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Things to aid recovery after birth? Stuff for hospital bag?

(26 Posts)
Focusfocus Mon 20-Jul-15 06:58:55

I've been trying to think of things that might help physical recovery after giving birth and thought you wise ones will be able to add/modify my list?

I'm thinking -

Soft wet toilet tissue or even waterwipes, dear though they are
Plastic jugs to fill up with water to pour
Arnica pills, placebo or not
Some lavender oil, tea tree oil for quick soaks in bath
Witch hazel spray
Nice soft maternity pads LOTS
Cool packs for freezer
Don't think any form of topical gel is allowed but thinking about nelsons calendula or some similar soothing thing like baby calamine for grazes and cuts
Comfy black large briefs
Doughnut cushion

For hospital bag, anything to add to this?


Cool bag
Frozen drink cartons
Frozen sandwiches like tuna and roast beef that freeze well as sandwiches
Sports water bottle
Thermos flask for hot water
Sachets of favourite hot chocolate, sachets of lucozade like drinks, sachets of favourite mug soups
Favourite crisps
Lots of all this as I expect to be starved at hospital
Chocolate although I hate sweets with my guts who knows if I suddenly fancy some
Don't drink tea or coffee so sachets of my fennel/raspberry leaf tea bags
Ice cubes in a second thermos


Soft black knickers
Light dressing gowns in dark colours
Antibacterial wipes
Moist toilet tissue,small plastic mug, arnica, maternity pads lots
Soft towels
Comfy changes of clothes/tops
My fave pillow and sheet
My fave massage oil for labour
BF friendly painkillers lots stronger than measly paracetamols they give
Hot water bottle with cover if they permit
Plastic bags lots
Phone, iPad, charger, earphones
My Breastfeeding one page leaflets for a quick look if needed
Some eyeliner, a hairbrush, nice smelly travel toileteries
Spray bottle
Hand gel
Fave essential oils to sniff


12 babygros
2/3 comfy blankets
Something for a photo shallow doesnt know what's gonna hit her
Nappies (reusables ready at home, but disposables for hospital which I got free)
Cotton wool
Water wipes

Can anyone add anything else? I am totally focused on the food iron lack thereof at hospitals so may have missed stuff!

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 20-Jul-15 07:06:03

That's quite a lot of stuff! Do you have any reason to think you'll be in for a long time? Just because with both of my labours I've been in and out on the same day and barely even opened my hospital bag! Obviously you need to be prepared in case of a longer stay but it might be worth having 2 bags, one for all the things you would need for labour and immediately after and one in case of a longer stay that can be left in the car and brought in at a later date.
FWIW this is what I actually used from my hospital bag...
Frozen bottle of water
A hair bobble
Toiletries for shower after birth (shower gel, shampoo and conditioner)
One pair clean knickers
Clean set of clothes
2 x maternity pads
One babygrow
One vest
2 nappies

Lunastarfish Mon 20-Jul-15 07:10:04

I think you have it all!

Moist toilet paper is great, soothing and you can have a quick tidy up.

I wouldn't worry about baby blankets, the hospital will provide then for the crib. You just need one for the journey home. 12 baby grows is a bit much unless you are likely to stay in for long.

I put witch hazel on maternity pads and put them in the fridge so they were cold.

You might want some change for vending machines. I felt very faint & hoarse after giving birth and had a mad craving for a fizzy drink.

WutheringFrights Mon 20-Jul-15 07:15:09

I was going to say that sounds like a lot...until I realised that it is very similar to my first hospital bag!
Unless you are planning on being there for a long time 12 babygrows are too many.
I'd go with 6 or under. Bibs - I never used them), blankets...likewise, plastic jug? Is that for drinking water or for pouring over your burning fanjo after labour. Sports bottle of water is fine for both (not same bottle! grin )
Thermos - hospital will have hot water for drinks.
Strong painkillers - hospital have those too and they are good!
Frozen sarnies sound one a great idea...but they aren't! They end up soggy and unappetising, even hospital food is better!
I took lucozade energy sweets, energy drink and a few healthy fruit based snack bars (nakd bars are really good).
Hope some of this helps! Good luck!

