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What's in my hospital bag?

I've been toying with the idea of doing a hospital bag post for a while now, but since I've never had to stay in hospital before let alone give birth, I didn't feel like I was much of an expert!

However, all that changed last week when I got admitted to hospital for high blood pressure and was so, so glad that I'd already packed my bag in preparation for labour. Obviously I didn't need to use everything in my bag, but I thought I'd share the contents of it in case any other pregnant ladies are wondering what to pack...

Clothes

1. Birthing shirt - Or an old, baggy tee that's comfy and doesn't matter if it gets ruined when giving birth.
2. Nursing bras - Handy if you're planning to breastfeed and even if you're not, you'll need something that's comfortable and supportive.
3. Pyjamas/ button front nightie - Whatever you find comfiest for sleeping in and possibly breastfeeding in.
4. Slippers - Most hospitals won't let you walk around without something on your feet so be sure to take slippers or even flip flops so that you can go for a wander!
5. Dressing gown - For comfort and modesty when walking around the ward.
6. Socks (including one pair of cosy socks!) - Apparently it's quite common for your feet to get cold during labour, even in a boiling hot hospital, so best to be prepared!
7. Comfy knickers - You can buy disposable knickers to wear after you've given birth, but Primark pants that are a couple of sizes too big are just as cheap and much comfier!
8. Change of clothes - In case your clothes get messy during labour or you end up having to stay in hospital for a few days.
9. Loose comfy coming home outfit - Whether you've given birth naturally or had a c-section, chances are you'll be feeling a bit sore when the time comes to leave the hospital so make sure you pack something baggy or stretchy for the journey home, such as leggings or jogging bottoms.

Toiletries

1. Maternity pads - Not the most glamorous accessory, but essential for coping with bleeding after giving birth.
2. Hairbrush and comb - To make yourself look presentable for photos and visitors.
3. Toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash - For freshening up, especially if you have to stay in hospital overnight.
4. Shower gel - For that long awaited post-birth shower! It's worth taking a mild, un-perfumed one in case you're feeling extra sensitive afterwards.
5. Razor - Again, useful if you have to stay in hospital for a while.
6. Tissues - Always handy!
7. Nipple cream - To help soothe sore nipples if you're breastfeeding.
8. Breast pads - To prevent any leaks.
9. Hair ties - For keeping your hair off of your face when you're feeling hot and sweaty during labour!
10. Shampoo and conditioner - Important for freshening up after giving birth.
11. Deodorant - Also important for staying fresh!
12. Lip balm - To soothe your lips as they're likely get cracked and sore after being in a warm hospital for hours on end.
13. Wet wipes - For everything and anything, including freshening up between showers and cleaning your hands after nappy changes.
14. Make up wipes - Self explanatory, really!
15. Make up - To help you feel a bit more human after giving birth and look a bit more lively in the photos!

Misc.

1. Pregnancy notes - Whatever you do, don't forget these as you'll be asked for them as soon as you get to the hospital!
2. Phone and charger - Essential for keeping in touch with friends and family and for helping you to stay sane when there's lots of waiting around.
3. Camera - For those all important new baby photos.
4. iPad/ book/ magazine - Hospitals can be really, really boring so make sure you take something to keep you occupied when things get a bit quiet!
5. Pen and paper - Just in case you need to jot down anything important or relay info to your partner between contractions.
6. Handheld fan - To keep cool during labour.
7. Glasses and contact lenses - If you wear them or might need them.
8. Towels - For when you want to have a shower or a quick freshen up.
9. Water and snacks - Hospitals aren't exactly known for providing restaurant quality food, so be sure to take some snacks to give you energy and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated during labour.
10. Ear plugs - Vital for trying to get some sleep on a noisy hospital ward!

Things for baby

1. Nappies - Some hospitals will supply you with nappies but there are a lot that don't so it's best to take your own, just in case.
2. Baby wipes - If you're going to take baby wipes, make sure they're extra sensitive or have been proven to be safe on newborn skin.
3. Nappy bags - Most hospitals ask you to bring your own as they don't supply them.
4. Cotton wool - For those first few nappy changes.
5. Vaseline - To make it easier to clean off newborn poo!
6. Babygrows - For dressing your baby in after they've been cleaned up and cuddled.
7. Hats - To keep your baby's head warm.
8. Vests - For your baby to wear under their sleepsuit.
9. Cardigan - For keeping your baby cosy, if needs be.
10. Socks or booties - Not essential, but some hospitals like you to bring them in case your baby needs to be kept extra warm.
11. Scratch mitts - To stop your baby from scratching their face and accidentally hurting themselves.
12. Muslin squares - For folding into bibs, mopping up baby sick
13. Blanket - Nice to have for newborn snuggles and essential for keeping winter babies warm on the journey home!
14. Car seat - If you're planning to travel home by car, no hospital will let you leave unless you have one. Make sure that it's suitable for newborns and that both you and your partner know how to fit it in the car.

...So there we have it! Of course whatever you take will be down to personal preference, but I found a lot of these things to be really useful and therefore wanted to share my experiences.

If you've given birth in hospital before, what items were you really glad you took with you? And what did wish you'd packed in your hospital bag?! If there's anything you think I might've missed off of my list then let me know!