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What’s in my Hospital Bag?

Hey Mama, if you are reading this post you are likely nearing the end of your pregnancy journey and planning for your upcoming birth. If you are a first time mama it can be super overwhelming planning for this stage and you may be agonising over what to pack in your hospital bag. As a soon to be mama of two I wanted to share with you what I am taking with me in the hope that it helps you.

Firstly, I recommend starting to think about this at the start of your third trimester as the further along you get to in pregnancy the less energy you will have and the more pregnancy brain can kick in. For both pregnancies I have used two bags, one for myself and one for baby so I have separated the categories below for this reason.

When you are starting to think about your hospital bag it is also a good idea to look at getting your infant car seat installed so that it is ready to take baby home. Lots of mums have in their head that baby will not come until the 40-week mark but this is definitely not always the case! Depending on whether you are opting for private or public care will affect your length of stay. For my first birth I opted for public and was in the hospital for 3 nights and for my upcoming birth they are talking about discharging mamas after 4 hours (as long as the mama had an uncomplicated birth and is feeling okay to go home) with follow up midwife visits at home. The best advice I can give with packing is to pack a little bit more than you need just in case you stay for longer than you intended to, its nice to be comfortable.

Items for Mama:

During Labour:

· Your birth plan

· Medicare and or private health insurance card

· Ipod or phone loaded with a playlist for birth (you may like relaxing music or if you are a hypnobirthing mama you might find listening to the guided tracks helpful- I definitely did)

· Hair tie or scrunchie

· A big t-shirt or nightie to wear during labour that is comfortable and allows you freedom of movement and one that you don’t mind getting dirty. (I used a black nighty with an inbuilt elastic bra and liked that it had some support but was nice and loose)

· Essential oils- I used calming blends throughout my labour but it is best to check with your care provider what their policy is as some hospitals don’t allow clary sage as pregnant women visit the birthing centre at various stages and there is the potential for it to induce labour

· Slippers or comfortable slip on shoes

· A dressing gown

· Lip balm

· Massage oil or lotion if you like to be massaged through out labour

· Bathers if you plan on having a water birth (I brought a bikini just in case but throughout the process I wasn’t as fussed about wearing clothes as I thought I would be)

· Light snacks and beverages- I took coconut water and dates with me to keep me going as they are good sources of electrolytes)

· Plastic bag for dirty or wet clothes

· TENS machine

· Your own pillow

Birth Partners:

· A change of clothes

· Swimwear in case you want them in the bath with you

· A watch to time contractions

· Camera/ Phone to take photos

Post Birth:

· Maternity pads or adult nappies

· Hair brush

· Plenty of comfortable black underwear

· Nipple balm (I used lansinoh and started applying in the last few weeks of pregnancy)

· Nipple compresses- I used Hydro gel discs first pregnancy but didn’t like that I had to wash them off before breast feeding. This time I am trying Multi Mam compresses

· Breast pads/ nursing pads

· A couple of breastfeeding singlets with inbuilt bra’s

· Phone charger & phone

· Nursing bras with no underwire

· Fragrance free natural toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser) I was gifted a lovely Endota face mask for my first pregnancy and brought this with me to hospital and absolutely loved applying it a couple of days post birth as a little pampering treat

· Casual comfortable clothes with easy access for breast feeding and high wasted bottoms in case you have a c-section

· Outfit to go home in- I normally opt for a loose dress and dark coloured tights and layer with cardigans and scarfs depending on the weather

· Make up bag & hand mirror (so that you can spruce yourself up before visitors come & just because it can make you feel good to apply your favourite beauty products)

· A nice herbal tea that support breast milk product (I of course use Happy Baby by Saha Botanica)

· Deodorant

· Going home outfit

· Heat pack (this is great for uterine cramps post baby)

Items for Baby

· A special outfit to wear home from hospital

· Clothes for baby that are already washed (use fragrance free eco friendly if possible). I bring singlets and onesies with zips for ease of dressing and cardigans, beanies and socks in case it is a bit chilly

· Baby toiletries natural & fragrance free (I really like the Weleda range)

· Warm blanket

· Blankets for swaddling

· Muslim wraps- burping, swaddling and good cover ups for breastfeeding

· A gift for your baby from their older siblings and a gift from baby to it’s siblings (if you have other children, especially toddlers)

· Announcement plaque & announcement outfit (If you want to do this at the hospital)

· Nappy Rash Cream (I used Weleda Nappy Change Cream)

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