Packing your hospital bag is a right of passage. But it’s complicated. There is so much stuff you ‘might need’, chances are you’ll use hardly any of it. These are my ‘Non-essential Essentials.’
Lip balm. Gas and Air dries your lips out like a bitch.
Chewing Gum – like your dignity, cleaning your teeth can often go out the window in the vortex of labour.
Flip Flops for the showers. I won’t go into details.
Ear plugs. Induction wards and post-labour wards are noisy. Blame those tiny humans and their lack of a body clock.
Phone-card. Obviously not, it’s not the 90’s. But it always seems to be every other list.
Phone chargers. Laptop chargers. That ‘Baby X arrived safe and sound’ is THE best text you’ll ever write.
Outfit for labour? 9 times out of 10 you’ll end up in your birthday-suit.
Splash out on the nicest hoodie you can afford. Putting it on after will feel like a clothing hug.
Bottles of water. It’s really really easy to get dehydrated (hospitals are like airports and shopping centres they zap all moisture out of you). Forget pissy plastic cups water bottles with sports-caps are the answer.
Maternity Pads. Lot of them.
Try Tena Lady Incontence Pants too – nothing glam about slipping on a giant nappy. But they don’t rub as much as a pad/pant combo.
Lactulose. Its a roller-coaster ride of poo. You spend labour shitting everywhere. 24 hours later and passing a stool feels like the biggest challenge ever. A few glugs of this ‘softens the blow.’
Post labour pants. Massive Bridget Jone’s Granny ones – that you’ll become surprisingly attached too.
A pack of nappies.
3 sleep suits.
Snow suit if its cold.
Baby sizes are confusing. What happens if it’s a giant baby or a teeny tiny one? Most newborns will fit newborn size. Go figure.
Earphones. Get in the zone with a playlist. No-one will judge you for wanting to push to the sound of ‘Eye of the Tiger’.
Washbag & makeup – mascara, blusher, Touche Eclat. It ain’t no beauty contest, but its nice not to look horrendous.
Snacks. Jaffa Cakes. Bananas. Jelly babies. Flapjacks. You need fuel. Fuel that won’t go off if you go overdue and it’s still sitting in your bag at 42 weeks.
TENS machine. Lifesaver. Try hooking Daddy up to it for a bit of light payback.
Towels. No they don’t supply them.
Car seat. The day you drive home with your bubba in there, you’ll look frantically between them and the world outside and wonder ‘how on Earth does everything suddenly look so entirely different?!?’
Babys 1st Outfit (is there anything more heart melty?!). Save confusion, pop it in a sandwich-bag marked MY FIRST OUTFIT.
Nursing bras and tops with easy tit access.
Lansinoh – £10 a tube. Worth every penny. Your nips will thank you for it. Don’t wait for them to get sore. Lube those badboys up like your life depends on it.
Couple of joggers/PJ’s. In black. Why black? Leaks happen. But at least no one has to see it as you shuffle to the loo.
Your own pillow. Nothing beats it.
Other bonuses include: a sense of humour, an open mind and a belief in yourself. Wimpy girls can give birth. So.Can.You.
A Bottle of bubbles in the fridge at home. A double celebration: baby being here and not being pregnant anymore!!!