There is nothing more exciting than the arrival of a new baby, but this is also a time of mixed emotions as it brings about great change and uncertainty, which is why it’s always a good idea to have a plan and be prepared, for anything!
Early in the third trimester is considered the best time to begin thinking about what you'll need with you during your hospital stay or at your birthing suite. The final weeks are a time to enjoy the moments before becoming a parent, and you don't want to be consumed with making plans! Your GP, Midwife or Obstetrician will best estimate your delivery date although that is no guarantee because nature always has its way. Some mums wait for the baby shower in anticipation of handy gifts. This is definitely not something to leave to the last minute so take control. It is recommended to pack your hospital bag at 32-36 weeks of your pregnancy.
The first step is to check what your hospital's policies are on bringing items into the delivery room. Some have stricter rules than others and won't permit any cameras or video cameras to be used during the birth.
Hospitals aren't always the prettiest places to be, and can often evoke more anxiety than relaxation! Many hospitals offer a tour of the maternity ward and delivery room, it is highly recommended to take this offer up, as this will allow you to visualise the birth.
Try to bring some items from home such as a comfortable pillow, music and even DVD’s to make the environment less clinical and to put you at ease. Anything that makes you feel better is definitely worth bringing along!
Items before and during labour:
- Identification & Important Information: The first and most important thing is your medicare card and any necessary hospital documents.
- Beauty Items - Obviously childbirth isn't the time to be wearing your nicest mascara or new lipstick, but there are some comforting essentials that can help. Lip Balm such as Lanolin Lips or Paw Paw ointment is great to avoid your lips getting chapped or feeling dry and maintain your moisture levels. A hair band is also great so you don't have to worry about feeling extra hot and sweaty and can have your hair away from your face. Moisturiser, deodorant and mints are also great and can be kept in a small makeup bag. If you're a light sleeper, be sure to pack some ear- plugs to block out surrounding noise and get as much rest in as possible after the baby is born. Warm non-skid socks are also a must have for walking the cold floors both before and after pregnancy.
- Music can be very relaxing if you are feeling stressed, and is a good distraction from all the breathing and labour talk. If you can bring something that can play music quietly, it could be great to hear your favourite song and lift your spirits!
- Entertainment is necessary to avoid excessive boredom with channel television, so bring along some magazines, Crossword puzzles, or something to play games on to pass the time. There is often a lot of uncertainty about how long you could be in labour for. Snacks such as drinks or lollies are also a great distractor - juice that can be diluted or anything cold will help ease the discomfort of excessive heat.
- Front opening clothing or easy to remove, you may need to remove these in a rush! Make sure they aren’t your finer items of clothing.
Bras & Underwear Two really comfortable supportive maternity bras – these should be nursing bras if you are breastfeeding. Remember to upsize as your breasts will be larger than usual, and include 24 super-absorbent breast pads.
- Something loose and easy-going to wear around the ward. You do not want your movement restricted. Allow for three changes of clothes.
- For night-time wear, several front-opening loose-fitting nighties with separate or foldaway tops if you are planning breastfeeding.
- Modibodi products can be your best friend post-child birth. Our breastfeeding singlet is made from comfortable, breathable fabric that won't cling or make you feel squashed. Made from our Patented Modifier Technology that is super absorbent, stain resistant, antibacterial and breathable, and made from luxuriously soft bamboo jersey outer fabric. The cup size allows for changing breast size which is to be expected with all the post birth changes. Our wonderful soft, yet supportive Active Crop is great for around the house, allowing your skin to breathe and provides amazing comfort.
If you are having a caesarian procedure you will need to wear baggy and loose clothing as anything tight can irritate the wound. Mothers have often suggested using mens underwear as they allow for more stretch and have room to fit ice packs inside if your vagina is tender. Don't forget to pack a plastic bag to dispose of your worn underwear.
When you're back at home and settling into a new routine, Modibodi garments with light to moderate absorbency will be a great support system. Its completely normal after childbirth to experience leakages of any sort, and it can be a serious hassle trying to predict when they will occur or having to clean your underwear each time they do. Not just your average "Period underwear" Modibodi garments have three layers of protection which are stain and odour resistant and work to wick away moisture from the body. They are easily washable and will last a long time, so they're perfect for post childbirth when your main priority is looking after your new bub!After Birth Essentials
- Little Bairns Nipple Balm is great for when your nipples become sensitive and possibly cracked and sore post-breastfeeding. And when you need some 'me' time and relaxation, check out the "Heal Me" Postnatal Bath soak which soothes postpartum swelling with essential oils.
- Heat packs- Many hospitals have a limited amount of heat packs but are happy for you to bring your own. Check there is a microwave available where your partner will be able to heat them. Our favourites are JazminBelle.
- A fabulous wardrobe - Queen Bee Maternity has a great range of clothing with a wide range of styles
Everyone has different preferences and experiences different things during childbirth, and it’s just a matter of figuring out what’s right for you and what will make you feel best. There are a variety of options available throughout your entire pregnancy and all the way through to post-natal care.
If you have any great tips on what to pack or things to use during and after childbirth, then comment them below!