Packing your Hospital bag is one of those points in pregnancy when things start to feel very real, you feel the excitement and nervous trepidation of knowing that soon you will be welcoming another person in to your family, it's exciting but also a little overwhelming. There are lot's of guides online that will give a list of things to take with you so you can be well prepared, I prefer to over pack rather than under pack in these situations and I had a second bag prepared with extra clothes and toiletries in case I ended up staying longer than I had initially hoped, this way Mr Green could just grab the bag and bring it in. Luckily for me I was out in twelve hours after much nagging of the poor midwives. There were a few key things which I found really useful, so I thought I would share those with you!
As I was being induced for medical reasons I was aware that the labour may well be more painful and intense, in fact my consultant had recommended an early epidural on my medical notes. Having had an epidural previously due to a very long and complicated birth with my first I asked the Midwives if I could see how I got on without it and I used breathing and hypnotherapy techniques instead for most of the labour and had a very different birth experience this time. I also used this Restore Aura spray by aromatherapist Michelle Roques O'Neil in between contractions and especially before having my waters broken to mentally prepare. This mist is so light and fresh and the mix of ingredients so beautiful, it really helped me both mentally and physically get through the contractions and feel calmer. I also packed some massage oil but sadly I was hooked up to so many monitors that I was unable to use it, so the spray really did come in very handy. Regardless of whether you want pain relief or not I would recommend having some aromatherapy products on hand as I think they can be very calming and helpful in labour. Towards the end of my labour, for the last twenty minutes or so including the pushing, I had the gas and air to help me through as the contractions were now very intense. The gas and air leaves you with quite dry lips and mouth so luckily I had packed my trusty Herbfarmacy lip conditioner*, which is perfectly hydrating with it's signature herb marshmallow and comes in a practical tube, I was so glad I packed this, never underestimate the power of the humble lip balm.
I packed a very simple and modest toiletries bag, having been there before I knew the last thing I would want to be doing is messing about in the hospital bathroom unless absolutely necessary so I packed these Natracare cleansing wipes* for a quick freshen up. I have to say I never use wipes unless it is a total emergency, but if ever there was a situation where they are justified I think birth is it! Being me, I wasn't going to use any old wipe, these are certified organic by the Soil Association and were absolutely lovely and gentle on my sensitive skin. I would recommend them for festivals and other occasions where you are unlikely to get to a sink. I also packed some miniatures of my favourite Weleda Almond skincare*, perfect for skin that is a little hot and sensitive after giving birth, I popped on a little almond oil and moisturiser and felt much better all round. I also was able to have a shower straight after birth with my favourite Wild Rose creamy body wash*, it was simply put the best shower of my life and if you haven't yet tried these washes, you should, they are in my opinion one of Weleda's star products.
Lastly let's talk feminine hygiene products, not a glamorous subject but an essential one post birth. After giving birth you bleed, there is no getting around it, it is normal but totally unpleasant. This can last weeks, so be prepared with plenty of specific maternity pads as they are designed for post partum use. My pads of choice were from Organyc* and they are specifically designed for the first days after birth. I was sent a pack to try out but knowing how many I would need I bought a few more packs to see me through. They are very soft and comfortable pads, this is greatly appreciated when you have stitches (sorry too much information I know!). Unlike other products on the market they are made from 100% organic cotton and have no plastic, this makes them in my opinion so much more comfortable than anything I had used previously. I am very glad I used these, I got through a total of five packs of twelve in the first few weeks before switching to something more slim lined and I really loved them.
So there you have my hospital bag essentials and a bit about Baby Greens birth. What items did you pack in your hospital bag?
*Indicates that samples were generously provided, all thoughts opinions and musings my own.