Friday, July 25, 2014

Hospital Bag 101 - What worked and what didn't

I started getting my hospital bag ready at about 20 weeks and it's probably a good thing I was so darn organised because it was ready to go when I gave birth 6 weeks early! I spent weeks and weeks trawling Pinterest for blog posts about what to pack in a hospital bag and I am so grateful that there is so much amazing advice out there which really helped me with my preparation! 

Unfortunately, I didn't expect to be giving birth so quickly so I didn't get to take any nice photographs - just the ones that I snapped on my iPhone to share with my birth group on Facebook. Keep in mind that my bag was packed with a vaginal birth in mind and here in Australia I was told our public hospitals don't supply a thing.

Toiletry bag:
  • 2 packets of maternity pads with wings. This was enough for my whole 2 weeks in hospital! I hardly bled at all but I'm not sure whether that's because I had a cesarean.
  • 1 packet of maternity pads without wings (not pictured). I didn't realise they were wingless but I ended up packing them anyway. I used these to cushion my scar and stuffed them between my undies and skin.
  • Green bag of breast pads. After a week I had to get hubby to bring more - I used heaps because my boobs were crazy milk making machines lol
  • Hydrogel breast pads. I thought my boobs would ache from feeding but these are still sitting in my cupboard at home along with the Lansinoh.
  • Toilet paper and flushable toilet wipes (not pictured). Hospital toilet paper is gross so I had my own roll of nice stuff from home. I also purchased some of those flushable wipes for my sore bits but I ended up using them still because my lady bits swelled and looked like man bits!
  • Witch hazel. This stuff is supposed to be amazing after a vaginal delivery which I didn't have. Some ladies in my birth group suggested soaking maternity pads in the stuff and popping them in the freezer for some cooling relief after birth. I'll be keeping that in mind for baby #2!
  • Randin toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, brushes, hair ties, roll on deodorant, detol hand sanitiser, shampoo and conditioner, lip balm. I wish I had packed soap (but didn't as I was told not to wash off babies scent) but luckily the hospital had it in dispensers in the showers.


For Mummy:
  • Black sports bra. I packed this to labour and birth in but didn't end up needing it for my ceaser.
  • 10 pairs of black underwear in a size larger than pre-pregnancy. These would have been great for a post-vaginal bleedy birth but I had so much post birth swelling that they cut into my thighs and belly. My mum went and got me some high waisted nana undies but my husband had to cut me out of them too! I ended up cutting them down the sides so they were really loose.
  • 4 maternity bras. I hadn't got around to buying these so mum had to go grab them after I gave birth. She got my normal size but went up a cup size.
  • 4 nursing singlets. These were amazing! Some days I would wear them without a bra and still do the same at home during the night.
  • 3 pairs nice PJ bottoms + 2 pairs of black trackies. I lived in my pjs while I was in hospital. I was going to go for all black but ended up packing some nice bright ones to keep me happy.
  • Black hoodie. I like to wear a hoodie to keep warm rather than long sleeve pjs so this was a must. It was also handy to wrap around Lilly during skin to skin in the nursery.
  • 2 pairs of socks. I live in them at home! I also had a pair of slippers that I wore down to the nursery each day.
  • Lollies and TimTams. Possibly THE most important part of my whole suitcase! These only lasted a few days before I had to send Hubby for more!
  • Book and pen. I packed these so I could write out our birth story while it was fresh in my head.
  • Going home outfit. I made sure to pack a really nice outfit to wear home so that I looked just as nice almost as nice as Lilly in our photos.

For Baby:

Lilly was born premature so the hospital actually supplied everything we needed for our stay in the Special Care Nursery. However, when Lilly was ready to come home, we got to stay 2 nights in the hospital together so I will share what I packed for her during this time.
  • Packet of newborn nappies. I actually borrowed enough from the nursery to keep us going but we probably went through about 20 eeeep.
  • Johnsons Wipes. We had planned to use Huggies but they used Johnsons in hospital so we kept using those seeing as though Lilly didn't have a reaction to them.
  • Nappy cream.We packed cream but didn't need it until we were well and truly home.
  • 5 singlets and under onesies. We really struggled to find clothes to fit Lilly so she ended up wearing a lot of 00000 under onesies from Kmart during her first few weeks. We found the 0000 singlets from Target fit her quite well too but the bonds ones were too long and gapey under the arms.
  • 5 outfits. Lilly mostly wore tights, tops and long sleeve onesies in those first few weeks because normal onesies were way too long on her.
  • 1 going home outfit. We managed to find a cute 00000 set from Target that fit Lilly perfectly so she wore that home from the hospital.
  • 2 beanies. Lilly lived in beanies for her first few weeks so we made sure we had some cute ones packed for her stay in hospital and her trip home. Unfortunately they were both too big so we kept using the ones that her great aunty knitted for her.
  • 4 pairs of socks. We packed socks but didn't need them because all of her outfits had built in feet.
  • 4 wraps and blankets. We packed a few different types from muslin, to cotton to flannelette and everything in between. It was freezing and the middle of Winter so we needed to make sure she was nice and warm.
  • Dummies. I packed some dummies but Lilly wouldn't take them so I may have 'borrowed' the ones we used in the nursery. 4 weeks on and she still prefers them over any brand that I've purchased.

Last Minute: 
  • My 7D camera and lenses. I wish I had of taken more photos in hospital but I was absolutely exhausted from a baby who spent what felt like the entire 48 hours crying and feeding. 
  • Make Up. I definitely wanted to look photo ready for the day we came home from hospital!
  • Phone charger. I would have been lost without my phone to contact people to come up for visits.
  • My pillow. Umm yep I ended up bringing my own only for me to forget it and leave it on my bed in the hospital. My lovely midwife ended up delivering it to me after we came home though! 
And that's what I had packed in my bags! I felt a bit silly having a whole big suitcase packed but everything we needed fit inside perfectly. Make sure you comment with anything I've forgotten that you have found useful!!


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