The Eco Essentials To Consider When Packing Your Hospital Bag

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As you near the end of your pregnancy one of your most pressing tasks will likely be packing your hospital bag...but with so many lists and suggestions out there it can be difficult to know where to start. What do you really need with you to make labour and your few days in hospital easier, more comfortable and an overall positive experience? Rather than a full blown list I’ve broken it down into categories so you can decide for yourself which items will be the best fit for you and your preferences. 

Pass The Time

There’s no telling how long labour will last and you may even find yourself with some time to spare after baby arrives (ambitious...maybe!), so think about what will help you pass the time while keeping you in a positive and relaxed state of mind. Consider entertainment you might enjoy, download some movies or tv shows to binge or have a good book or magazine on hand to help provide some distraction. For more calming options you may want to have a speaker with you and prepare a relaxing playlist or look into some soothing essential oils to diffuse or rub on your pressure points to help you reach a state of zen.  

Keep Mum Comfortable

Your comfort in the hospital is of the highest importance, so whatever you can do to make sure you feel good will be well worth it! Remember you’ll likely be spending a lot of your hospital stay in bed so comfortable pyjamas that are covered up and nursing friendly will be key. And don’t forget warm slippers or socks so you can easily go for walks when the four walls of your room get too much! For heading home, and when you want to feel a little more human during your stay, be sure to also pack a comfortable outfit that should almost definitely include your most loved pregnancy leggings! Check out these sustainable maternity lingerie brands for some beautiful organic loungewear options. [Link to 5 Sustainable Maternity Lingerie Brands]

Care Down There  

Now for some necessary items that you may prefer not to think about but will go a long way for your wellbeing post delivery. It’s all about being gentle down there so when you’re stocking up on maternity pads look for organic cotton options like these from TOM Organic to ensure you get the greatest comfort along with a more sustainable option. You may also want to consider underwear that will comfortably and easily hold your maternity pads, again organic cotton options will provide you with the highest comfort and breathability. I’ve also heard amazing things about the benefits of having a peri bottle and natural herbal sprays to help ease your discomfort in the days following birth.

For Baby

Baby won’t actually need much during his or her first few days of life in the hospital so go easy on how much you pack, even though I’m sure you have so many cute options! One or two outfits including a beanie and a warm blanket for the trip home is all you need. Essentials for baby are often provided by the hospital, be sure to check beforehand, but as long as you’re set for when you get home keep your hospital bag focussed on your needs. If you’re after a special coming home outfit for baby check out these adorable sustainable baby brands for inspiration. [Link to 5 of our favourite ethical and sustainable baby brands]

Don’t Forget Your Support Person

Lastly have a think about the needs of your support person so they can be 100% focussed on you and your wellbeing during your time in hospital. If you have a long labour your support person is likely to get hungry and you might be grateful to have your favourite snacks on hand afterwards as well! Packing snacks from home and a reusable water bottle not only means you’re prepared but also reduces your waste during your hospital stay. Make sure your support person has a copy of your birth plan and has other necessities like phone chargers, relevant contact phone numbers and any insurance or ID information covered as once you’re in labour these will likely be the last things on your mind. They will also require a bag with clothes packed if they’re staying and don’t forget the good camera, pictures on your phone might not cut it in this scenario!

This article was created for and originally published on The Green Hub

4 Ways To Ensure You Practice Self Care During Pregnancy

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Friends, family, strangers, experts, books...all will tell you many things about pregnancy, but sometimes it’s about taking things into your own hands and focussing on what’s right for you. Self care during a time when your body is not only keeping you alive but also creating new life is so important and also something that is entirely personal.

Throughout my journey to motherhood I’ve slowly learnt a few key lessons about practicing self care during pregnancy and ensuring I put mine and my babies well being first. I’m sure I have more lessons to learn in the last few weeks as I near my due date but for now here are my tips on looking after your mind and body as best you can during this exciting and crazy time:

Listen To Your Body

The most important thing you can do during pregnancy is listen to what your body is telling you...reset your boundaries when exercising, eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired. This all sounds simple enough but when your body is going through so many changes and everything you’ve known it to need or have the ability to do is adjusting as it makes room for baby, taking a step back, understanding, and being ok with what your body needs is so important. Plus don’t forget the many symptoms and side effects of pregnancy, so many; I would suggest choosing one book or app that will help you understand the changes going on that aren’t visible, yes there’s a reason you might be short of breath or losing your balance! Knowledge that what you’re experiencing is normal can help put your mind at ease and remind you not to put pressure on yourself to be functioning exactly as you used to.

Focus On Your Own Experience

I can’t express this strongly enough, although pregnancy may seem to be a pretty standard experience, the journey of every Mama-to-be is as unique and different as you are. Yes sometimes it’s nice to share and compare pregnancy experiences, this can actually be helpful, especially if you can be real and confide in someone about the not so great parts! But it’s also best to always remember that your road to motherhood is uniquely yours and while someone else's experience may have had one outcome yours could be completely different. This is especially true when it comes to getting sucked into a google search about any symptoms you may be having, don’t do it! I had a really scary experience in the first trimester of my pregnancy and let’s just say that nothing anyone said or wrote online was going to help me, what was most important in that moment was the support of my partner and doctors.

Ignore Unwanted Comments/Advice/Stories

People commenting on how big you are, like it has ever been ok to pass judgement on your weight, or how small you are, because you really need to be worried that your baby isn’t as big as it should be. Advice about what you should be prepared for when your baby arrives, which are almost always about you can deal with whatever your situation is as and when it happens. Or the good old, I heard a friend of a friend had this happen during pregnancy or have you heard this can happen during childbirth. Yes, we all know the details of labour, no need to mention it again! For some reason as soon as you’re sporting a baby bump anyone and everyone feels it’s their duty to pass judgement, give you advice or worst of all tell you horror stories, whether they’re already a Mum or not. Well my only advice is ignore it all and remember that one key fact about how everyone’s experience is different. You can’t predict what you’ll face but you’ll approach those hurdles if and when they arise like the strong Mama you are. And of course feel free to speak up if someone really oversteps the mark with their comments, you may not have heard but pregnancy hormones are uncontrollable!

Invest In Relaxing

Lastly, don’t feel bad about putting your feet up and taking some time to yourself. You should be making the most of relaxing while you can and before your life changes forever, sorry I hate both of those phrases when other people say them to me but I guess they are true! Your body is doing an amazing thing and indulging in a little you time and some R&R is not that indulgent at all when you consider the ever expanding list of pregnancy symptoms you’re dealing with. Set aside time to enjoy being with your partner as well; go out for dinners, go to the movies, enjoy a day at home on the couch. Basically do whatever makes you comfortable, relaxed and happy...this is a time when being selfish isn’t such a bad thing!

This article was originally published on The Green Hub