Lots of women ask me what to take to hospital or the birthing unit and when to get it all ready. I usually recommend that they get things ready at least 2 weeks before their due date. I suggest that they also think about their route to hospital/the birthing unit and how they will get there e.g. drive in their own car/taxi…. In addition, they should think about how they will communicate with their birthing partner when they go into labour: Whatsapp, text, phone….
It is worth thinking about the other people that will want to know how you are getting on. Do you have a plan of how you will communicate with them? The last thing you are likely to want to do is to be texting when you are in labour. Perhaps your birthing partner can update one key person like one of your siblings and they can let the rest of the family know how you are getting on. Or perhaps you will have a Whatsapp group for your key people to be updated on. Remember though that this is your moment and most people can wait a few hours if you want your privacy at this time.
Alongside the bag, route and birthing partner, it’s helpful to have a list of useful phone numbers ready such as the hospital/birthing unit or midwives phone number. You should also have your pregnancy notes – the PregnaPouch app will handily be on your phone with these on as your back up for your hand held notes.
You may also need useful documents such as insurance documents depending on where you live and hospital reference numbers.
So pick a bag that you find easy to carry to pack everything into and then stick in a few of these things:
For You During Labour:
Comfy old clothes e.g. oversized T-shirt and socks
Bikini/Tankini if you are considering using the birthing pool
Birthing ball (if you already have one and definitely want to use it during labour)
Flip-flops for showering
Drinks and snacks that you like and some for your partner too!
Your own pillow
Hairbrush and hair tie
Phone and Camera (make sure they are charged)
Music/hypnobirthing sound tracks
Scented massage oil (e.g. Clary sage, lavender)
For You, After Your Baby is Born:
Shower Stuff and Make-up
Granny pants/disposable pants and maternity pads
Comfy clothes (ensure they will be comfortable even if you have had a caesarean e.g. no waist band where a scar would be); ensure the clothes also make breast-feeding easy e.g. front opening
For Your Baby:
Baby grow x 6
For Going Home:
Clothes to go home in for you and baby
There are of course other things you might want to bring but I hope this covers the essentials.
If you are having a home birth, these things may be useful for you to get together anyway. You will also need clean linen and towels and anything else your midwife suggests. It is also worth having these ready two weeks before the due date.
When you get home, you will be tired so it might be worth ensuring the house is as tidy as possible and that you have stocked up the fridge and freezer. You should also buy a lot of the baby essentials like wipes and nappies.
I would love to know if any of you would recommend anything else?
Any questions or comments do get in touch @PregnaPouch or PregnaPouch@gmail.com.
Best wishes and Good Luck
The PregnaPouch team
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