The week before last marked a month exactly until my due date. Until our last antenatal class that week, we were both just happily chugging along and then the midwife leading the class said there’s a 5-week window of when babies arrive: 3 weeks before their due date and 2 weeks after. 5 whole weeks! If that was the case last week is the start of that 5 week window and although overall, I feel great and no twinges to suggest any movement soon, I did have a mini freak out; our go bag wasn’t packed, car seat hadn’t been taken out the box yet alone fitted, we hadn’t finished shopping for everything (for me postpartum wise, baby clothes – they have a place to sleep and a lot of 0-3 clothes so if they’re tiny who knows what’ll happen etc.), our maternity shoot was Sunday just gone so was really hoping nothing happened before that and also there is some kind of mini baby shower with my nearest and dearest at some point and I was really hoping Hubby wasn’t going to leave it to the very last minute, like we do with everything else… Before you say anything, yes there’s a global pandemic and yes, we have to keep safe, but also this is our first baby and it’s sad the majority of friends and family haven’t been able to get together and celebrate them so #dontjudge!
So obviously the weekend before last we fitted the car seat and just bought everything we needed (more maternity bras for me, bought a cute matching outfit set for us all to wear home *please God*, nappies, postpartum lady items ;), a bikini top so I can have a water labour and birth hopefully…just so many things). Suffice to say there are a few bits that’ll arrive later this week, but the bags are finally packed! This all makes me feel so much better and a bit more prepared.
Though we were worried that doing the antenatal classes now would be too late, it’s actually been quite helpful to recap everything we’ve learnt over the months. Of course there are others in our class that are due in October & November (very organised people) but hey we wouldn’t be Mr. and Mrs. A if we weren’t last minute… Also in our defence we had to change hospitals halfway through my pregnancy, so everything’s bit a little bit later.
So what have I packed/plan to pack in my go bag? There’s a lot so get comfy…who knew we’d need so much?!:
- Maternity Notes
- Birth Plan: loads of places have templates but I found the NHS one really helpful
- Comfy Clothes To Labour In: I’ve gone for the biggest black tee I own, and the matching biker shorts; that’s what I’ll go in wearing so it’s at the top of my go bag
- TENS Machine: I bought one as I’m planning to use this while labouring at home, so will be on me most likely on the way to the hospital, so it’s currently at the top of my go bag
- Dressing Gown: I have two, one for when in labour and one for afterwards, in case the first gets messy…
- Socks: I have bed socks as I usually run cold and my feet are always the coldest part of me (though admittedly through pregnancy I have been hot hot hot!)
- Slippers/Flip Flops: again I have two; my Nike sliders (they’re what I plan to go in and out wearing) and then I have flip flops to walk around the room in, to use as I’m planning to have a water birth and to shower in
- Towel(s): again because I’m planning on a water bath, I will take a large towel with me to use during labout and then again when I take a shower afterwards
- Lip Balm: anyone who knows me, knows I don’t go anywhere without my Carmex anyway, but apparently during labour and depending the pain relief you choose, your lips get totally dry
- Lotion/Massage Oil: for those who love a massage, a massage can be relaxing during labour so oil/lotion can help your birth partner do that for you. I have some in my bag (I mixed coconut oil and lavender) as lavender is my chosen hypnobirthing anchor
- Water Spray & Sponge: during labour you may also get quite hot so spraying cold water on your face and neck or having a cool sponge/flannel on your forehead will help cool you down. I have both: a spray bottle from Boots and a little flannel #alwaysbeprepared
- Pillow: though you’ll have these in the hospital they tend to be a bit flat from what I’ve heard so having your fave pillow will help you feel more at ease
- Relaxing Passtimes: we have our speakers, my Kindle and of course I’ll have my phone to keep us occupied. Don’t forget your chargers!
- Eye Mask And Ear Plugs: these are usual items I sleep with anyway so probs would have packed them in case I manage to have a little nap and for resting after labour (the eye mask not the ear plugs, obvs I want to hear baby in case they stir etc.)
