Labour & Birth: tips for making your hospital stay more comfortable

Today’s blog post is written by our Online Editor – and first-time mum – who has just returned from maternity leave. With the power of hindsight, she’s rounded up her tips for making your stay in hospital a little more comfortable when it’s time to finally meet your baby.

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.

 

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.

 

Overpack the essentials

Pack more clothing (especially sleepsuits for your baby), nappies and snacks than you think you’ll need. A long labour, refluxy baby or an unexpected extra night’s stay can see you going through your supplies at lightning speed.

 

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.

 

Get waisted

Not only is high waisted underwear universally more comfy and supportive, if you give birth via an unplanned c-section, the last thing you’ll want is low-rise knickers chafing on your bandages – so prepare for this scenario. The hospital will give you some disposable post-op underwear but it’s a good idea to stock up on several extra pairs – they are supremely comfortable!

 

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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