Right, I’ve had sooooo many people messaging me on various platforms asking me for my updated hospital bag essentials list.
I did use my initial list as a starting point as well, it was a bloody good list!
Similar to last time, I’ve packed and unpacked the bags (yes, bags) several times. This is mainly due to me being terribly behind in the washing and saying to myself “oh, I wanna wear this in the next few weeks”.
Like last time, I would recommend taking enough clothes etc to get you and baby through 3-5 days that way if you end up having a long stay, you’re more than prepared. In saying that, I was in for 3 nights (4 days) and I’m pretty sure I wore the same clothes for a large majority of the time. Yes mum, I changed my underwear. Even though most people say “oh I can send my partner home to get more” I’d rather just have it there with me. We have a 30 minute drive (no traffic) to the hospital.
I will say in advance, I am super anal so took everything whether or not I ‘needed’ it, it was good to have it ‘just in case’. It’s better to be over prepared than unprepared, right? I am all for being over prepared, it’s easier than sending people out for stuff.
Right, I’ve broken this down into 5 lists;
- Comfortable clothes for after the birth – I took slouchy yoga type pants and a nice baggy top to hide my newly acquired pooch, track pants will become your best friend. I have my amazing Silent Theory pants that I’ve lived in throughout my pregnancy, hence why I keep packing and unpacking them
- Nana undies – the higher the better, especially if you have a c-section you don’t want ones that rub on your stitches. The Warehouse do awesome packs of nana gruts super cheap so you can chuck them after.. or keep wearing months after like me. You can get a 5 pack for $10. I took 2 packs ‘just in case’ (plus I know I will live in daggies for months after, hahaha
- Toilet paper – the hospital stuff is like baking paper and that’s the last thing you want to be wiping your lady bits with. You can also get those amazing hoo-hah wet wipes, I used these once I got home (up until about 8 weeks when I got the courage to wipe and not dab). I found putting some WaterWipes in the fridge/freezer is ahhhh-mazing down there
- Maternity pads – you’ll need em. The hospital supply you with ones that resemble a large single mattress but I found the libra maternity ones better as they had wings. In saying that, I was rolling two up (hospital ones) until I came home and once the bleeding died down I swapped over to the libra maternity liners
- Maternity bras if you’re planning on breastfeeding, take sports bras with no underwire if you’re not going to BF. I don’t think I’ll ever wear a bra with underwire again, haha.
- Labour clothes – if you don’t want to get stuck in a hideous, unflattering hospital gown, pack some clothes you’d like to labour in. It all happened pretty fast for me so I ended up in a long singlet, it covered my lady bits while walking around the room (some dignity) but also meant the midwife etc could do their thang
- Slippers & Dressing gown – a lot of people say the hospitals are hot but I personally found it bloody cold!
- PJ’s – Peter Alexander do amazing maternity pyjamas but they’re hella expensive, I was lucky enough to be gifted some by my amazing mama!
- Phone/Charger – I also packed my portable battery pack ‘just in case’
- Snacks: I took barley sugars, gummy snakes and Powerade. All of which got demolished during late nights feeds the following days and that dreaded second night. I also came across these devine Lactation Cookies which I’ve been eating now for the past 2 weeks – they’re delish!
- Essential oils (if this is your thang) – I used the Le’esscience Labour Blend & Clary Sage during Baxter’s birth and will be using them again this time around. They have a huge selection of ah-mazing pregnancy safe blends AND they’re made here in NZ
- Your own pillow – hospital ones are s.h.i.t – make sure you use a bright pillowcase so you don’t forget it when you’re in a rush to get out of there like I almost did!
(I went and raided Countdown/The Warehouse for all those mini travel bottles)
- Shampoo & Conditioner – save room and find a 2 in 1 or just rock the dry shampoo!
- Hairbrush, Hair ties or headband if you want to ensure your hair is out of your face
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Lip Balm – by god did I need this
- Soap/Body Wash
- Breast pads if you’re intending on BF’ing – I got some awesome reusable ones from Bibbitty Baby! I also purchased some Hydrogel Breast Discs to try this time around as my nips were RUINED last time
- Lanisoh (nipple cream)
- Hand cream
- BB cream – I could not be fucked with full on makeup but this made me feel, and look less like a zombie when it came time for visitors
- Medications you may need
- Weleda Hypercal Lotion if you have a vaginal birth – this stuff was amazing the weeks following, I chilled it in the fridge in a shot glass then syringed it onto my lady bits, you could always make a heap up in a pump bottle but I found this awkward as hell and it just ended up everywhere but on my hoo-hah
It looks like a lot, but all of this fit in a small toilet/makeup bag for me. As I said, I went for the small travel sized bottles that the supermarket/Warehouse stock.
For partner/family/support person:
- Camera (make sure you charge your battery or take spares) and don’t forget a memory card! My partner was on birth photog duty last time and done an awesome job
- List of people who need to be contacted after the birth if you’re not up for doing it
- Change for the carpark/food etc
- Hats, booties, scratch mittens (you can also use socks)
- Light blanket or muslin for swaddling
- Merino onesies or suits – some people prefer gowns as they’re easier for late night changes
- Woollen cardigans
- Baby wipes/nappies
- Wool blanket
- Capsule or carseat – the hospital generally check this on discharge
NB: With Baxter, I packed all newborn clothes but he was quite small so ended up in prem clothes for a week or two once we came home (he wasn’t prem), so if you think/know you’re having a wee babe then I would take 1-2 prem suits just in case.
Backup bag in the boot of the car:
- 2 spare outfits for bubs
- Extra blanket/swaddle in case other gets soiled
- Extra nappies/wipes (hospital often has this stuff but if you have a preference as to what you want to use then take your own
- Change of clothes for my partner + toiletries
- Camera charger
Ladies, leave a towel in the car if your waters break at home and you have a wee (haha) drive to the hospital. I needed a towel in the car, and on my side of the bed which was lucky as my waters broke in bed. I finally remembered to take the towel out of the car a few weeks later when I rose from the newborn haze (ha, ew).
As I say, everybody is SO different. It’s likely Reuben won’t be staying so he probably won’t need half of his stuff but he used it all last night as he did manage to stay a night or two (I would have discharged myself had he not been allowed too). Every birth can be so different so we are prepared for all situations and if we don’t use it, no major. Some people take the bare minimum while I like to feel comfortable and have my things with me.
I hope this helps!