PACKING YOUR HOSPITAL BAG (ROUND TWO!)

PACKING YOUR HOSPITAL BAG (ROUND TWO!)

SISJ KIDS – PACKING YOUR HOSPITAL BAG (ROUND TWO!) >

So, I’ve had close to a ba-jillion requests for a revised ‘what to pack post’ – you ask, I DELIVER. Not really, I just think I’m maybe 17% more qualified to share my advice this time, considering I’ve done it all before. This is what worked/didn’t work for me and what’s in my hospital bag for round two. What I should share is my thesis of a labour/birth plan, but I’ll refrain from inflicting that sort of visual pain upon you all! The roster system I have in place, combined with an in-depth manual on my first born child, will hurt your head. It hurts mine. Instead, please see my insightful and helpful words below:


I’ve broken it down into what I’ve packed for myself and for our little man. 

FOR MAMMA…

A bottle of champagne – Joking! Or am I?! For any friends/family who wish to visit us during our stay, this is your only way in! 

Birth photographer – Well, book one if you can’t pack one! This is obviously a VERY personal choice and not for everyone, but I think a choice worth at least considering. I was sooo unsure, but I am so glad I did it for both my girls. Birthing MG was the best moment of my life and I will forever cherish those images. I’ve chosen to share them as I am so immensely proud, but these never have to see the light of day if that’s what you’d prefer. I used Kelly Jordan who has since become a great friend, as there is clearly no mystery left in our relationship! HA! She so beautifully captured Charlotte’s birth (a very different birth), and will be there for our little guy’s arrival in a few weeks. I’ve shared a few of my images below FYI. 

Multi Mum Compresses – If you are planning to try and breastfeed, these will save your life! I do not exaggerate to clarify. There I was thinking the labour/birth itself would be the hardest part, pffft, hello breastfeeding! That’s when shit can really hit the fan! I came across these during my stay with MG after one of the midwives recommended them. They are the only non-prescription breast care product that fights bacteria and prevents infection in cracked and sore nipples. They are safe, soothing and feel AH-MAZZZZZING. I would put these on most times after feeding in that initial week (don’t forget to let the nips still breathe though!), and then keep them in the fridge in-between. Nothing else worked or soothed the burning sensation like these. I buy them for all of my gf’s now. THE. BEST.

Shapewear/recovery shorts – Last time with MG I purchased the SRC recovery shorts after a heap of people recommended them, but to be honest… I didn’t love them and they are crazy expensive. I ended up buying some $20 Target control/shapewear shorts (the ones that go right up to your bra), and went down a size as I lost the baby weight. I wore these from the day after I gave birth, for about the next six weeks RELIGIOUSLY. I had a giant rectus tear and I believe wearing these played a huge part in my recovery. There are so many different brands that offer these types of compression garments, but I personally don’t think you need to spend the big bucks. 

{ MIA GRACE’S BIRTH – BYO a supportive partner who knows/respects your birth plan. Sure, things might not always go to plan, but their job is to support you no matter what. My hubby was amazing and copped whatever came at him! Kelly Jordan Photography }

Calvin Klein Invisibles (knickers) Last time I just packed some basic cotton Target ones (like two sizes up, as I really dislike maternity underwear), but after discovering these I am SOLD! I usually wear the thong version for day-to-day life, but I went with the full brief option for the hospital bag. If you’ve haven’t ever seen or worn a maternity pad, sweet baby Jesus, get ready! They are HUGE! I hate, hate, hate when my knickers cut into me, so these seamless briefs are perfect. The fabric is super silky as well. P.s Cotton On Body also have these, I just bought some more this morning as my ‘birth undies’, ha! I would wear full briefs if you are hoping to birth your baby vaginally, as you can put heat packs in/around where you need them. 

At least one pair of fancy PJ’s – Let’s not kid around, you feel pretty average in the days following the arrival of bub (and then some!). So, a fancy/new pair of PJs can be just what the doctor ordered! I’ve bought a gorgeous new dressing gown from Papinelle, as well as some loungewear for my hospital stay. Their fabrics feel INCREDIBLE and it’s the little things that count. I didn’t want friends visiting last time with MG, but I’m open to it this time (at this point!). At least I’ll have fab PJ’s if nothing else!?

