All mums- to-be are given a list outlining what they should pack in their hospital bag for them and the baby, however what should be on the list that no one tells you?
Incontinence Pants - Blood loss after giving birth can be a messy business and most midwives recommend wearing old underwear post-delivery. But most of my old underwear wouldn’t fit my post-pregnancy jelly belly and bottom so instead of buying brand new underwear, I bought and wore incontinence pants. There was no need for washing and they could thrown in the sanitary bin after use.
Post Pregnancy Recovery Shorts - It takes time for the tummy muscles to join together after separating during pregnancy. To get those muscles moving in the right direction and to give added support to your back, invest in a pair of Post Pregnancy Recovery Shorts. You’ll appreciate the extra support and how flat they make your tummy feel postpartum.
Hair Dryer - Giving birth is a sweaty and sometimes chaotic process. Hair will be matted to your forehead or end strands may be covered in your vomit. Having a shower and washing your hair post-delivery is a glorious feeling. Wet hair dangling in your newborns face as you try to feed is not. Use a hair dryer to dry the ends at least to avoid giving your newborn a cold shower.
BB Cream or make-up - Despite lack of sleep and feeling like you’re in a daze, if you make an effort with how you look, it will give you an energy lift. I used a BB Cream and concealer under my eyes. I felt tired, but didn’t look as tired as I felt. Don’t underestimate the saying ‘if you look good, you feel good’.
A baby sling or carrier suitable for newborns - My husband remained home to look after our two other children while I stayed in hospital. I really missed that extra set of hands because my newborn would cry and need settling when meals would be served. She would also only settle on my chest at night to go to sleep which meant I got little sleep as I was propped up in bed, with a sleeping baby on my chest. There were times when I nodded off and a baby carrier would have allowed me to feel safer and that the baby was secure having her sleep on my chest. The carrier would have allowed me to be hands-free so I could eat my dinner when it was served hot, not an hour later when it would be stone cold.
Some of these items may be seen as luxury or non-essential but after having had three c-section deliveries and many sleepless nights in hospital, they would have made my stay much easier and I would have returned home better rested.