As I’ve now entered the third trimester of my second pregnancy, my thoughts have started to increasingly wander to its inevitable conclusion. Also, we moved house a week ago and I’ve started to come across some of the items that I plan on taking to hospital for the big occasion as I slowly empty the boxes that have overtaken my living space. As I am one of those people who likes to be prepared and because I don’t want to lose any of my essential items I have started to put them all together in what I suppose will eventually be the bag that tags along with me when I head to hospital to give birth.
My hospital bag checklist includes the old favourites but there are also a few items which I found absolutely essential during my labour (and the associated 5 day hospital stay) with our son. It also takes into account that our little one will be arriving in November so for a summer baby things may be slightly different.
I have included all the obvious things but also a few things that were incredibly useful during what turned out to be a labour that stopped and started. My son had got himself a bit stuck and was 12 days overdue by the time I was admitted to be induced. My contractions started in the early hours of the following morning but our boy wasn’t born for another 36 hours.
Following his birth we were then kept in for another 3 days but family members brought me the items I needed during this time. I might pack a ‘back up bag’ and leave it in the car in case we have more than an overnight stay this time.
Download my hospital bag checklist here!
My essential items:
1.Energy gels and energy drinks
Labour really is a marathon so treat it like one!
It can take hours or it can stop and start. At a certain stage your midwife may say that you cannot have anything to eat (in case you require surgery) but you still need to keep your energy levels up. I found that when my sugar levels started to dip it made me feel really tired and nauseous. Due to being a regular runner (I was training for a marathon when I became pregnant with our son) I had thrown some energy gels in to my maternity bag in case I needed them and they were brilliant!! I was able to keep my energy levels up for the duration of the labour and birth.
Just be careful about the flavours, I couldn’t stand the orange ones during labour, something odd had happened to my taste buds.
2, TENS machine
I borrowed this from my mum and I was a bit sceptical about how useful it would be but during the early contractions it was amazing! When my waters popped and I went from 0-1000mph contractions it had slightly less impact but the early labour pains were well managed by this useful device.
It is fairly inexpensive to hire a TENS machine from a number of high street chemists and would definitely recommend this if you don’t already have one. I’m hoping to persuade my mum to part with hers again.
(Or some other forgiving form of footwear).
Be prepared for swollen feet and cankles! Seriously, I couldn’t believe the size of my elephant feet a few days after the birth!!
4. A Mini Fan
I was surprised by how ridiculously hot I got during labour. It didn’t help that it was the middle of August and there was no air conditioning in the delivery suite but I was BURNING UP! My poor husband had to hold my hand and juggle a mini fan, my energy drinks and whatever else I was demanding with his other hand! I don’t think he’s ever wished to be an octopus before in his life.
Well, I hope this is useful. I may have to open a few more boxes before I find everything I need to get ready for the big day!