The arrival of a baby in the family always brings about feelings of joy, but those of fear too, especially for the expectant mums. There’s no doubt being pregnant is a blessing yet it can also be a stressful experience, particularly when it comes to labour and delivery, life-changing events for any woman.
Knowing how unpredictable it can be as to when it happens, it’s necessary to be prepared in advance for the big day; moreover, it would bring you some peace of mind knowing you’ve prepared beforehand so this is a reason more in favour of it. So, what to pack in hospital bag for baby and mum?
A Survival Kit
It’s one thing when you’re pregnant, and it’s a completely different thing when you’re with your baby; the whole experience can be overwhelming especially when there’s birth giving, breastfeeding and maternity to think of which is why hospital bags for mum are more than welcome, especially because of having products that are essential for the various stages, the before and after of this new journey.
For instance, you may not find perineum heating and cooling strips that necessary but when you’re about to get in labour you’d find them most helpful you brought them with you. When heated they’re great for the second stage of labour as they reduce the chances for perineum trauma, whereas when cool they’re useful for after birth in soothing inflammation and swelling. On a side note, they’re also helpful with haemorrhoids.
Whether you have natural birth or caesarean, one thing is sure for both: you’d have bleeding called lochia that can last from about two to six weeks, and is expected as it’s the result of the baby bearing in the uterus as it’s through bleeding the uterus is getting back to its original shape, a process called involution. Having this in mind, you can’t afford to forget to pack up maternity pads, but not just any – make sure they’re organic to provide you with the necessary softness.
Items of Comfort
Comfort is one aspect that can make the experience less stressful for a new mum, so having some comfort items in hospital bags for mum can be the necessary ingredients to making this life-changing event more pleasant. While you may not get that much sleep to begin with, you’d be glad you brought your own pillow with your own pillow cover to remind you of your comfort zone at home.
Additionally, you’d require your maternity pyjamas and speaking of which, it’s nice to consider getting specialised nursing pyjamas designed breastfeeding with underbust pull-up nursing access; they’re great investment as they’d come in handy even when you’re out of the hospital. Stretchy pants are recommended too, but so are warm items like jumpers, socks and slippers since it can get cold in the room, and in case you might have to stay in longer than expected, extra pairs of undies.
Also, when it comes to breastfeeding, you may find the experience to be painful after giving birth because the baby needs feeding every couple of hours and if not latched correctly it could lead to sore nipples. To prevent this from happening, it’s advisable to learn how to latch the baby, and pack up organic nipple balm made from certified oils such as sunflower and olive oil. Likewise, your lips can get chapped throughout labour and that’s where the lip balm proves to be of use.
Once breastfeeding is done, you might want to use organic breast pads to absorb the moisture. In case you need some help with your milk supply, specialised tea for breastfeeding mums is a good option, more so because it’s also helpful with easing digestion both for you and your bub. In terms of extra hydration, and you’d surely like to stay hydrated to give birth, it’s necessary to bring along plenty of water and drink as much as you can, and some healthy snacks to regain energy.
Same as you need your hospital bags for mum, your little one would do with some essential bits like lots and lots of nappies (yes, even for the first days of his or her life), preferably organic ones that aren’t harmful to the delicate skin, and of course outfits for when going home. You may not find various to be needed but when you start taking pictures, you’d find them essential.
This is also important if you two have to stay in the hospital longer, so it’s always good to pack up more onesies, socks, mittens, and beanies, because you never know when they might be needed too if it gets chilly at night. With time, you’d learn how to buy and care for baby clothes. Depending on the month and whether it’s cold, perhaps you’d have to pack a blanket too.
How many weeks pregnant should you pack your hospital bag?
This is a good question and the answer is it’s never too early to pack up the bag, but if you want a particular period it’s about the 34th week because even with your date set something unpredictable might happen and you’d be glad you packed; yes, this goes even for the mums who plan on giving birth at home since you can never know if you might end up in need to get to a hospital after all.
Not less important, don’t forget to read through birth-giving info about delivering strategies, find out more about the specific hospitals, how they can assist with your ideal birth and what you’re allowed to pack, as well as get all your hospital paperwork ready with all your medical records at hand, along with the ID and insurance cards and last but not least, create a birth plan.