Hospital Bag Essentials

I thought I’d write a post about what I actually needed in hospital with me before, during and after labour. I hope this is useful; Busby and I had a small suitcase each, and found I didn’t need half the stuff inside so here are my essentials:
– Pairs of big “Granny” knickers that you don’t mind getting absolutely ruined. The reason I say buy big is the maternity pads are massive, and you’ll be wearing them from when your waters break up until you stop bleeding post-labour. I found a pack of 5 cotton pants in M&S for £7 which I bought two sizes too big (sexy) – I took two pairs into hospital (never to be seen again), and then the last three have been a comfortable godsend post-labour.
– An old t-shirt/nighty to give birth in. You will throw this away afterwards so make sure it’s not one you care about.
– A light dressing gown.
– Slippers.
– A sports bra.
– Comfortable clothes for post-labour and going home. I’d recommend a long button-down night shirt for post-labour so you can breast feed (if you’re going to), and leggings and a jumper for going home in. You don’t want to wear anything too tight… I almost went home in my pjs!
– A book or several magazines. I was waiting for ages to be seen so I’m incredibly glad I took some form of entertainment. You could also take an iPad or similar, although be cautious with expensive belongings. 
– Maternity pads. The hospital did supply some when my waters first broke, but they weren’t the greatest. 
– Two towels. I took a couple of baths and an amazing post-labour shower in hospital; the hospital does supply towels but they are small and rather scratchy so I would recommend taking your own. Preferably ones you don’t mind getting ruined if it came to it. 
– Shampoo and showergel. Post-labour shower. 
– Toothbrush and tooth paste. Post-labour to help you feel human again. Useful if you’re staying in too. 
– Deodorant. Post-labour. 
– Hairbrush. For those all important photos!
– Make-up. As above.
– Snacks and sugary drinks. I was so glad I had something to munch on after giving birth – during labour you probably won’t feel like eating or drinking (other than water), but afterwards, once the adrenalin has calmed down, you’ll be shaky and in need of energy! 
– Hot water bottle. I was so happy I brought this in with me – fabulous for early labour pains.
– Mobile phone charger. 
I forgot:
– My iPod. I wish I’d taken this with me as could have done with some music to calm me down when waiting for my waters to break.
– Hairdryer. I know, I know, it’s a bit vain to be thinking of this but I really wish I’d taken a hairdryer with me for after my post-labour shower.  
– My pillow. I left it in the car, and by the time I’d remembered it I didn’t want Nick to leave me. 
There’s no point taking:
– A birthing ball. The hospital has them. 
– Disposable pants. I bought some and still haven’t opened the packet. The hospital will give you a pair for after you’ve given birth, and then once you’ve had your post-labour shower go straight to the big pants.

– It all depends on how long you’re going to be in hospital for, but we found that we only needed one outfit (vest and sleep suit) and then a snowsuit to go on top. We did take three changes of clothing with us for her plus cardigans, hats and scratch mitts, and found we just didn’t need them. (Also all of them were far too big!!)
– A blanket. 
– Nappies. Again how many you take depends on how long you’re staying in for, but we didn’t actually put a nappy on Busby until about an hour before we left so only used one.  
– Cotton wool balls for nappy changing. 
– Car seat. The hospital usually won’t let you go home unless your baby is in a car seat. 

Busby: going home in her incredibly over-sized snowsuit!

Birthing partner
– An extra t-shirt and pair of boxers/pants. They will sweat. 
– Deodorant. See point above.
– Toothbrush and tooth paste.  
– Entertainment. Nick finished his book a few hours into waiting so had to make a trip to the hospital shop. 
– Snacks. Your birthing partner needs to keep their energy up too; they might not be contracting or pushing, but they are enduring this with you too. 
– Camera. 

Is there anything you found essential whilst in hospital? If so, please feel free to comment below. 

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