- Handouts & Reference Books: though you’ll have your midwives/doctors etc. helping you, you might have been given some helpful resources about birth and newborns from antenatal classes, hypnobirthing or whatever classes you’ve done. These might be helpful to refer back to during labour and afterwards
- Snack And Drinks: labour can be well long and you may need something to keep you going, but check with your midwife/doctor to see if you’ll be allowed to eat during labour (different hospitals have different rules). These will also come in handy after labour especially as during Covid your loved ones can’t bring in whatever you’re craving…. I’m still not sure what I’m going to take, but I’ve heard isotonic drinks and protein snacks would work *shrugs* For some more help check out Emma’s Diary
- Night Dresses: I have a couple of night dresses I have packed which button down as I plan to breastfeed, so they’ll give me easy access to ‘the girls’. Hopefully I don’t have any issues with breastfeeding…
- Maternity Pads: some hospitals provide these and the mesh disposable pants, but I’m going in with what I think I’ll be comfortable using (though pads were never my thing, so comfy is maybe the wrong word), I bought a pack of maternity pads from Boots as well as the adult nappies from Tena Lady #sexy. I’m just going to see which I prefer but have been recommended both
- Underwear: I bought a couple of packs of granny pants (again #sexy) to use with the pads so have 5 in my bag in case there are any leakages/I don’t get on with the adult nappies…
- Nursing Bra (or normal bra): like I said, I’m planning to breastfeed, so I got a couple of nursing bras. I have a couple that are underwired (not in my go bag) and a couple that aren’t (these are in my go bag because they are the comfiest things ever, just like wearing a crop top!)
- Peribottle: understandably after delivering baby it’ll be pretty sore down there, so rather than wiping after your first pee, you can use a peribottle to spray water instead
- Toiletries: in case you’re in for a night or two. You’ll be able to shower afterwards so toothpaste, toothbrush, body wash, face wash, body lotion etc., whatever is in your usual regime. Also take a plastic bag to pop dirty clothes in
- Cosmetics: if you think you’ll be bothered to do makeup while in the hospital or for those first few pics, take your makeup bag. I just have my concealer, mascara and eyebrow brush, but really not sure if I’ll use them, it’s not like I wear makeup everyday as it is anyways, but we’ll see
- Babygrows: we have a couple of newborn items and 0-3 as who knows how big baby is going to be. According to my midwife, baby is not that big and she doubts they’ll be a large baby when they’re born so I’m guessing the newborn size won’t go to waste but who really knows… Luckily, we got a fair few newborn items from the baby shower so I’m super grateful for that as we couldn’t find many out there
- Nursing Pillow: we got the Boppy free when we got the next to me bed, so we’ll be taking that in with us
- Socks & Booties: we have booties and some socks thanks to my bestie, we also have scratch mittens and a little hat
- Blanket: this is an item we bought the other week, so it’s in the bag. We got a set from Mamas & Papas so using the cellular blanket from that set
- Nappies: we have a pack of 20 size 0 nappies, and have packed 10 size 1 nappies in case the newborn size is too small.
- Wipes: we bought a million packs of the WaterWipes from Boots, so have a pack in the bag
- Muslins: I have the massive ones we got from the Baby Show so I have only put one in the bag
- Going Home Outfit: I’ve been a bit extra and found that matching set we’re all going to wear home *please God* so I have a little newborn babygrow for baby to wear home – we’ll also have a long sleeved babygrow to wear over the top so they’re not cold on our way home
- Car Seat: done!
Hubby obviously hasn’t packed anything yet, but I’ve asked him to keep the items he would want to take, in one place. Usually when we are leaving the house to go somewhere, he’s running around the house looking for his comb, wallet, earring, belt, really anything and everything. So I would really like to avoid that situation when it’s go time as I feel like it’ll really stress me out lol
So that’s it… It’s a lot and I’m sure I won’t need half of it, but I would like to have everything on the recommended lists, so we’re prepared for all situations. For a more official list visit the NHS or Pampas lists are great (I mainly used the latter, but I combined that with what I found on vlogs so take or leave what you want).
Once we’ve had baby, I’ll update you on what we actually used, but until then, I hope this helps anyone who’s getting ready to give birth.