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Hospital bags... Help me identify some mystery items?(87 Posts)
So after a recent panic about whether I was going into early labour (I wasn't) I've decided to pack my hospital bag. It's my first time and I don't really know what I'm buying, or rather I know what I'm supposed to need but I don't know why.
So, here are my questions:
Towels: I'm told dark towels (for obvious reasons) but do I need just one big towel for showering in the hospital or a couple of little ones purely for down below? Or both?
Pants: How awful are disposable ones? I might just spend a bit more and get normal ones that I'll throw away after. What did you do/will you do?
Vaseline: For baby's bum if you're lucky enough to grease him up before the meconium poo comes. Are you ever lucky enough? Is the poo really that bad that you can't just get it off with wipes?
Also on my list: Nappies, going home outfits for both of us, magazines, snacks, lip balm, hair band, big t-shirt, bikini top for water birth, muslins, swaddle cloth, maternity pads (Only taking a pack of 10, will I need more?) Ipod, breast pads, dummies (not sure I'll even need those but they don't take up any room), small jug for diluting the wee after I've had him.
Have I missed anything?
Thank you for any and all advice, as always.
Def more pads. My waters broke about 8 hrs before I went into labour so used up my post natal stock before I even had the baby. I'd get the ones from Boots with wings
Dressing gown - for wandering to the loo and back in your nightie. There's a lot of dads all over maternity wards in the daytime plus lots of other visitors around.
Cheap ordinary knicks from supermarket or Primark - get black ones
Flip flops for shower also hospital floors can be surprisingly dusty/dirty and you may well rest your little baby on your bed at some point, so you want slippers that you can easily flick off before getting on the bed. This is the same reason why visitors are not supposed to sit on your bed as they bring dirt/bacteria directly onto your bedcovers, which is particularly important to avoid if you have had any kind of surgery including a ceasarean)
Polo mints as your mouth will feel horrid if you have gas and air. They will also help if you feel slightly sick
I've packed arnica tables for post birth bruising, rennies (as am going through about a million a day at the moment) and a little hand held fan from the boots holiday section
Lip balm as so warm on the post natal ward, and some moisturiser as hands do dry out a but from washing after changing nappies etc
Bollocks to not taking in own pain relief. I don't know how many times I asked for some bloody paracetamol for hideous after pains after DS2 only to be resolutely ignored. My bag this time includes vast amounts of paracetamol and ibuprofen!! And cotton wool is an utter bitch so I will be politely ignoring anyone who might suggest it is a 'wipes free' hospital, will they confiscate them?!? And how exactly does any hospital 'make' someone put a hat on their baby for 24 hours?!
One more thing I've just remembered. This was a piece of advice from my NCT teacher
who was as mad as box of snakes that really helped. Cut kitchen paper into squares and use them to rinse yourself and then pat yourself dry after you've been to the loo. Very hygenic and means they won't break down or catch on stitches like loo roll.
Also, I found the best way to avoid stingy wee was to drink tons of water. Also helps with milk supply which is an added bonus. I had a third degree tear and never felt the need to pour water over my ladygarden. What was coming out was dilute enough.
After I took a shower along the corridor from the delivery room I had to walk back through a fairly public area past the relatives of other women in labour, so I was glad not to be carrying an obviously bloody bundle of clothes and towels.
thanks always wondered that never really remembered to ask before, I guessed it was for something like that so I have packed an old towel which has been accidentally dyed in the wash several times and I think has possibly been used for the dogs as well, so not fussed if it gets chucked.
popopearl a dark towel won't show the bloodstains.
Primark do nighties that have buttons at the top which are great for feeding - often spotted on OBEM. I wore three quarter length pj pants underneath while in hospital, for modesty/leakage prevention.
The only other thing I took, which hasn't been mentioned, is a straw and a couple of bottles of lucozade. It was my hubbies job administer that while I was labouring :-)
Great, I feel thoroughly prepared now, at least for packing my bag (I'm working on the rest!). Thank you to everyone who posted with advice.
Agree with others - never had to throw away knickers after labour/birth. Just bought cheap comfy ones and still use them sometimes.
The postnatal ward I was on was freezing at night so don't assume they will always be boiling.
I took my own towel but the ones they provided were fine.
