Comfortable clothes - Think loose trackies, breastfeeding singlets and loose cardigans for after the birth - remember it can get quite cool with the air conditioning so make sure you make some clothes to keep you war
- Black maternity undies - High waisted and comfortable, it’s a good idea to go up two sizes as you will be sore and swollen.
- Flushable Wipes - Pretty self explanatory, you will be sore and toilet paper can feel like sandpaper
- Baby onesies - Pack at least two or three of these essential baby outfits
- Newborn Nappies and Wipes - Make sure you pack enough nappies for the duration of your hospital stay
- Swaddles - You’ll get some good practice very quickly at home to wrap your bubs up nice and tight. You may also like to buy the velcro swaddles so you don’t have to master the art of wrapping!
- Warmer Blanket - Although most of the time you get given the customary Pink, Blue and Yellow striped hospital blanket to use during your stay, it’s a good idea to pack one of your own