I had my hospital bag packed at 34 weeks. This isn’t because I was well prepared and organised, unfortunately, It’s because I had to attend the obstetrics unit for urgent confirmation and treatment of my obstetric cholestasis. In my panicked and worried state, I left work early and frantically threw things into a bag. Fortunately we were able to go home that same day and luckily I was then able to properly repack the mess that was my hospital bag.
So later with a calmer mind and a little bit of planning (Pinterest was useful for ready made lists) I sorted out my bags. Plural. Instead of just one hospital bag I decided to have two separate ‘smaller’ bags, one for me and one for baby. I had a typical small overnight bag for myself and baby had the Egg Pram changing bag. I know that this makes me sound like a bit of a diva and as though I was preparing to move into the hospital (and from the above photo I admit that it does look like I was), but seriously I don’t know how people fit everything into one bag! But saying that, I’ve always found it hard to travel light! I decided on a bag each mainly because I had too much to fit into one bag, but also because it was just easier to find things from two organised bags rather than from one, massive bursting at the seams suitcase of a hospital bag. However, your partner will probably still struggle to find what you’ve asked for from them!
Note I also kept the two bags ready packed even after coming out of hospital. I wanted to avoid any repeats of the frantic packing of said 34 week pregnant me. This unfortunately came in useful as we ended up having to go back into hospital for both myself (a few nights in for sepsis) and Evelyn (luckily only day assessments for jaundice).
So here’s the list of things in my two hospital bags:
✅Maternity notes and medication
✅Nursing bra (make sure that you wear one during labour as I made the mistake of not wearing a nursing one which made for an awkward first breastfeeding session!)
✅Nursing pads and lanolin nipple cream
✅Bigcomfy knickers and a few disposable knickers
✅Pyjamas – nursing nighty (for labour), nursing top/leggings set
✅Going home outfit (nothing fancy – leggings, top and cardi).
✅Toiletry bag – shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, toothbrush, tooth paste, lip balm, moisturising hand cream, make up, perfume.
✅Maternity gel pads and gauze (they help so much)
✅Phone and Phone charger
✅Favourite pillow from at home (I’m fussy about my pillows). Note take apillow case that you don’t mind getting dirty or throwing it away.
Note I recommend having a couple of smaller string bags inside the main changing bag to help further compartmentalise things e.g outfits in one, hats in another etc
✅x5 outfits – a vest, babygrow and bib. Roll up the 3 items together to form the outfit so that it’s easy to find in the bag and no thinking involved during those crazy first 48 hours.
✅Snowsuit/pramsuit dependent on the season (Evelyn was born during the snowstorm so this was a must)
✅Cardigan (as you shouldn’t put the baby in the car seat wearing their snowsuit, they won’t be as secure or as safe in their snowsuit)
✅Nappies (as many as you can fit in the bag, we needed on average 8-10/day)
✅Cotton wool/pads (in a clear zip bag, this was included with the changing bag)
✅Wet wipes (particularly good for cleaning up the sticky tar like meconium poo!)
✅X4 Muslins (for mopping up any vomit and covering you up during the breastfeeding sessions)
✅ A blanket
Also it may be a good idea for Dad to pack a bag if he’s going to be your birthing partner. Theirs won’t be as big but could include the following:
✅Change of clothes
✅Cash/change for vending machines
✅Bottle of water and snacks
✅Magazine/book (only really if being induced, not a good idea to get them out when she’s getting regular contractions!)
✅Phone and phone charger