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MN Bumpfest: What should mothers-to-be pack in their hospital bags? Chance to win a £50 voucher!NOW CLOSED

(187 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 05-Aug-14 10:35:32

In the run up to BumpFest (which is going to be totally awesome by the way) we’re looking to get a better understanding of the experiences Mumsnetters have had around different issues surrounding childbirth.

We've seen from the many threads on the subject, that Mumsnetters have got packing a hospital bag down to a fine art. We’d like to hear what you think are the essentials, and what can actually be left in the shop.

What items did you pack the first time around which you later realised were completely unnecessary on the day? Did you find you overpacked your hospital bag when you were pregnant with your first PFB DC?

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 John Lewis voucher.



UriGeller Tue 05-Aug-14 10:39:07

Ear plugs! Unless you can get a private room These are essential.

There's nothing worse than the sound of other people's babies (plus the nighttime bellowing and farting of post natal strangers) when all you want to do is focus on your own newborn.

Vajazzler Tue 05-Aug-14 10:42:25

Snacks! When everything is done and dusted and you're on the ward with your baby you will need some sustenance. Pack some cereal bars to give you energy.

MakeTeaNotWar Tue 05-Aug-14 11:05:06

Phone charger so you can keep snapping pix of those first few moments / hours of life

CMOTDibbler Tue 05-Aug-14 11:09:26

snacks and a drink so you have something no matter if you aren't around at meal times.

Don't pack too much - theres no room round the beds, so better to pack several bags so your dh/dp/whoever can bring one at a time and take the dirty clothes home each visit

WarmHugs Tue 05-Aug-14 11:20:58

I had my first in hospital, and the floors of the showers looked dodgy. I took some flip flops in with me, and just wore them in the shower!

I would make sure your dh knows the difference between a vest and a sleepsuit. I was kept in for 4 days, so sent him home for more sleepsuits. Needless to say, he got himself all confused between the array of tiny clothes!

MrsTittleMouse Tue 05-Aug-14 11:33:45

Drinks with a straw - so that you can drink in all sorts of awkward positions! I also really liked glucose tablets - long labours and couldn't bear regular food.

Didn't actually need the clary sage essential oil. Or the breastfeeding nightdress in a lovely pale purple to show up the blood to best advantage. hmm

Also agree that it's better to have going home things packed in a separate bag - pack before you go in though, do not trust your DH to know what to bring when faced with a postpartum woman with a huge wobbly bump and a tiny newborn (pre-pregnancy T-shirt and a babygro for 6-month old).

vestandknickers Tue 05-Aug-14 11:37:55

Lots of change for the phone and lots of little cartons of juice. That's all!

Spirael Tue 05-Aug-14 11:42:00

I had a home birth both times, so a lot of the stuff I packed was useless in the end. Always good to be prepared, however!

Best thing I did was bag everything in freezer bags with big clear labels saying "Nappies", "Maternity Pads", "Newborn Sleepsuits", etc. Meant when poor flustered DH was sent for something, he acquired it easily.

The emptied freezer bags were then useful for stuffing mucky cotton pads, etc, before they made it to the bin.

GingerRodgers Tue 05-Aug-14 12:46:53

I shouldn't have bothered with the 180 pack of breast pads blush this time I've packed two.
Wish I'd taken a small mirror compact so I could see what a monster I looked to make myself look decent.

dancestomyowntune Tue 05-Aug-14 12:50:45

Fluffy socks for Labour. Also a face mist thing.

Plenty of maternity towels. Snacks.

Maiyakat Tue 05-Aug-14 13:17:08

Lip balm, sweets or sugary drinks to keep your energy up, change for the car park, a well charged mobile

Eve Tue 05-Aug-14 13:21:31

warm socks, drinks, sweets , flip flops, gentle shower gel... nothing too harsh on those stitches.

Purpleflamingos Tue 05-Aug-14 13:22:30

For you;
Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion - in mini bottles.
A comb/brush
Baby wipes/flanel
Facial wash and facial oil
BB cream, lip tint (can double on cheeks as blush), face powder if needed.
Clean bf nighties, bf bras, breast pads, cheap cotton pants 1 size larger and maternity pads (if having a section buy pants 2 sizes larger than you are).
Leaving hospital outfit.
Towel and hair towel
A good book, because you're not going to get any sleep.

