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.
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.
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.