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Why are you supposed to pack your hospital bag in advance?

(25 Posts)
starkadder Fri 12-Aug-11 20:39:13

I don't really understand it...surely all you need is to chuck some stuff in there; it can't take longer than 10 mins, and you're not even allowed into the hospital till contractions are only 3 mins apart, right? So why are you supposed to pack a bag weeks in advance and then spend your life tripping over it?

Or am I missing something very important?

I have a DS but he was induced (I had cholestasis) so perhaps I am just clueless?

MrsRhettButler Fri 12-Aug-11 20:41:34

I guess it's just to be organised and to be able to make sur you have everything in one place.
It definitely took me longer than ten mins to pack btw

Oh and just so you know my face was like shock < this when I read your thread title! grin

Liskey Fri 12-Aug-11 20:43:10

I packed my bag at 35 weeks pregnant - and then got admitted to hospital the next week with pre-eclampsia and not let out till I'd had DD. I was very pleased I hadn't had to rely on DH for getting everything right (proven later when he had to pick up some stuff for me when DD was in hospital and got wrong bras etc).

MrsRhettButler Fri 12-Aug-11 20:43:21

Also, I know a few people who went in to labour and had extremely bad contractions from the very beggining and would NOT have been able to think properly about what to pack.

Don't you want to be organised?

lolajane2009 Fri 12-Aug-11 20:43:22

so you have everything you will need incase you have a blink and you miss it delivery.

ginmakesitallok Fri 12-Aug-11 20:45:22

Gives you something which makes you think you are in control.... bit like antenatal classes

MrsFlittersnoop Fri 12-Aug-11 20:45:25

Because you might not feel like trotting round the house looking for stuff to pack after your waters have broken. You will be waddling about with a towel stuffed down yer knicks and leaking amniotic fluid!

steph01 Fri 12-Aug-11 20:45:30

its so when u go into labour, you dont want to be thinking about what to pack incase its a quick labour. Its up to you at the end of the day.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 12-Aug-11 20:47:35

I just threw evreruthing in on the way to the hospital tbh even though my contractions started unbearable. It just meant I didn't care much what I took but then again you hardly need much unless you are very particular.

emsyj Fri 12-Aug-11 20:50:43

I packed whilst in labour and managed to take to hospital:

Large packet of straws
Hypnobirthing book
Baby clothes
Toiletries
Maternity pads

I did not manage to take:

Nursing bras & pads
Nappies
Towel
Underwear & clothing for myself
Snacks
Slippers & dressing gown

On that basis, I do not recommend packing whilst in labour - especially if your husband cannot be trusted to bring requested items to hospital for you. I ended up in hospital for a week after a crash section with pretty much nothing!

MrsBloomingTroll Fri 12-Aug-11 20:52:58

With DD1 my contractions came on suddenly and thick and fast. So although I spent the next 9 hours labouring at home before going to hospital, I couldn't think straight and packing a hospital bag was well beyond what I could have done.

Left to my own devices, I'd have rocked up to hospital in just a vest top and knickers, but luckily DH persuaded me to pull on some jogging pants. grin. As it was, a couple of "shove them in at the last minute" items got forgotten or the wrong things put in.

sittinginthesun Fri 12-Aug-11 20:59:23

I planned to pack my bag at 37 weeks with DS2. He was born at 36 plus 5 days!

I packed in a rush (waters gone, hospital threatening to call ambulance), and forgot pants for me and nappies for DS.

I couldn't even borrow a nappy from the hospital, and DH had to do an emergency shop at 4am.

SaulGood Fri 12-Aug-11 20:59:48

My waters went without warning and straight into back to back contractions. I could NOT have walked up the stairs without holding on and crying, remembering to pack everything I needed was completely beyond me.

Plus there's always the chance that you'll go to a midwife's appointment, register a sky high bp and protein in your urine and you'll have an ambulance called out to you (happened to a friend, in fact they called the helicopter out). Then you're relying on somebody else to do it for you.

Simply, you know you're capable of packing now. This might not be true next week or on the day. So you do it in advance.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 12-Aug-11 21:03:05

Saul, that exact thing happened to me. Waters broke, intense rating of 10 contractions, back to back baby. Ouch.

SaulGood Fri 12-Aug-11 21:17:18

Ditto, back to back baby, turned to ot, stuck, terrible contractions with no peak, too long, no gap between them and as much pain at 1cm as there was at 10cm.

