Labour & Birth: 7 essential tips for a better hospital stay

If your due date is approaching and you’re thinking about packing your hospital bag, you might be tempted to take everything but the kitchen sink to cover every scenario! To help you figure out what you need, we’ve rounded up some top tips to make your stay in hospital more comfortable.

Do your homework

It’s worth checking before your due date what your hospital does and doesn’t provide. For example, if you’re planning on formula feeding, many hospitals won’t provide any formula while others will, along with sterilised bottles.

 

Overpack the essentials

If you do overpack something, make it essentials like sleepsuits, nappies and snacks. It’s a good idea to take more than you think you’ll need – a long labour, a refluxy baby or an unexpected night’s stay can see you going through your supplies at a speedy rate.

 

Home comforts

Most hospitals will allow you to bring your own pillows, birth balls and other items that will help you feel a little more at home. Enhance the familiar feeling even more by bringing your favourite pregnancy friendly massage oil or fragrance, as well as a calming playlist on your phone to transport your mind back to days relaxing at home, hopefully helping to put your mind at ease.

 

Perfect pyjamas

A supply of comfy nightwear is a must for your stay in hospital; choose natural fibres like cotton to help regulate your body temperature. Take some nightdresses with you to allow midwives and doctors easy access for examinations, or if you end up needing a catheter due to a c-section. Most of our pyjamas and nightdresses also feature easy breastfeeding access to help make nursing a little simpler once your baby arrives.

 

Bottle it

You probably already know it’s important to keep hydrated during labour, but having the right bottle is just as important. You’ll likely be spending a fair amount of time in bed, so choose a leakproof bottle that you can drink from while lying down – preferably with an in-built straw.

 

Big pants

When it comes to post-birth pants, the bigger the better. Light support over your stomach after your baby arrives can help you feel more comfortable, while and unplanned c-section can mean only high-waisted knickers will do, as you definitely won’t want regular underwear chafing on your stitches.

 

Post-natal pleasures

When you’re preparing for birth, it can be easy to forget about your own needs after your baby arrives (which remains a permanent theme!). However, try to think about the things that will make your time in the post-natal ward more comfortable, as it’s likely to be hot, noisy and far from the serene scene you might have imagined. Pack an invigorating shower gel, your favourite fluffy towel, earplugs (don’t worry, you’ll still hear your baby!), an eye mask, some light reading, a special treat to eat, or a fresh nightie for each day – you’ll thank yourself later!

 

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