Packing your hospital bag for your baby’s birth is one of those special events in your third trimester. It’s a bit of a big deal as it’s when things get real. It’s also a struggle to know what to pack especially if it’s your first time.
It's not too hard to work out that you will need to take some comfy clothes, some toiletries for yourself and your mobile phone. Then you will need to take those basic items for your newborn such as nappies, onesies and wraps. There are so many articles out there on "What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag" that list exactly what you need to pack in your hospital bag.
But all those lists are pretty much the same, right?
What about those random things that are not on those lists?
The ones that not everyone will tell you about because they forgot as they are so random and oddball?
Those new mum secret hack items that are not part of the standard "What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag" lists.
The stuff that is not so obvious but once bub is born and you are hanging out in your hospital room you wish you'd thought to pack it.
We asked hundreds of mums what they wished they had packed in their hospital bag but didn't and this is what they came up with:
Disposable Maternity Underwear
There is no nice way to put this but immediately after you give birth you have what is like a very very very heavy period for weeks. It is at its heaviest in the first days and on top of that there may be issues with urinary incontinence, weak bladder muscles and pelvic core weakness. This is why it is suggested by many mums to wear postpartum disposable underwear.
Look for ones that are leak free and are able to absorb all the postpartum stuff as well as being high waisted in case you have a c-section and don't want your wound being irritated.
Big Black Undies
If you are not comfortable with the idea of wearing disposable undies then get yourself lots of big black undies that you don't mind binning should you need to. Make sure they are high waisted too for the same reason above of caring for a possible c-section wound, but also because your tummy will need that extra bit of support straight after giving birth.
Heavy Duty Pads
You will need to maternity pads to go with your big black high waisted undies. Get the biggest most absorbent ones you can find. Get lots too as you are looking at going through a few a day and for up to 8 weeks. Be sure to pack enough to get you through up to a week in hospital even if you don't plan to be there that long.
All the heavy breathing and the dehydration from labour, hospital air conditioning and breastfeeding leads to dry lips so keep them soft and hydrated with a soothing lip balm. Get one that comes in a stick so you can apply it one handed as being a new mum means getting used to doing a lot of things with one hand while you hold bub in the other.
Cold & Heat Packs for Your Bits
When you first start breastfeeding, your breasts will hurt for a bit. Who knew a tiny little baby with their cute little mouths could make your nipples feel so sore? But they do and your boobs will need some tending to at the start of your breastfeeding journey.
The best breast pads are the Lactivate Breast Pads as they can be heated or cooled to provide relief from soreness associated breast feeding, blocked milk ducts, engorgement and general soreness. They are shaped like flowers and your nipple goes in the centre so you can still feed or pump while wearing them to ease the flow of milk and blocked milk ducts.
If you had a vaginal birth you will also need to some perineum relief. We love the Lactivate Perineum Strips to treat the perineal area pre & post childbirth.
When heated the perineum strip can be effectively used during the 2nd stage of labour to help reduce the occurrence of perineal trauma. When frozen the perineum strip provides soothing, cooling relief to the perineal area which may be irritated, swollen and tender from childbirth.
Harnessing the natural properties of silver, Lactivate's silver nursing cups create an antimicrobial environment upon contact with your skin. This promotes the natural repair process of damaged nipples, allowing them to heal naturally. The unique shape of the cups allows for optimal airflow around the nipple, while your own precious breastmilk further aids in the healing process. It’s like using your own liquid gold to nurture and heal.
In addition to their healing benefits, these nursing cups also offer protection from the discomfort caused by materials rubbing against sensitive nipples. Say goodbye to pain and hello to relief!
Choose the natural healing power of Lactivate Silver Nursing Cups. Embrace comfort, promote healing, and experience the relief you deserve.
Breast is best is what they all say and for most mums the plan is to initially breast feed with every feed. But the theme with babies is "expect the unexpected" so just in case things don't go as expected and you are unable to breast feed but you have a milk supply then we suggest you pack a breast pump in your hospital bag.
When it comes to breast pumps the more efficient, easy to use and quiet it is the better.
For this you cannot go past the Haakaa Breast Pump that is included in the Haakaa New Mum Premium Pack. Made from 100% food grade silicone this compact breast pump is perfect for discreetly & quickly expressing breast milk. You don't need to plug this in or use batteries or even recharge it. To operate just suction to your breast and let the pump do the work for you as it draws your milk using suction. Plus it is 100% eco-friendly and safe for mum, baby and our environment.