I'm expecting dc2 in the next couple of weeks. Concerned is not the word.

wigglesrock Fri 12-Aug-11 21:20:16

Yup, had dd3 six months ago, wasn't stressing about bag, after all had done it twice before! When I did go into labour a day early, other two were both over a week late, I couldn't have got a bag together.

Liskey Fri 12-Aug-11 21:21:50

SaulGood - that's nearly what happened to me! Apart from the helicopter bit - they trusted me to get to the hospital just. I then ended up with an emergency c-section so DH and MIL had to get emergency BIG knickers and jogging pants - I'd recommend matalan ones to anyone - size 18 nicely covered the scar and wonderful thrombosis stockings! So when packing bag remember those essentials as well.

BikeRunSki Fri 12-Aug-11 21:25:24

I had a similar experience to Saul. DS was 2 weeks early, v quick and labour not comfy. Bag was packed at 33 weeks, because I was born at 33 weeks and mum's labour was 5 hours start to baby.

Surely packing whilst in labour is a bit like packing for a holiday once you are already on the plane?

Portofino Fri 12-Aug-11 21:29:07

I had a mw appointment at 37 weeks which resulted in me being send to the maternity ward and admitted. I was so upset, I was glad I had at least something packed. Though I have to admit that I had not prepared for 2 weeks in there and poor, put upon dh had to bring stuff (plus takeway) on an almost daily basis.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 12-Aug-11 21:29:18

Saul, there being more space from the stretching of no1. It is less likely you'll have similar with no. 2. My dc2 was a breeze and I had no pain relief as I was saving it for when it got to as bad as ds before active labour began.

The only issue was that I got scared when pushing as it STILL didn't hurt to that level and so I thought my cervix must only be half a cm dilated and would therefore rip. Of course I was 10th and beyond and if I'm absolutely honest I felt a but disappointed that I hadn't really got going yet.

EdithWeston Fri 12-Aug-11 21:31:27

Because you can't predict what your labour will be like, and whether you'll have enough brain cells functioning to pack effectively. And, based on experience of what DH packed and what he forgot or substituted, when I wasn't ready for my second delivery, you can't rely on even a normally competent man to be functioning either!

Also, when it comes to getting it all together, you might find there are things you need/want to buy - you certainly can't do that last moment. The hospital I was in did have an adequate emergency supply of normal nappies, but - trust me - the maternity pads were grim (the sort with loops!)

bringinghomethebacon Fri 12-Aug-11 21:35:45

I could probably have packed OK in my first labour, except it started about 10pm and went on all night, and I would have had to have been rummaging about in the bedroom while DH was trying to sleep. The contractions were mild so I didn't need him awake and it was good he slept that night because there were two more sleepless nights to follow!
Second labour same woke in middle of night, by the time DH woke up in the morning it was going some and we had to go to hospital pretty quickly. I would definitely need a list of what to pack and I also wouldn't want to suddenly realise I didn't have maternity towels or any PJs which aren't a light colour etc when I was chucking stuff in the bag.

Also both times I had three bags: after birth hosp bag for me (easiest to pack, like going for a weekend away only not quite so fun and with maternity and breast pads!), also bag for baby nappies outfits etc (both times stayed in 4+ nights so fairly hefty bag); and then labour bag with lots of snacks for DH and energy drinks etc for both of us - much needed in both labours.

SweetGrapes Fri 12-Aug-11 21:48:03

With dd1, I had gone for a routine checkup and was rushed into emcs and had dd within the space of 2-3 hours. Wasn't any chance of packing if I hadn't already done it!

With subsequent babies, time after labour started was spent making sure the kids were going to be ok while I was away. Again, good thing my bags were already packed!! Didn't have a lot of time before I was walking the walls...

Each time I needed to buy things like pj's, dressing gown etc for hospital. Wouldn't have realised quite what I needed if I hadn't packed earlier.

SaulGood Fri 12-Aug-11 21:59:17

<cuddles the air from Starlight>

It will be JUST like that.

starkadder Fri 12-Aug-11 22:03:07

Generally a good idea to pack in advance then smile

More than one bag sounds sensible, actually...one for me and one for the baby. And the third one with snacks & drinks - although that again, I have no experience of, as I had DS in Spain, where you aren't allowed to eat or drink anything at all while in labour or for about 6 hours afterwards (in case they have to suddenly rush you into the emergency operating theatre). I have never been so desperate for a cup of tea....

So I have gone from no bag to 3 bags in about 23 posts ;)

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