What to pack for labour
Going into labour can be a stressful time for all mothers to be. However, you can make the whole event a lot easier by preparing well and packing in advance. Here is a list of things to pack to ensure you are all ready for the big day!
Some general points
Going into labour can be stressful enough without worrying about packing stuff up for the maternity ward!
Try to have everything packed and ready for around two weeks before your due date. That way, you are well prepared even if you go into childbirth earlier than expected.
Also remember to prepare for your return with baby. You don't want to do much more than rest and look after your new arrival when you get back, so it is a good idea to stock up on the basics like food and sanitary towels, and consider making some meals ahead of time and freezing them for later.
It may help to split your gear into two bags - one for during labour, and a second for giving birth. Here are some of the key things to take:
For during labour
Clothes for Mum
You will want to take old, loose and comfortable clothing that won't restrict your movement. You may need two or three changes of clothes, and about six pairs of pants!
Remember a couple of comfortable bras, bear in mind your breasts will be bigger. Also take a pair of slippers and a dressing gown so you can really make yourself comfortable.
In addition to all the basics, such as a toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, soap and towels, take a good stock of super-absorbent sanitary towels (night time ones are also ideal).
It's also an idea to take some unscented body lotion so that your birth partner can give you soothing rubs during your labour.
Chances are the labour ward will also be very warm, so take some water in the form of a spray bottle and a sponge to help cool you down.
And let's face it, you may be in labour for quite a while. It can get quite boring so take some entertainment like books, magazines, or your favourite music to keep you busy and/or relaxed.
Take some easily digestible snacks for you and your partner to keep your energy up during labour.
Good things to eat are carbohydrates like bread, cereals, bananas and yoghurt. Try to steer away from foods high in fat and sugar, as these are more difficult for your body to process and you may be tempted to throw them back up.
For after the birth
Clothes for baby
Remember to take clothes for baby, including a hat, nappies and a blanket or a shawl to wrap them up in.
Remember, when it comes to baby clothes, the cuter the better!
MORE clothes for Mum!
Remember a change of clothes for after you have given birth - your belly will be smaller, but your breasts will be bigger, so bear that in mind when choosing what to take.
Stick to something loose and comfortable and you won't go far wrong. It's a maternity ward, not a fashion show!
If you're planning on breastfeeding your baby after birth, you will need to pack for that too: remember your nursing bras, breast pads and a front opening nightie, although a loose fitting pyjama top will work just as well.
The birth of your child will probably be one of the best days of your life, so remember to take something to record it!
Remember to pack your camera and check with your midwife if you are allowed to use your mobile so you can send that group SMS letting the world know that your little one has arrived!
Above all else, remember...
During labour you want to stay as relaxed as possible so that your body can produce as much endorphins (natural painkillers) as it possibly can.
By taking the right kit and being properly prepared, you can reduce your stress levels and focus on the most important task at hand: bringing your baby into the world happily and safely.