WHAT SHOULD YOU PACK FOR A HOSPITAL BIRTH?
At popular request, we cornered our midwife friend and asked her a few of your pregnancy and birth-related enquiries.
A common question was knowing exactly what to pack in your hospital maternity bag.
NHS Midwife Andrea has been working at a busy London hospital for more than five years and has seen her fair share of hospital bag wins and fails.
Below are her must-have items when going in for a hospital birth:
You' d be surprised how many women come in without them. Keep them with you at all times from 24 weeks.
Bring anything you've been prescribed by your GP or are on long term. It may seem hard to believe but not all medication is quickly available in hospitals.
Buy special maternity ones for your post-birth bleed. Your usual ones will not be comfortable any may stick to any stitches you require.
Bring nappies, a hat, a couple of babygros and vests and a baby blanket. Make sure the clothes are appropriate for the time of year and that the clothing will keep the baby warm.
Bring something comfortable to sleep in and make sure it is breastfeeding friendly.
Again, make it breastfeeding friendly. Bring disposable knickers (go up 1-2 sizes) or ones you don't mind getting ruined – your post-birth bleed can be long and heavier than you’re used to.
Clean bath towels x 2
Hospital towels can be rough. After you’ve given birth you’re going to want a long, hot shower and so bring a soft and fluffy towel from home.
Pack soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush and moisturiser. Bring makeup if you’re feeling adventurous!
Now is not the time to be counting calories. Bring whatever snacks you like – they’ll come in handy during the 3am munchies or a long labour.
A hospital bag for your partner
Yes they need looking after too. Even if it's just a toothbrush and a clean set of clothes - you don't know how long you're going to be in hospital so it's best to have him or her prepared.
The last thing you want is your birth partner disappearing during labour.
Your own pillow
They can be scarce in hospital and sometimes you need more than the one given to you.
Some of our favourite hospital bag picks (including actual bags to take into hospital) are below.
What was the one essential item you packed - or wished you had - when you had your hospital birth?