Hospital Bag Checklist UK
From all the stories you have heard, you know when that time comes, your minds will be all over the place. The best remedy to this is to have a hospital bag ready to go. Packing always seems like a chore, and that’s when you are moving. What about for when it’s an important hospital visit?
You won’t stuff your bag with just anything, you need to put in things that will be of actual use to you from the moment you step out of the door, to the moment you will bring back your bundle of joy to the home they will grow up in.
Here are a few things to consider when packing your hospital bag.
When to start packing.
Immediately. Well, almost immediately when you find out. Here is why.
For one, not everyone will be testing themselves every week to see if there is a little human they will be bringing into this world. Some couples will just be winging it. By the time you discover you are pregnant, it may be four, or even six months in.
This leaves you with little time to get your minds in the right frame to expect a child, and also handle the other requirements before the baby arrives. This also leaves you with ample time to plan for other things.
Now that you are aware of what’s happening, you can begin packing at your own leisure. The thing to note is that, by the 36th week of pregnancy, you should have your hospital bag ready to go. This is because it is likely that labour can happen at 38 weeks.
The due date is mostly an estimate of when the birth is going to happen, and this is an optimistic projection barring any complications that may arise. If during one of your hospital visits the GP or specialist determines that the birth needs to happen soon to forestall any complications, you will have everything in place.
The bag you need.
This is down to how you like to get things done. To begin with, there are three scenarios you need to think of; what you need during labour, what you need after birth, and the things your partner will need.
You could have everything you need in one large bag that obviously your partner will be carrying. You could also have them in two or three separate bags, depending on your OCD levels. The number of days you will spend in hospital also comes up.
The best thing to do is to ensure the bag, or bags is posted near your door. This way, your partner, or the person who will be taking you to hospital will reach it with ease.
What You Need to Pack.
The contents of the bag will start making sense when labour kicks in. Here are the most essential things you will need in the bag:
- Maternity notes from previous clinical appointments. These will help the midwife handle your labour properly.
- A birth plan. You don’t have to prepare one, but it makes things marginally better.
- A TENS machine and enough batteries. This is useful, if you want one, and the hospital does not have their own available.
- Medications that you are currently taking.
- A spray bottle, or a fan to help cool you down when you begin to overheat.
- A phone, tablet or laptop loaded up with enough entertainment material to last you the duration of your visit. Throw in their chargers as well. You can include books and magazines if you are the type to read through stuff in the early stages of labour.
- A hygiene toolkit with toothpaste, toothbrush, an assortment of hairbrushes and hair ties.
- Toiletries, very important.
- A large and comfy outfit that you will have on during labour. Ensure it is comfortable and doesn’t get you too hot.
- Snacks are a must! They’re probably one of the best motivators in that room.
A birth ball can be an excellent addition to this bag, but a number of hospitals do have them available. You will have to communicate with the hospital to find out whether you need to bring your own.
Essentials for after the birth
Well, you are bringing a human into the world. While the moment is beautiful, it is not exactly business as usual or mess free. Here are essentials you will need.
- Large maternity pads, or extra-large sanitary pads.
- Large comfortable underwear. Disposable knickers work a treat in these situations.
- Comfy dressing gown with the appropriate comfy flip flops.
Now that you have a new human, you will have to feed them. For this, you will need;
- Front opening pyjama tops or nightdresses.
- Nursing bras.
- And breast pads.
Essentials for the baby.
Yes, your little human, though beautiful enough to bring about world peace, is not exactly protected as they were in your womb. It is your job now, for the next several years, to ensure that they are well protected. Here are essentials your bundle of joy will need.
- Vests and bodysuits. A snow suit works great if its cold.
- Nappies or diapers.
- Socks, mittens and booties.
- A hat.
- A roll of cotton wool or pads. Unscented baby wipes too.
While you are packing your hospital bag, also ensure that you get the appropriate car seat for your car. Not all car seats are meant to fit in all cars. This is especially true when you consider the year that the vehicle was manufactured. Newer car seats have ISOfix anchor points that securely attach the car seat directly to the structure of the seat.
Essentials of your partner.
Well, in a good number of cases, you will have someone with you through every step of the way. While they themselves may not be experiencing labour, they still need a few things. These are:
- Cash for handling small issues.
- A change of clothes if they stay the entire duration.
- An air mattress or sleeping bag if there is enough space to accommodate them.
- An upbeat and tolerant attitude to help you through the birthing process.