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Birth bag: What I actually used!

I was pretty pants at blogging during my pregnancy, so I never got round to writing a 'What's in my hospital bag' post. It's partly that and the fact I must have repacked my bags so many times that in the end, even I wasn't sure what was in there haha! So instead I thought I'd put together a 'What I actually used in my hospital bag' post. I hope it's of some use to any mamas-to-be reading this!

Oversized nightie & a nursing one - I'd originally planned a water birth but seeing as I was induced, I knew that'd be a no no. Luckily I'd picked up a rather large nightie from Primark for a few pounds. It was perfect for giving birth. It had a couple of buttons on the neckline, which I was able to undo so Arthur could be placed underneath and straight onto my chest for skin-to-skin. You'll also want an extra nightie (I took a nursing one) or pyjamas if you've got to stay over night like I did.

Slipper socks - It's true what they say - your feet can get cold in labour. I remember asking my mum to put my slipper socks on for me. So glad I packed them.

Hair bands / bobbles / grips - I wore my hair in two plaits to give birth and used grips to keep it off my face.

Lip balm - I only used it once as my lips got a bit dry but I was glad I packed it.

Something to keep you entertained (in my case a someone - my mum!) - You might want a Kindle or some magazines to read, especially if you're in labour for a long time. I didn't actually use mine though! Me and mum just chatted and I tried to sleep a little in between contractions.

Toiletries and a towel - You're likely to want to shower after you've given birth so pack some shampoo, body wash, deodorant and your toothbrush / toothpaste. Minis are best! I took a pack of face wipes too. I didn't bother with makeup! Some hospitals might provide towels but I took my own just to be on the safe side.

Kimono - Hospital bag checklists say to pack a dressing gown but I didn't own one and didn't think there was any point in buying one if I wasn't going to wear it ever again. Instead I took my long kimono, just to use as a cover up when I was on the maternity ward, after having Arthur. It tends to be warm in hospital, so it was absolutely fine and didn't take up half as much room in my hospital bag! Obviously a lightweight dressing gown would be fine too.

Nursing bra - One of my breastfeeding essentials. They make it much easier for feeding baby.

Maternity pads, breast pads and old knickers - Pretty obvious why you'll need these. Pack plenty of maternity pads and old knickers! I wouldn't bother with disposable ones. Apparently they're super uncomfortable and I can imagine them making a horrible yet hilarious noise when you walk.

Maternity clothes - Make sure your going home clothes are comfy! I wore my maternity leggings and a maternity top. You're not going to automatically go back to your old shape, so you might as well get a bit more wear out of them and be comfortable at the same time.

Plastic bag - I took one of these to put mine and Arthur's dirty clothes in - saves getting everything else messy.

Baby essentials - I packed a separate bag for Arthur filled with his Naty Size 1 Nappies (I took a whole pack just in case), cotton wool (I took wipes but ended up using cotton wool and water), sleepsuits, vests, a couple of muslin cloths, hat and cellular baby blanket. The sleepsuits had scratch mits on them already (Next are great for this) and I got my dad to bring in a snowsuit when he came to pick us up.

My other essentials - Camera and spare batteries, phone, hairbrush, little mirror, maternity notes (I wrote my birth preferences in there but they'll probably ask you anyway) & medication (I take thyroxine).

I wish I'd packed...

Extra sleepsuits - I didn't quite grasp how many sleepsuits and vests I'd need for Arthur, as we ended up staying over night and then most of the next day. I think I only packed two and then had to get my mum to bring in extra the next day. If you can't fit more in your hospital bag, have them packed in a 'go-bag' ready for your partner or family to bring in for you if you need them. It's hard to know what size to pack. Arthur was 9lb 3 and newborn was still big on him! The best fit were his Next First Size sleepsuits which actually only said they went up to 7lb something on the label (obviously wrong). You could just pack a selection. It doesn't really matter if the sleepsuits are a little big!

Mobile phone charger - Yep, I stupidly forgot to pack my phone charger and yes my phone ran out of battery as soon as I got onto the maternity ward after giving birth. Luckily I'd taken my camera and my mum had hers so we got plenty of newborn Arthur pictures!

Bobble bottle - It would have saved a few trips to the water machine!

Other things you might want to pack (I didn't pack / use these)...
  • Tens machine
  • Birth ball
  • Extra pillows / breastfeeding pillow
  • Hot water bottle
  • Headphones
  • iPod

  • Things the lists tell you to pack but you probably won't use...
  • Water spray - I couldn't imagine anything worse than being sprayed with water while in labour but each to their own!
  • Ear plugs and an eye mask 'to help you sleep on a brightly lit, noisy ward' - It's your first night with your brand new baby, you're not going to sleep well no matter what you pack!

  • Hope you mamas-to-be find this useful!  Shout up if you have any questions!