The obligatory hospital bag post – five things you might not have thought to pack

Packing your hospital bag is a momentous part of preparing to be a new mum. It’s the kind of thing that makes you realise ‘this is actually happening!’ Exciting as it is, it can feel like a mammoth task to cut through all the birth-related paraphernalia to work out what you actually do need. So alongside all the usual bits and bobs, here are some things I found/would have found handy:

Notepad and pen

After giving birth you get told all kinds of stuff and get asked all kinds of stuff and your sleep deprived brain can’t handle it. I kept tapping things into my phone – it’d have been much easier to have scribbled them down.

Something you feel nice in

You spend so much time picking an outfit for your new-born to come home in don’t you? Well you deserve to feel special too. I’m not saying you need a whole new outfit or anything fancy but something you feel bright, fresh and comfy in will do. I took in a selection of grey and boy did I feel drab. Plus people want to take pictures of you, lots of them…

A well-experienced friend has also recommended posh toiletries, in her words: “To treat yourself after a long shift – the nice smells will always remind you of your lovely little new born.”

Hand cream and a nail file

Babies make you aware of a whole new world of germs and you’ll be washing your hands a plenty, drying them out super quick. Jagged nails near new-born skin are a no-no too and plus you’ll need to keep your hands in tip-top condition to cope with the thousands of pop-studs you now have to fasten on an hourly basis…

Flip Flops

My Marks and Spencer foam-soled, old lady slippers (‘full shoe’ as my mother insisted) did a great job of soaking up nearly all the water (and goodness knows what else) from the communal shower – I’d have killed for my Havaianas – a lot cooler on swollen feet too.

A different friend pointed out that flip flops are no good if you have to wear support stockings, like after a c-section.

Snacks

Giving birth is hungry work and it’s not just the men watching on who need to stay fed and hydrated. Flapjack is always a winner. A pack of cranberry and white chocolate oaty cookies saved me from several energy slumps, especially after SOMEONE snaffled my post birth tea and toast…

As a final note; don’t fear the hospital stay. If you have to stay in for a few nights don’t worry; it’ll be for good reason and you’ll be in the best place. Hey, all your meals get cooked, baby experts are right on hand (new borns really don’t come with a user guide) and a cleaner comes a couple of times a day. Plus you have a great excuse to stave off visitors so you can stay in that precious new baby bubble.  When it comes to babies, there really is no rush.

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