I’ve lost count of the times I’ve accompanied a labouring women into hospital weighed down by luggage fit for a round the world trip!
Here’s my guide of what to pack:
- Button down cotton nightie and dressing gown (if you’re intending on breastfeeding) MamaMoosh do a great none frumpy range
- 3 pairs of legging or yoga pants
- 2 vest tops
- 2 tees or roomy button down shirts
- Hoodie or cardigan
- 3 pairs of good quality cotton or wool socks
- 6 pairs organic cotton knickers
- 2 Maternity sports bra (great for waterbirth if you don’t want to be topless) by JoJo Maman Bebe
- Four non snag hair elastics or headbands
- Big fluffy bath towel that smells like home
Your baby will spend most of its early days skin to skin with you and its important to keep chemicals to a minimum. The products I recommend are organic, chemical and cruelty free.
- Non perfumed soap or body wash. Weleda do a great range for both mums and babies
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Natural fragrance free deodorant will keep you fresh without intercepting your natural scent for sensitive babies
- Lip balm… this one is literally the bees knees
- Your fave shampoo and conditioner
- Nipple balm on this site you will also find their highly recommended ‘new mama bottom balm and spray’
- Washable bamboo breast pads. Far better than the less absorbent disposable ones
- 1 pack maternity pads
- Homeopathic Birth kits. If homeopathy is your bag then these two kits Helios and Organic Pharmacy come highly recommended for birth and recovery
- I often make up cooling muslin cloths for mums and freeze them ahead of time. I mix a pint of warm water with five drops of peppermint and three of lavender. My aromatherapist friend Tanya highly recommends this brand Amphora Aromatics for its purity
Its easy to not even consider food as part of your hospital bag, but if labour is long or in the middle of the night you could be at the mercy of a hospital vending machine with its plethora of chemical sugary goodies. Many families I support take small cooler bags and pack it with wholesome snacks and foods.
- Nut butters are a great protein hit and requires little chewing for when Mama is really in the zone
- Your favourite chocolate bar, melts in your mouth and a welcome sugar boost before the pushing phase
- Coconut water or isotonic sports drinks
- Home-made wraps. Have the ingredients in your fridge to be made up in early labour and popped in a freezer bag
- Simple pasta dishes refrigerate and keep well. Again made in early labour and deposited in tuppaware.
- Fruit cut into mouth sized bites and frozen pineapple and mango always goes down as a refreshing treat for labouring mums
- Frozen bottles of water stay cool for hours, plus plenty is required in hot hospital birth rooms
The best place for a newborn in the first twenty four hours (and beyond) is on mama. It stabilises neonatal heart rate and facilitates bonding with all that yummy oxytocin. Your baby won’t need many clothes!
- 4 organic Newborn (not 0-3mths!) cotton babgrows and 4 vests. John Lewis do a simple set that wash really well
- 1 large organic cotton muslin for swaddling
Aden + Anais are very popular
- 3-4 swaddle cloths
- 1 pack of nappies. Bamboo Nature come parent recommended and are organic, eco friendly and nasties free
- 1 pack of extra large cotton wool pads dipped in water to clean sensitive tiny bottoms
- 1 heavy blanket (depending on season!)
- 1 newborn snowsuit
- 1 carseat if your travelling home by car