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Have you packed your hospital bag yet?

August 15, 2011

As you near the final months of your pregnancy, you’ll start thinking about what you should pack in your hospital bag.

1.    Pack two bags, one for labour and another for your post-natal stay in the hospital. This will save on space in the hospital ward as you can leave one bag in the car.

2.    If you’re driving (or rather being chauffeured!) to the hospital, bring some change for the car park and hospital vending machines.

 3.    Pack a watch with a second hand so you can time your contractions.

 4.    Take your pillow with you. It’s nice to have some home comfort at the hospital and an additional pillow can also be helpful when breastfeeding.

5.    During labour you won’t be able to eat or drink very much.  As bizarre as it may sound, using a small sponge to suck on can stop your mouth from going dry and you can use it to wipe your face to cool you down. Try this organically grown sponge from Beaming Baby.

6.    Pack lucozade or dextrose tablets for extra energy and a picnic for when you get your appetite back after the birth. Cartons of fruit juice are a must, as is a plentiful supply of water. Keep a couple of bottles of water in the freezer before you leave home so that they will stay cold for longer.

7.    For the birth wear a button-through nightie. The Lauren Sweetie nightie from Babes with Babies(£69) is both feminine and practical. We will be launching our own version of this hospital staple in January 2012 so watch this space!

8.    Maternity wards are very warm but at night you may get cold so pack a pair of thick socks or slippers. These slipper socks from M&S are only £6 and will make you feel more at home.

A dark-coloured dressing gown will keep you snuggly and allow you to cover up when you need to leave your bed. This maternity robe from Mothercare is comfy, stylish and only £18.

9.    Amoralia’s Love from nightdress and babygrow set is perfect for those all-important first photos. The nightdress has ¾ length sleeves and is in a practical dark colour. Priced at £34, it’s perfect for nursing as a side panel at the neckline pulls down so you can breastfeed discreetly (nice when your father- in-law comes to visit!)

The 100% cotton baby grow is designed to match the nightie so you’ll both look cute together! It has a kimono style design so you don’t need to pull it on over their head. It is available in a girly rose colour or a handy unisex slate colour and is only £15 .10.

10. Your outfit for leaving hospital should be loose fitting yet chic. This flattering Happy nursing dress (£129) from Babes with Babies would be perfect for your maternity wardrobe too.

11.    Pack plenty of cheap knickers and extra-absorbent sanitary pads. Matalan sell packs of 5 knickers for only £3.

12.    Your midwife will encourage you to breastfeed so you’ll need a couple of nursing bras to take with you. Amoralia’s second skin nursing bra is made from supportive microfibre for a better fit and extreme comfort.  At £29 it is a must-have item which will see you through the post-natal stage!

Breast pads are also essential as they prevent leakage: these pads from TommeeTippee are extra-absorbent and at only £4.09 for 50 they are economical too.

13.    Get some nipple cream. Lansinoh is specially designed to treat cracked and sore nipples and it’s available from Mothercare at £9.99.

14.    Take something light-hearted to entertain you while you are in hospital- your favourite book or a magazine– not too complicated as you’ll be tired.

15.    Invest in a newborn car seat. Try it for size in your car (or in the car in which your baby will be taken home from the hospital) to ensure it fits properly and safely. Check online reviews to see which seat would best suit you.

16.    Taking a camera is a great way to get dad involved and to capture those precious first moments between you and your baby. Leave your valuable camera at home though and instead take this disposable Kodak from Boots (£5.99).

 And one final tip:   

This is one for the dads! Plan your hospital route in advance! Map reading can be stressful at the best of times, so have everything ready (and plenty of fuel in the car!). Plan an alternative route as well, should there be road works on the day you need to go to hospital.

You might want to plan another route to the florists for later on…failing that this new baby basket is available from John Lewis for £35.

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