Pointlessfan Mon 20-Jul-15 07:15:31

That is a lot of things! I wouldn't bother with electronic items that need charging, they probably won't let you plug them in. They were very strict about this when I was on the maternity ward. I was there for 2 weeks and DH had to keep taking my phone home to charge, I was extremely bored!
You will need: Nighty, pants, shower stuff. Maybe a book or magazine. Lanisoh if you are planning to BF. Breast pads and maternity pads. Own pillow is a good idea but I wouldn't bother with a sheet - just bleed all over theirs!
The maternity ward was hotter than the surface of the sun so I didn't put my dressing gown on once and chocolate would have melted in my bag so I just asked DH/visitors to bring in food as and when.
Take more nappies than you think you will need. They will also want the baby to have a hat.
Good luck, it's such an exciting time!

Graciescotland Mon 20-Jul-15 07:24:07

I don't think you'll need bibs for bf tbh my hospital provided cotton wool, blankets, plastic bags for changing baby and hydrocodine for pain relief. IME they like you to stay in for two nights when it's your first and your bf.

Pointlessfan Mon 20-Jul-15 07:25:25

Don't forget your camera!

Buglife Mon 20-Jul-15 07:32:45

I also had everything I could think of in my bag bug barely used any of it. You don't need all the first lot of stuff except for knickers because they are looking after that end of things while you are in there so keep all the arnica, ice packs and vision at home. I was in overnight and needed two nighties, dressing gown, slippers, shower stuff and comfy clothes for the next day. Otherwise I was lying on the bed holding and feeding DS and the midwives were checking my pads/bleeding and giving me regular painkillers. Also I got fed a sandwich, regular tea/coffee, breakfast of rice kris pies and toast (to date that tastes like the most glorious meal ever after 1 hour sleep!) and lunch before I went. Even ice cream! So you presumably won't get starved. And I wasn't in any position to read magazines or a book during labour or after!

You hear a lot of people down on the maternity ward, but honestly you don't need to take everything with you, they do feed you and give you medical care! They were all great with me. If you really want to have all the food etc have it on standby at home and get DP to get it later if you need it. Otherwise just take the nappies, clothes for you both, anything for the labour you want (fan, faces pray etc) and maternity pads.

Focusfocus Mon 20-Jul-15 07:35:17

Haha knew that's too much!

My hospital has been stressing fast turnarounds and exits within the day or one night for C sections. Hmm.

I've still got three months to go yet, but can't help feeling excitedly anxiously overwhelmed by all the STUFF that's going to happen.

I'm Also caught between cultures a bit. Both and raised in urban India, where private healthcare is the norm, hence everyone is automatically given a c section (who, till coming to the UK) I'd never questioned becayse urban India where I grew up is C section central.

Fast forward ten years, I am mentally straddled between the (learnt) desire of the naturalness of natural birth, with all the talk surrounding me yet fully conscious of the medical event pregnancy and birth in my home country. And of course the private public spectrum of healthcare representing 2/3 and 1/3 of my life. In all - I've ended up with no specific birth plans or desires because I'm quite unsure of what I "really' want!! Birthing in a zen garden chanting mantras? Fine by me. Birthing in a pool with entonix? Fine by me. Epidural ? Fine by me. C section? Fine by me. I have literally no hierarchy of plans in my head so I've decided to pack my bags and let the birth plan work itself out!

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 20-Jul-15 07:35:30

2 nights? It's crazy how much the policies differ from hospital to hospital. With my first (BF) I was discharged after 4 hours. They just wanted to see 3 successful feeds.?

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 20-Jul-15 07:35:54

Ignore the ?

5YearsTime Mon 20-Jul-15 07:37:04

Stuff for your partner. If it's a long labour you are going to want his teeth brushed at some point. I was very glad I'd packed him clothes as I was so sore I wore his trousers. He also used all of the clean clothes and toiletries I had packed him as he stayed overnight due to a very traumatic birth.

Pointlessfan Mon 20-Jul-15 07:41:07

To be honest I would take stuff for say 2 nights which is plenty for most people. If you end up being there for longer you can always ask visitors to bring things in for you. I definitely left hospital with a lot more than I went in with!

Pointlessfan Mon 20-Jul-15 07:42:42

Cheap flip flops for the shower! Essential!! Sorry I keep thinking of things.

SaltySeaBird Mon 20-Jul-15 07:50:42

Goodness that is a lot of stuff!

