No-one can precisely predict when your little bundle is going to appear in the big world! Being prepared will help you to relax and maybe even enjoy the run up to their grand arrival.
My Expert Midwife founder, Lesley Gilchrist has drawn from her 20 years of experience working as a qualified midwife to put together the following Top 10 Hospital Bag must-haves for you and your birthing partner.
These are in addition to the standard list of everyday items that you’ll need and may be beneficial to use even before the big day comes.
Your birth plan and maternity notes
Having your notes handy will mean your doctors and wider medical team will know your history easily, whilst your birth plan gives a clear idea of what’s important to you and how you’d ideally like the birth to be.
Relaxing music or hypnobirthing tracks
It’s amazing how effective this can be in stilling the mind, shutting out negative thoughts and creating a place of tranquility, even in the most sterile of hospital wards.
Both TENS machines and wheat bags offer
effective pain relief for the early part of labour and allows you to stay upright and mobile.
TENS machines can be hired through large maternity retailers and wheat bags, especially those with lavender, can be heated to the required temperature in the microwave.
I’d advise checking that your local labour ward offers this facility.
Your own birthing ball
These can be in short supply in hospitals and may not be the correct size for you. If you deflate it beforehand it will make it much easier to transport, just remember to bring the pump.
Your own pillow
Hospital pillows are not the comfiest and again tend to be in short supply.
Taking something from home also introduces your baby to comforting smells and friendly bacteria.
This is a highly effective blend of sweet almond oil, essential oils including calendula, grapefruit and lavender and vitamin E to encourage skin elasticity.
It is soothes and hydrating and great for tight, dry and itchy skin. The rich serum is perfect for giving you a calming massage whilst in the first stages of labour.
This is actually My Expert Midwife’s hero product, and fast becoming the number one addition for hospital bags.
Its active ingredients including lavender to soothe, tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties, witch hazel to promote healing,and will provide instant cooling and relief from pain for you, and will continue to keep you more comfortable in the days after the birth of your baby.
With all the to-ing and froing in the maternity ward, it’s easy to miss out on a meal. I recommend bringing snacks to get you through the long hours of the first stage of labour, high energy foods and drinks are also important.
We know from research that preventing women taking adequate calories during labour can slow down contractions and the progress of labour. And remind your partner to pack something too, they will be a much better support to you if they are fed and watered!
No Harm Nipple Balm
Discomfort caused by those early breastfeeding days can be really debilitating. This balm provides instant relief and protection from the kick off.
It’s 100% naturally derived, intensively moisturising, and is a rich but thin serum that glides on easily and doesn’t drag sore nipples. Trust me – it will be an absolute godsend in those early days… and you can even use it on your lips too – which can get very dry, especially if you are using gas and air.
Comfortable, loose maternity clothing or nightwear
This is for after your baby is born, when you will be craving something soft and comfortable to wear.