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.
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