Packing your hospital bag is a momentous part of preparing to be a new mum. It’s the kind of thing that makes you realise ‘this is actually happening!’ Exciting as it is, it can feel like a mammoth task to cut through all the birth-related paraphernalia to work out what you actually do need. So alongside all the usual bits and bobs, here are some things I found/would have found handy
Notepad and pen
After giving birth you get told all kinds of stuff and get asked all kinds of stuff and your sleep deprived brain can’t handle it. I kept tapping things into my phone – it’d have been much easier to have scribbled them down.
Something you feel nice in
You spend so much time picking an outfit for your new-born to come home in don’t you? Well you deserve to feel special too. I’m not saying you need a whole new outfit or anything fancy but something you feel bright, fresh and comfy in will do. I took in a selection of grey and boy did I feel drab. Plus people want to take pictures of you, lots of them…
A well-experienced friend has also recommended posh toiletries, in her words: “To treat yourself after a long shift – the nice smells will always remind you of your lovely little new born.”
Hand cream and a nail file
Babies make you aware of a whole new world of germs and you’ll be washing your hands a plenty, drying them out super quick. Jagged nails near new-born skin are a no-no too and plus you’ll need to keep your hands in tip-top condition to cope with the thousands of pop-studs you now have to fasten on an hourly basis…
My Marks and Spencer foam-soled, old lady slippers (‘full shoe’ as my mother insisted) did a great job of soaking up nearly all the water (and goodness knows what else) from the communal shower – I’d have killed for my Havaianas – a lot cooler on swollen feet too.
A different friend pointed out that flip flops are no good if you have to wear support stockings, like after a c-section.
Giving birth is hungry work and it’s not just the men watching on who need to stay fed and hydrated. Flapjack is always a winner. A pack of cranberry and white chocolate oaty cookies saved me from several energy slumps, especially after SOMEONE snaffled my post birth tea and toast…
As a final note; don’t fear the hospital stay. If you have to stay in for a few nights don’t worry; it’ll be for good reason and you’ll be in the best place. Hey, all your meals get cooked, baby experts are right on hand (new borns really don’t come with a user guide) and a cleaner comes a couple of times a day. Plus you have a great excuse to stave off visitors so you can stay in that precious new baby bubble. When it comes to babies, there really is no rush.