There are heaps of hospital lists available all over the internet of what to pack (and what not to pack!). From maternity pads and granny undies, to button up pyjamas and nursing singlets. But we want to share with you some of our top hacks to make you and your space calm, relaxed and at ease. To make your hospital stay feel positive and empowering, as well as super comfortable, here’s a few of our top tips you may like to consider when packing your birthing bag:
Now for the most part, hospitals are chilly! Be sure to pack a pair of super fluffy and comforting bed socks. This will make those middle of the night feeds and trips to the toilet that bit more comfortable. Also, be sure to pack some slip-on shoes, whether they be thongs or slippers. You will want something that you don’t need to bend over to put on (plus hospitals don’t generally like you pottering around bar foot!)
Your boobs are going to need all the love and care you can give them! These milk-making beauties are going to be working over time in the coming weeks. The best thing you can do is be prepared by having nursing pads and nipple balm on hand. Nipple balm helps to soothe sore, swollen nipples and can also be used if they chafe or crack. This nipple balm is perfect for the job and doesn’t need to be wiped off before babe feeds (winner!). You can get your hands on disposable nursing pads but opting for reusable ones are so much softer on your boobs, and better for the environment too. These come in a range of prints, are super absorbent and made from super soft bamboo. Treat your boobies!
You can also grab ready-made essential oil roller blends to help boost milk supply and soothe tender breasts. Nursing tea can also be a nice addition to your hospital bag. Not only will it hydrate, it can help with lactation, and also calm and relax you.
To help soothe and relax you, think about taking some scents that take you to your happy place. Or maybe some smells that pick you up and re-energise you (you’ll need all the energy you can muster!). Lavender is known for its gentle calming properties, while citrus acts as a natural pick me up. Choose a balm you can apply to your chest, neck, and pulse points (as well as sheets and pillows) can be a lovely way to help put you at ease. A room spray can also be a nice way to create a safe, familiar space. You can DIY your own, or choose from a selection of goodies that are safe for baby too.
Some mums-to-be like to take accessories to add to the ambience. For example, battery powered LED candles can be a good way to create soft, calming light. Maybe taking your favourite affirmation cards with you. Creating a playlist of your favourite tunes, whatever resonates with you. They may be songs empower and uplift you, or calm and relax you.
Foods & Drinks
Be sure to pack some nutrient rich, easy to eat power snacks (and treats too!). You don’t want to be relying on hospital meal times to get an energy boost. A generous sized water bottle is also a must have, for throughout labour and as your milk comes in. Keeping hydrated is essential (and hospital size cups just don’t cut the mustard!). Some mamas love a straw bottle as it’s easy to sip from whichever position you may find yourself in.
Aside from the niceties… a few things we want to give special mention to that you really don’t want to forget:
Phone charger. Grab one with a long cord if you can, just in case the plug is a way from the bed.
Toothbrush. Obvious but, you know… baby brain!
Lip balm. To rehydrate those dry lips.
Eye mask. To block out bright hospital lights when you are trying to get much needed rest.
Button up pyjamas. With easy boob access please mum!
Comfortable pillow. Maybe even a feeding pillow if you have one, or body pillow if you have been using.
Clothes for your new bubba. But we all know you’ve had those laid out in the nursery for months now ;)
Hot and cold packs. For some gentle pain relief during labour.
A pen. To doodle, note take, journal… whatever you may like to do, and most importantly be able to order your hospital meals
Spare hair ties and maybe a headband, so you can pull your hair off your face.
Best of luck mama. Be sure to take what you need to create a comfortable and relaxing environment. Make it what you need it to be. Hope it is strong and wonderful experience for you…
Guest Post from Caroline Fenton, formerly of Avidiva