There’s not many parts of pregnancy that have quite many blog posts dedicated to them as one’s hospital bag. Typically, these involve a snazzy new bag in a funky geometric print, and stylish shots of baby booties that have been instagrammed to within an inch of their lives. There’s something about the “new-ness” of baby things and the anticipation of packing a bag when you have no idea what you’ll need or when you’ll need it that gets bump-bloggers all giddy. Also, either they’re not packing sensible stuff like biscuits and plastic bags which double up as laundry bags for puked on PJs, or they’ve conveniently left those bits off their blog posts because they’re not very photogenic.
Sorry to disappoint, folks, but I have zero inclination to instagram the contents of my well-battered weekend bag, or the ultra-stylish maternity pads contained within. I do love a good, practical list though, so here goes:
Clothes for me:
- Mamas and Papas Long Sleeve Nursing Top: I treated myself to some tops to wear after the baby is here which are easy access for feeding and loose around the middle.I picked soft cotton ones that I could wear at the end of my pregnancy, and hopefully ones I will wear in the future as well. I told this to my mum and she laughed, asking me what was wrong with just wearing a normal top and lifting it up to feed? She probably has a point, but I will have just had a baby by this point, so if I want to treat myself to some clothes I’m going to be comfy in, then so be it! Plus, this one has jazzy side flaps for easy boob access. Score.
- Mamas and Papas Long Sleeve Wrap Top: This is a loose jersey wrap style, so boob access comes from the front.
- Tallulah Twist Nursing Top: This is a bloody lovely modal top with boob holes, but it’s empire line, so will be comfy and (hopefully) flattering (currently £19.50 on ebay if you’re quick)
- Bravado Silk Seamless Bra: I’ve made my thoughts on this bra very clear in a previous blog post.
- Panache Nursing Bra: Still yet to take the tags off this one, and as yet, it still fits.
- Asquith London Yoga Pants x 2: Bloody lovely bamboo trousers that are so soft they feel like a tiny trouser cloud. I love these kecks so much, I resented that I had to stop wearing them long enough to pack them in my hospital bag.
- John Lewis Granny Pants x 5: Lordy me, they’re big.
- John Lewis Hipster Pants x5: These are my new faves, plus, they fit my ever expanding arse in to them, score!
- An old nightie: for the actual giving birth bit.
- Socks and slippers
- Towel: You know those birth plans that people write that go out of the window the second they go in to labour? On mine, it says I would like to go in the birth pool if possible. We’ll see how that one goes.
Other stuff for me:
- Toliletries bag: toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, showergel, soap, deoderant, moisturizer, body oil, nail file, lipbalm, hairbobbles, hairbrush.
- Arnica capsules and ointment: Arnica is a natural remedy for reducing bruising. I don’t know whether it works, and the only way you would find out is by giving yourself an identical bruise on each leg, then applying cream to one and not the other. To be honest, I’m not that arsed about the science, but it can’t do any harm.
- Lanisoh nipple cream: According to the mummyblogger hive mind, this is the best nipple cream out there bar none. Also doubles up as a good lip balm, by all accounts.
- Breast pads: I have some gel ones, some disposable ones and some washable ones. Overkill?
- Boppy breastfeeding pillow:This pillow fits around your middle and supports the baby in a comfortable position, so you don’t have to hold the baby mid-air. I got it second hand off ebay and bought a new cover, but there are lots of different brands out there.
- Maternity pads: Holy moly, have you seen the size of those badboys? I was given a huge pack by a friend who bought way too many when she had her little one, and was gobsmacked to discover there was only 10 in the pack.
- Eye Mask and Earplugs: in case I end up on a maternity ward. I have an exceptionally low tolerance for other people of late, although I’m not quite sure how earplugs and a baby that is going to be awake in the night are going to co-exist…
- M&S Green Fig Room Spray: A few months back, we did a “Mindful Mammas” day-long course which looked at how you can best keep calm and keep your confidence up during labour. I blogged about it here. It also talked about the importance of home comforts in making you feel safe, which can increase your body’s natural production of oxytocin. This fragrance was burning during the course, and afterwards, I emailed to ask what it was as it was so lovely. Ever since, when we’ve been relaxing at home, I’ve burned this oil and it’s come to be a very homely and relaxing smell for us both. They don’t let you burn candles in the maternity unit, so a room spray is the next best thing.
- Plastic bag for laundry: Because that’s the practical shizz right there that no-one ever includes in their blog posts.
- A pen: I have no idea why, but I bet you I use it.
- Vests x5 in a range of sizes
- Babygrows x5 in a range of sizes
- Scratch mitts
- Muslin cloths x2
- Swaddle blanket
- Blanket: this John Lewis blanket was a present from my friend Stef. It’s warm, cuddly and I wish they made them in grown-up sizes.
- Nappies and baby wipes: I am perplexed at the fact that any offspring of mine is going to have a bottom small enough to fit in to those teeny things.
- Change of clothes
- Contact lenses
- Emergency Pot Noodle
- Chocolate muesli bars (who am I kidding? These are for me)
- Chocolate hobnobs (these too)
Stuff that will be packed at the last minute:
- Make up bag, mirror and moisturizer: call me vain, but I look approximately a bajillion times better with a bit of Benefit Erase Paste under my eyes, a bit of tinted moisturizer, a swoosh of blusher and a swipe of eyebrow pencil
- Hairdryer and straighteners: (see vain comment above)
- iPhone and charger: obvs. Neil has also prepared a Spotify playlist, so this will double up as a mp3 player.
- Kindle: might be wishful thinking that I’ll have time to sit down with a good book before/after giving birth, but I’d hate to be bored when I could be finishing the Handmaid’s Tale
- Maternity Notes
I think that’s about it. Considering I intend to stay in for as little time as physically possible, this little lot fills a handluggage sized suitcase and an overnight canvas bag. I predict I’ll use approximately 10% of it, but I’d hate to be without my creature comforts when all I want is a bloody nailfile, damnit.
Have I forgotten anything?
Update: So, about a month after writing this, I actually used those hospital bags when I went and had that baby. As predicted, I packed entirely the wrong stuff and used very little of what I thought would be essential. My follow up post is here.