It’s easy to get carried away when packing your hospital bag. After all, you may be more used to packing for two weeks by the beach, and so a bare minimal hospital bag can come as a bit of a surprise. Childbirth is one of the great unknowns, so you may find yourself packing for a whole host of different scenarios, just in case. What you really need to do, is pack light and pack sensibly. A huge hospital bag bursting at the seams can be a nuisance on the day. Not only will it be difficult to drag up to the ward, but it may also prove problematic when it comes to find particular items in the bag.
Make sure you can justify everything that goes in your bag, you’ll probably still end up taking more than you need, but at least this might keep things to a minimum. Here are five items you don’t need in your hospital bag:
- Books, magazines and films – ‘in case you get bored’, anything in this category should be taken out of the hospital bag immediately. If you arrive at the hospital in the throes of labour, and leave carrying your newborn baby, you won’t have had time to be bored. The only exception to this, is if you are being induced or having an elective caesarean. Both of these could involve a bit of waiting around, so it’s wise to take your own entertainment.
- Pre-pregnancy clothes – you may be missing those push up bras, and be desperate to slip back into those much loved skinny jeans, but unfortunately you won’t be leaving hospital in them. After you give birth, you will still have a bump for a short while as your body slowly shrinks back to your pre-pregnant size. You will also still be carrying the extra weight you put on during pregnancy. Take clothes that will allow you to be comfortable after the birth, ideally maternity or loose fitting clothes.
- A selection of cute baby outfits – newborns sleep most of the time, so you should pack lots of onesies and sleepwear to keep your little one warm in hospital. Cute as the mini cowgirl outfit complete with hat is, your newborn probably won’t appreciate it just yet. Keep your newborn dressed for sleep, or naked so you can enjoy some skin to skin bonding. Bring an outfit for taking baby home, and plan outerwear according to the weather.
- The baby book – much as you want to note down each treasured memory of the birth, you’re not going to have time at the hospital. Chances are, you’ll be exhausted after the birth and will then be busy adapting to your new role as a mother for the remainder of your stay. Leave the baby book at home, but take a pen and paper with you just in case you do feel the urge to write some quick notes down.
- Your full make up kit – while you may like a bit of mascara or a touch of blusher, chances are you won’t have time to apply a full face of make up. By all means, take a few of your must-haves, but don’t pack your entire vanity cabinet. Newborn babies take up a lot of time, and you’re likely to be sleeping when not looking after your baby. Your appearance will be far from your mind.
What would you advise expectant parents to leave at home as they head to hospital for the birth?
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.