This is known as a practical read, rather than a fun one but I hope some of you expectant mummies find it helpful. It is written with premature twins in mind and a good few days in hospital but for those of you having one, adjust as you feel necessary. Right, I will get straight to the point.
At 28 weeks I was told I should have my bags packed. Identical twins are renowned for coming early. Luckily I still had a little time as the girls arrived at 34 weeks but ironically, I put the bags in the car only two days before this.
I have been asked by several friends – twin mummies and singleton mummies what I would advise they need to pack in their hospital bag. So I thought I would compile a list to help all of those panicking about theirs.
- It is recommended that you split stuff into two bags e.g. pre-birth bag and after birth bag. I went for a ‘me’ bag and a ‘baby’ bag. That way you only need to bring one bag in initially and can grab the other from the car when you need it. There’s not a huge amount of space and there can be a bit of walking between waiting rooms, labour ward etc.
- After giving birth you will be the size you were around six months pregnant so take this into account when choosing clothes and underwear for after the birth.
- It’s recommended to have a contraction timing app on your phone. In the stress of going into labour this can make monitoring contractions much easier and then being able to communicate the timings and duration to the receptionist/midwife over the phone easily.
- Don’t forget to put car seats in car in preparation for when you’ll need to take your babies home.
|Shampoo||I bought travel size|
|Conditioner||I bought travel size|
|Shower gel||I bought travel size|
|Pads (Always and maternity)||As you’ll be bleeding a lot after delivery (regardless of delivery method) you’ll need pads. A midwife has said that if you get stiches they can stick to non-maternity pads and so the thicker maternity pads from somewhere like Mothercare are better.|
|Lip balm||Your lips can get very dry.|
|Hand cream||I didn’t but others advised to!|
|Toothpaste||I’ve bought travel size|
|Nipple cream||I reckon Lansinoh is the best|
|Breast pads||Take a packet, you can always get more.|
|Towels||Recommended that you take dark coloured ones!|
|Painkillers||For hubby in case needed!!|
|Any other medicine||Any other medicine you may need|
|Reading glasses||Or any other glasses, contacts etc.|
|Phone||Also camera if you don’t use your phone’s camera. Also make sure that hubby has a list of the people you want to notify that babies have come on his phone. Helpful if he has the maternity ward number saved as well.|
|Spare underwear||You can get disposable underwear but it’s generally been recommended to me to get cheap, bigger size underwear from somewhere like Primark that you can throw away if bloodied. You want ‘granny’ underwear so that the waist band is relatively high especially in case of C-section. You can also get proper maternity underwear from somewhere like Mothercare that looks like netting and is designed to not roll down over a C-section scar. I didn’t bother with these.|
|Dressing gown||Something light for wondering the halls or feeling comfortable in the post-natal ward.|
|Cheap nighties||If you have a natural labour you can get through two or three nighties and they can get ruined from the birth so I’ve just bought some cheap large ones from George. Ones that don’t open on the front can make skin to skin straight after birth tricky unless you’re happy to just cut a slit in the front. Else you can wear proper maternity nightie if you don’t mind ruining it.|
|Maternity nighties||For the post-natal ward you need nighties that open on the front for breastfeeding and skin on skin.|
|Slippers||Can make you more comfortable especially when walking around.|
|Change of clothes for Husband||If you have a long labour hubby may need a change of clothes to freshen up. I’ve seen recommendations that if he wants to do skin on skin without taking his top off he may want to take a button up shirt.|
|Go home outfit||Something comfortable (remembering you’ll be around the size you were at six months pregnant)|
|Water spray/fan||To keep cool during labour. Again I didn’t use but others I know have.|
|Bendy straws||To have a drink more easily when lying down during labour|
|Money||Having change for parking, snacks, meals etc.|
|Laundry bag||Something to put dirty clothes in.|
|Pen and paper||In case you need to write reminders, lists for hubby of anything else to bring, questions you may want to ask etc.|
|Hot water bottle||Apparently this can be soothing after birth but depends on the time of year!|
|Hospital notes||Don’t forget these!|
|Useful handouts||Any other maternity related guidance you’d like to have on hand for during or after the birth as reference.|
|Eye mask and ear plugs||Apparently these can be useful when trying to sleep on a noise ward (if you haven’t got babies with you of course!) I actually had my own room in the end so it was fine.|
|Sweets and snacks||You/hubby can get hungry during a long labour so some snacks can be good. Apparently having sweets can also help to combat a dry mouth during labour.|
|Parking card||‘Wife in labour’ card in case you don’t have time to get a parking ticket|
|Ball||Birthing ball if you’d like to take this along.|
The Babies Bag
|Mittens||Only needed if babies have long nails and are scratching you/themselves. Apparently you can also just use baby socks which apparently stay on better.|
|Baby blankets||Cellular blankets are great.|
|Nappies||We took a packs of size 0 & size 1 and took more when needed.|
|Nappy bags||Some bags to dispose nappies.|
|Muslin||A few muslins for clearing up, burping etc. Larger ones can also be used for swaddling or cot blankets if it’s hot.|
|Cotton wool pads||For changing nappies. We think the pads are easier to use then the balls. Use with water.|
|Baby wipes||Apparently cotton wool and water is the best thing to use when changing nappies but wipes can be used as long as they are suitable for new borns.|
|Nappy rash cream||Only needed if baby gets nappy rash.|
|Baby towels||Can be used for wrapping baby up.|
|Sleepsuits||Recommended to take around 10 for twins|
|Vests||Recommended to take around 10 for twins|
|Breast pump||The hospital should provide access to them.|
|Fold up changing mat||You usually get one with your changing bag.|
You can never be too prepared, get packing!
If any readers have any other useful items for the hospital bag, please share in the comments!