For baby,
Vests x 5 (most hospitals are so warm they don't need much more on)
Babygros x5
Newborn nappies x 25ish
Cotton wool
Leaving hospital outfit

And what you can't, patience, an ability to swallow your pride and dignity. People will be looking at your bits, showing you how to breast them you're nothing they haven't seen before.

It sounds like a lot but I was in 4-5 days both times.

MadMonkeys Tue 05-Aug-14 13:49:46

Have the babies first outfit on packed at the top of the bag, clearly labelled. Pack dried apricots to get those bowels moving afterwards. Pack, or get friends to bring you, fruit as hospital food is ok, but not great for post childbirth bowels! Pack plenty of nighties and extra large pants!

WowOoo Tue 05-Aug-14 13:52:06

The one thing i was so pleased I took was my iPod. Meant I could focus and relax.

Toiletries and a nightie and lots of spare pants. i got through a lot more than I thought I would. Also snacks and food from home as we all know hospital food is not the nicest.

idleweiss Tue 05-Aug-14 14:03:53

Maternity pads and some disposable and/or big comfy cheap knickers (full on briefs!) I took 20 pads and still needed more and was particularly glad of the pants after my emergency c-section. Also take your own pillow! smile

Lindy2 Tue 05-Aug-14 14:31:55

A drink bottle that you can drink from without needing to sit up. Especially useful if you have a c section.

RaisinGirls Tue 05-Aug-14 14:42:50

I had a planned c section so packed for that. The most useful bits I packed were:
Brie, tomato and basil sandwich cut into 1/4s. Honestly, never tasty anything as fine and this a few hours after surgery.
Bottles of water and isotonic drinks. Water jugs were filled infrequently (not good if you can't walk!) and was nasty lukewarm water.
Ice box and pack to store the above
Lanisol - needed this from day one
Baggy trousers and the biggest black knickers I could find.
Top with easy access for bf
Ear plugs - it's so noisy on post natal ward
Air in a can- it's so hot on postnatal ward

GetKnitted Tue 05-Aug-14 14:50:15

lesson from pfb for me, you can't possibly listen to every single piece of advice e.g. wear a comfy t-shirt for the birth + get nighties which button down + don't wear new clothes for the birth they'll get ruined + make sure you get immediate skin to skin contact = exposing myself entirely to my mother to hold my baby to my chest, when, unknown to me, she'd been staying away from the business end the entire time shock grin

OrangeMochaFrappucino Tue 05-Aug-14 14:54:37

We packed two bags the first time and still forgot the bloody camera! I took loads of snacks and isotonic drinks for labour but I couldn't stomach anything and the whole thing only lasted five hours so I didn't starve!

Second time around, packed the following:

3 vests and babygros in newborn size
Pyjamas for me
Five pack of big comfy pants for me
Change of clothes for me (leggings and a loose bf-friendly dress - comfort over style definitely!)
Pack of maternity pads
Newborn nappies (I recommend Aldi)
Toothbrush, toothpaste, travel-sized shampoo, conditioner and shower gel.
Cereal bars
Thin baby blanket

Think that's it!

itsliz Tue 05-Aug-14 15:18:36

Thanks to doing extensive research on Mumsnet when I was pregnant, I think I managed to pack just the right amount of things in my hospital bag!

The most useful things I packed for myself were definitely drinks and straws for when I was stuck to the bed during labour, a comfy nightie, fluffy slippers, make-up and my own pillow for a little bit of luxury after the birth and of course my camera and phone for those all important new baby photos.

However the BEST, most amazing, luxurious things in the world were what I sent DP out to get a few hours after my emergency c-section - huuuuge comfy black granny pants! grin

Makeupandkiss87 Tue 05-Aug-14 16:41:42

I'm due in 5 weeks and this is my list so far: x

moneyone Tue 05-Aug-14 17:13:02

The postnatal wards are hot, so flip flops instead if slippers, and loose clothes (a big tshirt nightie will be warm enough in midwinter).
Luxury toiletries to make showering a little less grim.
Twice the number of nappies you think you need.

fromparistoberlin73 Tue 05-Aug-14 17:16:32

anti bacterial wet wipes

for the toilets <shudders>

and ear plugs, or music. other women screaming is well off-putting

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