I tried unsuccessfully to have a home-birth so luckily I already had researched what I needed to pack to bring to the hospital.
Now I, probably like you, thought I was going to have a straight forward normal vaginal birth with a little tearing. So for myself I wanted to know what I should have on hand in the hospital or at home for recovery. Here in the UK the hospitals basically give you nothing – you have to pack all the baby clothes, diapers and blankets as well as bring a towel for you to shower. So when I found this out I compiled a list of things people had recommended online to ask the midwife if any of them would be provided by the hospital if I ended up there – she said no to everything.
Since there are different ways and methods to give birth there are different things you might want depending on the location and type. Here are the essentials I needed in the hospital and when I got home – because I ended up with a c-section I didn’t use many of the items below and needed some others. If you’d like to prepare for that as well or already know you will be having a c-section then I’d suggest reading How to survive after a c-section.
What I packed:
- Undie sundae – I found this Real New Mom blog who created or named the undie sundae on Pinterest and in the US she says that everything is provided in the hospital but I wouldn’t count on it all (maybe you’ll need more for home or a home birth) and none of it was available in the UK. To make your healing sundae you’ll need these items below and then read how she assembles it:
- mesh underwear – I found it online in Australia from New Beginnings these are the best I could find because they can be washed up to 20 times, they hold a pad in place and are breathable to help promote healing
- maternity pads – I bought mine from Boots here in the UK
- perineal ice pack – I had to get mine on Amazon or Ebay Pariday Tend Her what’s nicer about these is that they are reusable and have sleeves that you can wash
- Witch hazel pads – Tucks these are only available in the US but at every drugstore and here at Walmart so I had to have my mom ship them to me which was expensive because they are a lot bigger and heavier than I was expecting so it probably would have been cheaper just to order them through Amazon or Ebay
- Soreness and inflammation – Epifoam is a prescription only steroid cream and is not available in the UK so I had to find an alternative – Dermoplast which is a pain relieving spray and often recommend by doctors for post birth but the beauty is that it is available in drugstores in the US and on Amazon/Ebay and you can keep it around for other burn and itching problems.
- Perineal bottle – again not provided in the UK and for some reason is really hard to buy probably because hospitals usually are the only ones who buy them in bulk. I got mine on Amazon
- Sugar – pack some type of chocolate/candy/cookies etc that you love believe me you will be absolutely exhausted and ravenous so having a little something to eat afterwards is a godsend especially when they aren’t serving food when you finish
- Nipple balm – I used Honest & Co I brought it from the US
- Granny panties – I bought a 6 pack of these Hanes from Target but mine were uglier colors. I bought these to wear while I was bleeding after birth
- Bathrobe – you’ll want one especially if you are going to have visitors it covers you well
- Nursing bra – bring a comfortable one because most likely you’ll be wearing it 24/7 while you’re recovering the first two days – I bought this one which was comfortable enough from Isabel and Ingrid and wore it although if you want something a little more comfortable but less supportive I would have bought my sleep bras earlier and brought those but my mom brought them over from the US from Destination Maternity
- Slippers – the floor is cold and again it helps with the comfort
- Yoga pants – I lived in these in the hospital they were comfortable and easy to get on and off and my favorite is always Victorias Secret
- T-shirts – I packed baggy t-shirts which could easily go over my head and weren’t tight so I could pull them up to nurse
- Slip on shoes – to go home in so you don’t have to bend over
- Make-up – if you care about putting it on in front of visitors or want it for photos
- Baby stuff:
- blanket to wrap in
- blanket to cover in car seat if it’s cold out
- outfit to go home in
- short sleeve onesies
Are you packing anything else that I haven’t mentioned? Any other tips you’d like to add? Let me know below . . .
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