I took a small bag like you might take to the beach for the day with a couple of pairs of knickers, two pairs of PJs, iPad, toothbrush, toothpaste and shower gel, pack of maternity pads, pack of newborn nappies, 1 babygrow.

I was there for a week and had to borrow some additional baby clothes but really didn't need all that much stuff.

I do pack light in general though!

Notso Mon 20-Jul-15 07:55:34

It seems like a lot. My hospital provided drinks including hot chocolate and had ice chips. They had a trolley that came round selling crisps, chocolate etc and the food was ok. Partners/visitors could also bring food in for you.
The hospital also provided maternity pads and antibacterial wipes in all the bathrooms and jugs.
They also had baby blankets, sheets and even baby clothes.
I was able to get painkillers stronger than paracetamol.
Things like hot water bottles, ice packs and ring cushions were available too.

I don't know much about essential oils etc but it sounds like a lot of stuff to be putting on your potentially sore bits. In any case you might not need any of it. I didn't have any tearing or stitches in any of my births.

The post natal ward was always boiling. I always packed vests and PJ bottoms and just took a cardigan to wear for going off the ward instead of a dressing gown.

If you are going in the car or live close to the hospital have a labour bag and a post natal ward bag. It's also handy to keep spare clothes, PJ's, baby clothes and nappies in an obvious place at home in case you need to be in longer than planned.

lagirafe Mon 20-Jul-15 08:01:18

I agree that's quite a lot of stuff!!!!

I'd scale it down a bit and if you're anxious leave an extra packed bag at home / in car for use if needed.

Unless you have a complication I doubt you'll be in more than 1 night. Maternity services are pretty stretched at the moment and fast turnarounds are the norm.

I've never had a problem with hospital food either (varies by hosp maybe?) but I usually take some squash to add to water smile

evilgiraffe Mon 20-Jul-15 08:06:48

Take a straw. I was too wobbly/tired/focussed on other things (like the tens machine and gas and air) to hold or tip my head back for a sports bottle. Also holding the water bottle while I drank from a straw gave DH something to do and feel responsible for.

I think your bags will be stuffed! Leave most of that stuff in the car and get someone to bring you bits as and when. If you take it all in no-one will be able to get near your bed.

Notso Mon 20-Jul-15 08:12:20

I don't think you need a birth plan. I never had one. I told DH to speak for me if I needed it (which I never did) no pethadine and no episiotomy unless it was essential to the baby.
For everything else I just went with the flow.

LillyBugg Mon 20-Jul-15 08:19:53

That's so much stuff, like others have said I would scale it back a bit. Also, the doughnut pillow, I was advised not to use it by midwives. I had a lot of stitches and it was explained to me that actually by sitting on one you can pull your bum cheeks apart which will pull on your stitches. This did make sense to me. I was told it was an absolute no no. I just sat down very gently, a lot. And also sat to one side so not directly down on the stitches, or lay down, that helps.

cherryade8 Mon 20-Jul-15 08:35:32

Definitely ditch the frozen sandwiches - during and after birth you'll deserve some decent ones, some hospitals have a costa with nice sandwiches or maybe your partner can pop to a local shop to get some - time for a treat!

Also take some coins and change for parking meters/car parks/vending machines etc.

Good luck!

gloria2088 Wed 12-Aug-15 22:45:25

I got sent this recently and some friends who had babies found it useful especially the checklist

Cookie122 Sun 16-Aug-15 08:50:05

I would say take whatever you feel you need to. It does seem a lot but if you would feel better knowing you have everything then take it! I would advise taking your own baby blankets hospital ones are thin. One thing I would advise taking is a squirty bottle. I had stitches and going for a wee was sooo painful I couldn't wipe. So having a water bottle to squirt on the wound after would of been so much better.

Cookie122 Sun 16-Aug-15 08:51:58

Also take the wipes!! I only took cotton wool and trying to get out of bed and fill up the water pot to clean dd was v.painful after stitches. Wipes would of been so much easier water ones are fab

kiwiquest Sun 16-Aug-15 19:59:18

Maternity bra and breast pads? I would actually take a very gentle shower gel with you. I had forceps delivery and stitches, last thing I wanted was original source sodding mint shower gel within a million miles of me �� Oh and don't forget baby's car seat (leave that in car though) and your medical notes!

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