Pregnancy App Article: "Planning ahead: Your hospital bag"

Week 35
Getting prepared
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Packing your hospital bag
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Packing your hospital bag is a bit like packing for a mystery holiday (apart from the, erm, holiday bit at the end): you chuck in random stuff to cover every eventuality - and then find when you get there that the one thing you really need has been left at home.

But do remember: you are going to hospital, not the Gobi desert - there will be some things already there that you are perfectly entitled (and probably expected) to use.

It's worth finding out exactly what your hospital provides by asking beforehand. Some will give you nappies, for example, while others don't. These are the sorts of things you need to have in mind.

The essentials
  • An old nightdress to give birth in
  • Clothes to go home in (for you and your baby)
  • Bodysuits and babygros (plenty of spares)
  • Baby blanket
  • Night-time sanitary towels
  • Loads of pairs of 'old' knickers (or paper ones)
  • Toiletries
  • Nappies, wipes and nappy sacks
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Plastic bag to put dirty clothes in
  • Your birth plan, if you have one
  • Your hospital notes
The make-all-the-difference extras
  • A pillow/duvet - for a little slice of extra comfort
  • A water spray - for cooling during hot and sweaty moments
  • A hot water bottle - for soothing backache during contractions
  • Some snacks - to keep your energy levels up
  • Pen and paper - you never know when they might come in handy
  • A hairbrush - for before the regulation 'healthy mum and baby' photos
  • A dressing gown (in a dark colour) - for walking around the ward in
  • A plastic water jug - for soothing sore bits during post-birth toilet trips (really)
And finally
  • Something for your midwife - once she's delivered your baby, she'll be your new BFF
  • Something to celebrate with - for obvious reasons
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The one thing I could not do without was my duvet! I took in a single one and it was so lovely just to have a bit of home in hospital with me.
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Pack only what you think you may need for the first day or so in your labour bag, and leave the rest for you and baby packed in a separate bag for someone to bring when they visit.
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We took champagne but nothing to drink it out of. The orderly found us some specimen bottles or something!
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Compare packing checklists
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