Aim to have your bag packed with a few weeks to spare before the due date. It doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult! The Queen Bee gals have been through this a few times already, so we’ve put our heads together to work out exactly what you’ll need to have ready for when the big day comes, with a special focus on the areas we know best.
Before the birth
You’ll need an old nightie or t-shirt to wear during labour, and comfortable loose undies. A dressing gown or robe in case you take to wandering the hospital corridors, and slippers and socks to keep your feet warm are also a good idea. If you think you’ll have some time on your hands, magazines and books are good, and if you enjoy music you may want to bring your own.
Pack some snacks and drinks for you and your birth partner. While many women in labour don’t feel like eating or drinking much, something high in glucose like lollies or jelly beans can be useful to keep your energy levels up.
After the birth
Clothes - You’ll need to pack something comfortable to go home in. Remember anything you plan to wear after the birth needs to be loose fitting; in fact maternity clothes are ideal. They’ll be useful for a while longer as your figure slowly returns to normal. Comfort over the belly is essential particularly for those who have had a c-section. Queen Bee has a fabulous range of nursing camis and comfy tracksuits and hoodies perfect for your hospital stay and the return home.
Nursing bras - Remember, your breasts will continue changing during the early days while your body is establishing a milk supply, and you’ll need to wear a bra night and day, so comfortable nursing/sleep bras are a must. We have a great range of bras at Queen Bee. In most cases it’s recommended to avoid bras with underwire as the pressure can lead to blocked milk ducts and other problems. You’ll also need breast pads (cloth or disposable) to put inside your bra cups. At a pinch, even folded face washers will do!
Sleepwear - Remember that sleepwear may very well become day wear when you are in hospital, so you need something comfortable to sleep in that you’ll also feel comfortable receiving visitors in. This is a good excuse to buy something nice for yourself! And it needs to be breastfeeding friendly, but luckily there are many options besides button up pyjamas. If you like wearing nighties, a nursing nightie is a great investment, and other breastfeeding-suitable styles include pyjama tops with drop-down cups, or cross-over fronts. Remember, you’ll often be feeding your newborn baby at night, and it makes sense to have the right pyjamas to allow you to do this in ease and comfort. Learn how to feed baby lying down too! It’s an invaluable tool in helping you survive those early mornings.
Don’t forget your toothbrush
When packing your toiletries there are a couple of things to keep in mind; apart from the basics like toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush etc, you may want to pack some massage oil, lotion and lip balm, as skin can be dry during pregnancy and labour. You will need sanitary pads for after the birth - super absorbent ones are recommended. If you plan to take photos in hospital, include a nice hair clip or some make-up if that’s your thing, and remember the camera (and video camera if you want to use one).
…and don’t forget the baby
You’ll need an outfit to take baby home in, and if it’s cold, include some socks or booties, a hat of some sort and a warm jacket. Throw in a few nappies and a baby blanket and wrap to suit the weather (thin muslin for summer, cotton jersey or similar for winter) and you’re good to go! Check your chosen hospital’s policy on nappies, as some will supply you with nappies while you are there and others won’t, so make sure you pack accordingly.