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  1. As the third trimester begins everything seems to change, the reality that the baby will be born soon starts to sink in and you really have to start getting prepared. As a first time mum you don’t have a clue what to pack for hospital, what will you actually need? And as a mum who already has children you can't really remember what you took last time as its all a bit of a haze. Ideally you should have your bag packed and ready from 36 weeks just incase.

    I’ve put together an essentials list, this is for you, for baby and also your birth partner, yes they have a bag to, a very important one and this lets you concentrate on the things that you really need.

    hospital check list

    FOR MUM

    Loose Fitting Nighty 1-2 - A loose fitting nighty is a great idea, its comfortable and great for birthing in. Take a spare as you don't know how long labour will be and its always nice to have a freshen up or to change once baby is here. A button down nighty can be great for breast-feeding.


    Comfy Big Black Knickers - Big knickers are a must, comfort over style for sure and black is more forgiving so get down to Sainsbury’s for a pack of 5 :)

    Socks - Believe it or not your feet can get quite cold in hospital so packing some comfy socks with keep those toes warm if needed.


    Maternity Pads - You cant have enough of these to be honest, the actual maternity pads are very absorbent but can be rather large, so another option is overnight absorbent sanitary towels. Have a few types to see what you find most comfy. Or you could always opt for deposable knickers, which are big hit with mum blogger 'Mother of Daughters'.


    A Feeding Bra - Essential for breast feeding, easy access to feed, giving you soft comfortable support.


    Wash Bag - For all your essentials such as toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, hair bands (get that hair out of your face during labour), deodorant - pack a natural, light or no fragrance as this is best for breastfeeding, lip balm, face wipes etc.


    A Pillow (V or pregnancy) - Bring in your favourite pillow; it will help for getting comfortable but also for feeding baby.


    TENS Machine - Amazing little devices, you can buy these or hire them, usually from Mothercare or your local children’s centre. I swear by them, they really help to take your mind off your surges.


    Breast Pads & Nipple Cream - Although your milk may not have come in yet, some breast pads may come in useful. Also initial breast-feeding can be painful at times so some nipple cream will help sooth you. I’ve always used Lanolin and can highly recommend it.


    Change of clothes - You will want a change of clothes for when you leave the hospital or Midwife Led Unit, whether that’s a spring dress like Kate Middleton or something more comfortable like lose fitting trousers and hoody its up to you, just make sure its comfortable and loose. Your baby bump will still be there for a little while.

     

    FOR BABY

    Baby Grows & Vests - It’s difficult to know exactly how big your baby will be, Id recommend taking 2-3 baby grows of different sizes just in case. Also as baby may need changing whilst still in hospital.

    Hat - Baby is in the big wide world all of a sudden and needs a bit of help with warmth so a little hat is a must.

    Blanket - Take a cellular, or breathable blanket with you so you can snuggle baby up or swaddle them in the cot.

    Nappies - Babies can go through 10-12 nappies a day so make sure you pack enough for your stay.

    Wipes / Cotton Wool - For newborn skin cotton wool is advised, but there are special newborn wipes on the market now.

    Muslin Squares - These are so handy, to drape over you when holding baby to catch any sick.

    Snow Suit - If your baby is born in colder months think about what they’ll wear travelling home, it’s not advised to put them in a car seat with a snowsuit.

    Car seat - You’ll arrive as two but you’ll be leaving as three, so remember to bring your car seat and have had a practice on how to fit it before you arrive.

     

    FOR BIRTH PARTNER

    Mobile Phone - You may have your hypnobirthing tracks on your/partners phone, also a surge timer app so it makes your mobile very handy.

    Camera - Don’t forget to capture your beautiful new baby, although photographing mum during labour might not be what she wants.

    Bluetooth Speaker/Headphones - These are great little speakers for your playlists, whether that’s your hypnobirthing tracks, or just your favourite relaxation music.

    Phone Charger -You may need to top up your battery with listening to music so don’t forget your chargers.

    Snacks and Drinks - You will both need little energy boosts along the way, bringing some snacks and drinks you’ll enjoy will help you. I recommend the Lucazade sport drinks they give you energy without making you wired like energy drinks would.

    Hypnobirthing Book - If you’ve done my course you’ll know how important the book is, it’ll give you your checklist of things to do during labour and birth.

    Maternity Notes- These are essential for the midwives, so please don’t forget them.

  2. Remembering back to when I'd just found out I was pregnant, my friend was 8 months and couldn't wait to have her body back, I said "oh I love being pregnant always have". Fast forward to 17 weeks and pregnancy number 3 is hitting me like a tonne of bricks. Does your brain just block everything bad out?

    IMG_8501

    I have rose tinted memories of my first two pregnancies, this time I’m finding it a lot harder. The first trimester was pretty much a haze of anxiety and depression, which was extremely hard while looking after two children, but as children do they got me through it. My partner was my absolute rock, he took anything I would throw at him, sometimes even literally! I read somewhere that love isn’t about the being in love, the nice bits, the romance and the honeymoon period. True love is the part where it gets tough and you support and help each other. This is our first baby together so everything is all new for him and he's happy and excited and then there's me, a completely different person that cant stop crying in the corner and having no ability to actually rationalise any decisions. Have any of you had this?

    Once I started speaking to other mums, they to said they had experienced this Pre Natal Anxiety and Depression, and I found out it’s actually more common that Post Natal Depression. I visited the GP and they just wanted to put me on some medication or another, which I have never wanted to do. I decided to take things into my own hands and try to improve how I felt myself. Id seen a fantastic reflexologist Nicol Fullalove at Love Yourself Beauty / Holistic / Well Being before for fertility and well being so I thought I’d give it a go. I went to my session very anxious and had thoughts running round and round my head. By then end of the session in her lovely relaxing room, I was the most calm id be in weeks, I almost instantly felt better and from that evening I gradually started to improve, I saw Nicol every two weeks until I felt I didn’t need it anymore. Reflexology is such a clever practise, they can tell you which parts of the body need working on. She could see my stress areas improving through time. I also practised mindfulness and meditation and luckily by 12 weeks the fog started to lift and I started to feel like me again.

    Then January hit us, the most horrendous bug, it got me first D&V followed by cold, painful cough and flu like symptoms. I think getting the bug first, then each of your family getting it is the worst combination as I had to then look after everyone else and couldn’t really recover myself. I also find it very difficult when you can’t just throw back some cold and flu tablets or a lemsip, I got so annoyed at the pharmacist who will always say no. Anyway we power through. Manuka honey, lemon and hot water and paracetamol was my go to life safer. Are there any other wonder remedies out there?

    In the midst of all this we moved house, which is hard enough being pregnant not being able to lift anything but I organised and delgated to the max! I then stopped on the Monday and got tonsillitis, thinking can this actually get any worse, listen to me moaning on. I’m longing for summer days and floaty dresses, breathing in warm fresh air and not being covered in 3 people snot!

    Tomorrow I’ve decided after weeks of illness, stress and caring for everyone else I’m going for some reflexology, it can help to boost the immune system which I totally need right now, as well as being totally relaxing and enjoyable.

    I felt like I wanted to write about how difficult it can be during pregnancy for some, especially just feeling rotten and poorly for weeks on end, it can all sound quite negative so I will balance this out with a positive blog post when I’m feeling wonderful during the middle stages (which im actually in haha) but once the cold weather and the illness starts to fade.

    (Reality - Put some make up on to take a bumpy, then had to immediately go to bed so poorly with tonsilitus!)