Whether they be the proper hospital grade ones or high waisted bike shorts you will definitely need them post partum. Recovery shorts are best worn in the days after giving birth and address multiple conditions such as perineal trauma, episiotomy wounds, c-section, lower back pain and abdominal muscle separation. Some private health insurers cover part of the cost of these so if you have private health insurance give them a call to see if they are covered.
Pack lots of yummy snacks that you can eat with one hand. Plus hospital food sucks and they tend to serve big meals three times a day with now snacks in between. You will be recovering from giving birth plus possibly breastfeeding and you will be hungry and thirsty more than normal.
It’s also really good to have a nibble on something sweet while you’re feeding especially at night when the hospital kitchen is normally closed so pack those snacks for 24/7.
Soft Toilet Paper
It’s going to be tender down there for a little bit and the last thing you want touching your nether regions is harsh hospital toilet paper so pack the softest toilet paper you can find.
Even better than the softest toilet paper is a Peri Bottle. It is a portable bidet that is so user-friendly that using it is a breeze. It helps prevent infections and promote healing after childbirth.
Here’s how the Lactivate Peri Bottle can be your go to during your childbirth recovery:
- Dilute urine to minimize stinging sensations
- Gently cleanse the perineum and vaginal area after childbirth or during menstruation
- Provide soothing relief for haemorrhoids
- Perfect for on-the-go use with its portable design
- Keep c-section wounds clean and hygienic
If you have a particularly sore perineum after birth even the softest of toilet paper sheets are not going to work for you. So pack some water wipes in your hospital bag. Water Wipes are softer than toilet paper and are just the thing to give your bits a gentle clean and reduce the chance of infection after a bowel movement. But don’t flush them!
The Post Birth Outfit
As soon as you give birth you have officially entered the final trimester of maternity. Yep, there is more than three trimesters. This is called the fourth trimester and it is the one where you are round the clock caring, feeding and putting your newborn down for naps. During this time you want to be wearing clothing that is comfy, loose fitting, has easy access for breastfeeding and can be worn as comfortably around the home or hospital as in bed snoozing.
One of the best clothing items to pack in your hospital bag is a mama robe. The OiOi Mama Robe is that perfect combination of being a luxury item cleverly disguised as an essential item. Luxurious, lightweight and breathable OiOi’s Mama Robe has been designed specifically for your post partum figure so it fits your belly, effortlessly covers & opens perfectly and does so modestly for feeding.
You never know what your baby is going to be like until you meet them. They may need a little extra comfort such as a dummy to help them settle. Don't wait until your hospital stay to find that out and pack a good quality dummy or two.
The best one for a new baby has a 100% natural round rubber teat. We love the BIBS dummies from Denmark as they have the right teat shape and come in a range of modern colours and two sizes. We recommend Size One for newborns.
You won’t get much personal time in hospital so forget about washing your hair. Plus you may be too tired to want to even bother with washing your hair. To keep the greasies at bay take a can of dry shampoo. This will keep you looking and feeling fresh not only for yourself but for any visitors that may drop in during your hospital stay.
Some mums find that they suffer from edema (swelling) shortly after they give birth. This often happens in your feet and can make putting on your regular shoes difficult or uncomfortable. So that you have foot wear to walk around the hospital grounds, or for when you are discharged pack some thongs. We suggest you pack rubber thongs so you can use them in the shower.
Extension Lead For Your Phone Charger
The power points in hospitals are often too far away or in a weird spot. You want your phone charging next to you especially when you are in bed resting. You will also want to spend time in a chair feeding and that is usually inconveniently far away from any power points.
The maternity ward sounds like a zoo with all the babies crying at all hours of the night. When your bub is sleeping you want to be sleeping too and not being kept awake by someone else’s bub. Be sure to pop them in and have a sleep while hubby takes care of bub. There are some nice squishy ones you can get from the chemist, or if you do a bit of searching around you can find the one that has earplugs built into a headband which make them a little more snug and comfy.
Hospitals aren't the best place to get a decent sleep. As a new mum you are on a 24 hour clock and you sleep when you can whether it is day or night. Pack a sleep mask and you can block out the light during the day and sleep like it's night.