Heat pack (wheat) – If you are anything like me, you are living with a heat pack between your legs, on your back, or below your belly 24/7. Not to mention having two baths a day! Ugh. the warmth is the only thing that helps at the moment, with the relaxin in FULL-BLOODY-SWING! Don’t stress too much about having your own for labour, as the hospital will have plenty and ones that can also slide inside your knickers. I also used mine during my stay on the maternity ward, and will be again. Those aching hips, back and body hang around for a few weeks post-partum too. I also love the smell of the wheat heat packs and find this calming. 

{ MIA GRACE’S BIRTH – this is my darling friend and midwife, Erin. She didn’t leave my side for both MG’s and Charlotte’s birth – the best and worst days of my life. I will be forever grateful for her love, support and encouragement and I can’t wait to scream, swear and push with her again soon! Kelly Jordan Photography }

Breastfeeding pillow – If you are planning on trying to breastfeed, I would suggest getting one prior and taking it with you. Both times I have purchased mine from Target, but there are so many options out there. This is another item I don’t believe you need to spend a fortune on, as there’s still some trial and error involved here. I can’t stress how important it is to be comfortable and supported when feeding. It’s very painful and often an experience that can cause a huge amount of stress. I remember being SO tense with MG (from pain, getting her to latch etc.), that I developed Carpal Tunnel. This took weeks/month to fix with regular myotherapy and physio. 

Beauty bag essentials (& labour prep) – Don’t feel the pressure either way to go ‘full glitz’, or ‘I couldn’t give a shit’. YOUR BIRTH, YOUR BABY – YOU DECIDE. There’s no right or wrong answer here and each to their own. I personally like having my fave beauty items with me – oils, shampoo/conditioner, make-up etc. While your stay (and essentially your new life with this little person!) is all about them, it’s also all about YOU. HAPPY MUM = HAPPY BUB. I’m so fed-up with everyone judging everyone else, “real” Vs “not real”, pfft, what does that even mean? It’s YOUR REAL-ITY! Shit is about to get real and your mental/emotional health is just as important as that baby, and sometimes that can be even the littlest of things – like new PJs, putting on some make-up, getting a blowave or having a bloody shower! Ok, mini rant over. You get my drift…  

I would also suggest packing a super nourishing lip balm (Blistex is always a winner), as the dry hospital air can really dry you out. Throughout my pregnancy I have been using Dermeze Treatment Ointment (it’s only $14 for a 500g tub from the chemist) on my belly and body. It’s super thick and basically like spreading lube all over your body (!!!), but it soothes the itching and is so incredibly nourishing. I will also be using this during my stay, for the same reasons as above RE hospital air. Another favourite is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir spray (face) which I’ve gone on and on about for the last few years. This smells amazing and it’s an instant wake-up! You can buy a handbag size spray from Sephora which is only 30ml – HIGHLY RECOMMEND. 

{ MIA GRACE’S BIRTH – I was as calm as a bloody cucumber for MG’s birth, but with everything that happened last time… I think this time I will be a lot more anxious – maybe not, but I’m already preparing for a highly emotional/scary labour and all the feels that will come afterwards. If you can, it’s important that you brief your medical team on WHAT YOU WANT AND NEED. Of course things can change once you’re in the thick of it, but it’s a conversation that needs to be had and honoured as much as possible I think. I wanted a birth photographer and a very calm birth. This time, I want to be monitored from the second I go into labour – no waiting at home etc. Amongst other things. Kelly Jordan Photography }

PRESENTS! – For anyone who already has a little person/s at home, I think the ‘present system’ is a great one! For us, we are VERY conscious that MG’s entire world is about to change – this little guy doesn’t know any different. While she is soooooo freakin’ excited, it will only be the second time I’ve been away from her for the night since she was born. She will see her mummy with a new bub and will be going home without me, I don’t know who will be the bigger mess?! #MEFOSHIZ. So, I’ve bought and wrapped five little presents for her to bring in each day for Froggy, and then I will take the same amount with me for her (from him). WHATEVER WORKS I say!

AND… A comfy pair of slippers, nursing tops/outfits, tracksuit pants/loungewear that’s loose fitting, camera, headphones, chargers, eye mask, cotton nightie, dressing gown, pillow (I loved having my own pillow last time), hair ties (#topknotcity). 