Food - the food in my hospital was dreadful. I was in for a few days before the birth and they couldn't provide me a meal I could eat with gestational diabetes. Dh had to bring me in a cool box of meals. On the postnatal ward they would bring a trolley into the foyer but no one would check if you had had a chance to get anything.
It is surprising to see the variation between what hospitals do and don't provide.
Mine provides everything for the baby, bedding, towels, clothes if you want them, cotton wool balls, and milk if you need that.
Not much for the Mums, no towels, pads only if you don't have any or bring the wrong type, there were loads of pillows on both wards though.
Oh, forgot glucose tablets. I was sick quite a bit during labour so needed something to sustain my energy that I didn't need to worry about keeping down.
Battery operated travel fan and some flannels for soaking in cold water for brow mopping (pack of 3 from Primark for about £3)
Bear in mind wards can be very warm so thin nightie & dressing gown are good to have. I took both a thin dressing gown and a thick robe for both eventualities.
I'd read on here of people taking a pillow but decided not to bother due to restricted bag space. That was a HUGE regret when I found they didn't have pillows on the labour ward.
Donut cushion in case of piles/tears/episiotomy. If you're BF you'll spend a great deal of time sitting and shifting about which can play havoc with sore stitched nethers. Oh, and Lansinoh whilst your nipples get used to two inexperienced breast feeders.
How long are you in for? Well I think the point is you don't know. I was hoping/expecting to be in and out but had ECMS so was made to stay 2 nights - absolute minimum apparently. I know some who had a 5 night stay after ECMS. Others, without any interventions, didn't even need to stay overnight.
A few 'mistakes' I made after listening to Mumsnet....
1. Granny pants a size or two bigger than normal. I am size 10 and bought 12-14 rather than 8-10. BIG MISTAKE! All they do is slip down which is: a) less comfortable, b) annoying to hitch up constantly, c) impossible to hold in a maternity pad adequately.
2. Vaseline for meconium. Tarry black poo only lasts a few days at best, and although it is slightly sticky it comes off fine with cotton wool pads. I'd say it's worth having some decent oval sized ones for the meconium days rather than tiny fluffy value ones which disintegrate too easily.
3. Flip flops in the shower. I don't use flip flops in the swimming pool so didn't in the hospital either. I purchased them and packed them - just didn't use them as I kept forgetting and it was such a distance back to my bed that I couldn't be bothered to waddle back for them each time. Also my feet swelled suddenly so it was like cutting cheese with a string! I did however take a tea tree oil wash from the health food store to shower in, and made sure lots went on the shower floor!
4. Antiseptic wipes to clean the hospital - you won't want to clean anything straight after giving birth. Something is likely to be sore and it's the last thing you'll bother to do! Wipes for your own hands or to clean between maternity pad changed is a little more sensible.
5. Wipes for baby. Their skin is so fragile to start with, it would make you wince to put harsh wipes all over it -much better to wait a little while for their skin to be used to the outside and a little more robust, then wipe away til your hearts content (for the next 3 years)!
You'll need a couple of packs of maternity pads as lochia is pretty heavy to start with.
Midwives will have you hung, drawn and quartered if they spot a dummy anywhere near a newborn! Official guidelines are to use after a month when feeding is established and can stop a baby feeding as often, which would affect their weight and if you're breastfeeding allegedly prevent latching on correctly.
It's a really good idea to have a standby bag at home to save your partner from having to stand at your (or the baby's) wardrobe trying to find suitable clothes!
It's also a good idea to either pack cardigan, hat, booties, blanket etc, or leave with the car seat so you don't have to send anyone hunting for all the going home kit, especially if it's a cold rainy day and you want to keep baby warm to the car.
I definitely second the diluting wee thing if you have stitches though I just used a bought bottle of water with a sports top (I think someone suggested that up thread).
Not sure if someone has already said these: flip flops for hospital showers ( you don't want to be standing on someone else's bits of placenta!), phone/camera for pictures of baby, lots of food.
Never heard of anyone using wipes on a tiny baby. Definitely water and little balls of cotton wool.
That's a new thing. When my teen dcs were babies it was wipes all the way!
Personally, and no disrespect to nurse Oda, but having waited several hours for post labour pain relief, I'd take my own, make sure that I was properly acquainted with the dosage guidelines and make staff aware I'd taken them! I know that after pains aren't bad with first babies, but second time around analgesia was essential!
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