If you’re already well into your pregnancy, you’re probably mentally already packing your hospital bag. Essentials such as toiletries, a change of clothes and your phone charger would likely have made the list. But there are also a host of other things you can bring along that will ease your labour and make your stay in a strange environment more pleasant.
“After a 12-hour labour and three hours of pushing, all I wanted at the end of it was a warm drink and my favourite biscuits,” recalls Susan Tan, mum to Dylan, 3. “Of course, the hospital only had plain crackers and all the shops were closed because it was late at night. I had to make do, but I couldn’t stop wishing for my bikkies, as silly as it sounds.”
Of course, your biggest comfort after a hard labour will be your baby. But these 10 things you never thought to bring along may also ease your journey to becoming a mother. Every little bit helps, after all!
If you’re planning to breastfeed, make sure your nightwear offers easy access to your boobs, because bub will be at the breast every couple of hours.
#1 Cosy nightwear
Hospital gowns are a joy to wear ― not! Although they’re soft, most of them are flimsy and held together by a string you tie at the back. After going through the ordeal of childbirth, the last thing you need is to be in is uncomfortable clothing. You will be lying in bed for the next few days, cuddling your cutie. Might as well be in clothes you’re comfortable in. Doesn’t hurt to throw on something pretty as well, since visitors will be popping by to see you and your mini-me. If you’re planning to breastfeed, make sure your nightwear offers easy access to your boobs, because bub will be at the breast every couple of hours to get his fill of the all-important colostrum your body will be producing in the first few days.
A shower is out of the question as you won’t be able to move several hours after delivery. As the nurses will give you a towel bath on the first day, pack a light body spray and a facial mist for a quick pick-me-up. After all of childbirth’s blood, sweat and tears, you’ll be grateful for your favourite shampoo, conditioner and body wash to use in the shower asyou can then look and smell your best for your little bundle. By the way, throw in a tube of lip balm to keep your pucker hydrated as the hospital can get chilly.
#3 A sweater
Speaking of freezing cold hospital suites…don’t forget to pack a light sweater and some socks. You really want to feel as comfortable as possible during those initial days, so that you can rest well and concentrate on being a new mum.
#4 A camera
Smartphones are handy for those impromptu moments you simply must capture but why not get a fancy digital camera cum video? It’ll let you document your motherhood journey in high-quality prints and files you can save and keep for generations ― especially that first shot of you meeting your mini-me!
#5 Things to calm you
You will be surprised at how much time you’ll be whiling away during your labour. If it’s your first birth, this process can be anywhere from eight to 12 hours or even more! If you’ve opted for pain relief, you will be comfortable enough to read a book, watch Netflix on your device or listen to some music. If you’ve chosen to go meds free, then you will need every help possible to keep you comfy and calm. Bring along a stress ball you can squeeze, so you don’t break your hubby’s hands. Create a playlist on Spotify comprising your favourite tunes, then play it in the delivery suite to stay Zen and motivated. Also, pack a tennis ball and get your man to roll it gently over your back to release pressure.
#6 Extension cord
Besides your trusty phone charger, throw in an extension cord for your smartphone, just in case the socket is nowhere near your bed. These will come in handy throughout your delivery and hospital stay. Trust us, you won’t have the time or energy to keep making your way to your phone in the delivery room. A human-sized bowling ball is making its way out of your body, for goodness’ sake!
You might think efficiency means packing everything into a compact bag but the truth is, you’ll be leaving hospital with more things than when you arrived.
#7 Granny panties and sanitary napkins
Since Aunt Flo has been a no-show during your pregnancy, your post-delivery period can last anywhere from two to six weeks. It will be heavy and messy, so leave the extra-thin pads at home and pack the heavy duty aka heavy flow ones instead. Unfortunately, your frilly, satin Victoria Secrets undies aren’t going to hold up those thick sanitary napkins. So, either get the biggest, most comfortable pair of granny panties you can find, or use disposable undies if you’re afraid of stains.
#8 Cute baby clothes
It’ll be visitors and pictures galore after bubba arrives, so make sure you’ve packed some cute outfits for him. Don’t pick those that are too thick or tough to remove ― it will bother his delicate skin too much. It’s best to get adorable onesies or rompers made from soft, breathable material such as cotton or bamboo cotton. Don’t forget baby’s socks! As he is still getting used to the temperature outside of the womb, his feet might get cold, especially in an air-conditioned room.
#9 Nursing aids
If you’re planning to breastfeed, arm yourself with useful nursing accessories. Nipple creams will be your BFF for the next few months as your tender boobs get used to all that suckling. A breastfeeding pillow will also come in handy if you need to correct to bubba’s latch, find a breastfeeding position that works for you and baby.
#10 Extra bag
You might think efficiency means packing everything into a compact bag but the truth is, you’ll be leaving hospital with more things than when you arrived. Nor are we just talking about your bundle of joy. Your going-home stash will include goodie bags from the hospitals, formula and maternal milk samples and gifts from well-meaning visitors. These will all add up, so stand by with a second or third bag.
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