{ MIA GRACE’S BIRTH – THE BEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE, right here! Helping deliver my firstborn child with my OB. Ahhhh, I’ve got chills and throat lumps as I type this! Kelly Jordan Photography }


FOR BUBBA…

Sleepsuit/wrap options – I’ve packed 2 x Muslim wraps and 2 x Love To Dream sleepsuits. MG wore the LTD suits and loved them, but I’ve heard of many babies who prefer to be wrapped/swaddled – so maybe take both options with you.

Bottles – We gave MG a bottle for the first time in hospital (expressed milk), as my husband really wanted to be a part of feeding her – which I loved. During our stay she took both the bottle and the breast, but decided once we got home that my boobies weren’t for her! She would just fall asleep and get lazy, compared to guzzling the entire bottle (with anyone!) in seconds! The kid knows how to GSD! I also only had one breast that produced milk and I was on Motilium to increase my flow. For the next 3.5-4 months I pumped EVERY. SINGLE. FEED. It was a bloody nightmare – for me. I did love the flexibility that anyone could feed her and in fact, my hubby did the ‘dream feed’ (last feed of the night) every night and I went to bed around 9pm. So in that respect, it worked. This made overnight feeds super tricky for me though, as I’d need to give her expressed milk and then pump! Having said that, the OCD part of my personality also loved knowing how much she was getting. At around the two month mark, we supped in a formula bottle because I just couldn’t keep up and it was getting me down and causing immense stress. Looking back? Who knows if she’d taken to the boob if we’d never given her a bottle, it is what it is and we survived. Each baby is different, as is every experience between mother and child. I will try the same again this time and see what happens. What I now have is ZERO GUILT and the knowledge and belief that FED IS BEST!

We’ve got some old Avent ones (60ml) from MG, and this time I’ve packed some Tommee Tippee ones too – TBC! 

{ MIA GRACE’S NEWBORN SHOOT – ohhhh, my little squishy, chunky-monkey! MG has been making me get these up on my phone each night before she goes to bed, it’s SO cute! We used the ridiculously talented and amazing Kristen Cook and have booked in with her again this time. This is something that needs to be booked in advance and usually happens 7-10 days after they are born to ensure all the fabulous newborn-ness is captured! } 

Snuza Monitor (HERO) – I was gifted one of these before MG was born and we used it up until the day we couldn’t – when she started rolling in bed! It clipped onto the front of her nappy and she wore it for all day/night sleeps. It monitors breathing and movement, alarming if no movement is detected after a vibration buzzes first to alert the baby. This gave us such peace of mind and only false alarmed once (I don’t think I’ve ever moved so fast in my life!) – due to the way she was laying, it had come away from her belly and couldn’t sense breathing. We also used a baby monitor (sound/camera), with no pads as I’ve only ever heard bad things about them and the Snuza HeroSE monitors all that they do. These are available online and at Baby Bunting. A MUST!

Dummy – This is obviously a personal choice RE soothing method, but often newborns won’t actually take the dummy. However, for my own piece of mind I’ve packed one! They don’t take up any room in the bag, so meh. TBC. I am not an anti-dummy mummy, but I have seen him sucking his thumb on one of our earlier scans! Maybe we better start saving for braces?! 

Mittens & socks – I had always wondered why newborn babies were wearing mittens (regardless of the weather), then we had a baby and found out why! I didn’t pack these with MG, but bought some during our hospital stay. They have the longest nails and they absolutely scratch the shit out of themselves, so these are an absolute must. Socks on their hands also worked a treat.

Outfits (practical & caaa-ute) – Regardless of when your little person is born, the temperature in the hospital stays about the same – so prep for that. It can be quite cool at night, but you will most likely feel hot and feral thanks to all those hormones racing around. Yer, cute/photogenic outfits are a must duh, but onesies that ZIP are an even bigger must! Press studs take 500 years and get rather annoying, so zips are a definite on the packing list. Cotton On Kids, Pure Baby and Target all do great zipper suits. I’ve also packed some sentimental pieces (my husband wore as a baby!), as cute pics for the in-laws are obligatory, right?! I’ve got a light blanket, socks, jumpers, a thin cotton beanie etc. Don’t under pack! Their clothes really don’t take up too much room and you’ll be surprised at how many outfits you go through due to nappies, feeding, life! Oh, and bibs! 

{ MIA GRACE’S NEWBORN SHOOT – good grief… I just can’t! TOO CUTE! Photo by Kristen Cook }


I hope this post has helped and answered any questions you may have had. All the best and enjoy this crazy ride!

SJ x

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