June 30, 2021

What’s in my Hospital Bag?

At the time of writing I’m 37 weeks pregnant and as we prep for a hospital birth I’m putting together our “hospital bag” – our go bag with everything we might want through induction, labour and the first hours after. I don’t have a long list of meticulously packed essentials – I didn’t even have a bag packed when Clayton was born and just threw things in. Mostly each time, I just want lots of food, clothes for the baby, a comfy gown for me and that’s what really matters! This is the most I’ve actually prepped a bag and this is what I’m putting in to keep it low waste and healthy in our own way!

A note on hospital “waste”: Any hospital procedure or stay incurs a decent amount of waste and it can be hard for people, myself included to see. But some of what we throw away is important and I don’t consider it “waste” when we throw something out that’s necessary to use for a needed medical procedure. So I’ll be taking my own pads, underwear, food and water bottle to reduce the needless waste but I’ll also move on from what gets used that can’t be avoided and keeps everyone safe!


This post has lots of links for things we love to help you see examples or shop, some of them may be affiliate links which don’t cost you any more (sometimes less actually!) but they mean I earn a small percentage!

THINGS FOR ME!

1. REUSABLE SANITARY PADS

After my last 2 la2bours I’ve bled for 6-8 weeks. The initial few days are very heavy and I know I’ll be changing pads every couple of hours. As I’m not expecting to be in hospital very long I can put the used pads in a wet bag (like this, UK link) and bring them home. You might opt for an organic style disposable instead if that . feels easier or if you’ll be in hospital longer.

2. ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND

I don’t bring a lot of extras for atmosphere during birth, no fairy lights or music… but the smell of the hospital is the one thing I’ve wanted to counter. A friend make me an essential oil blend with things that are “good for birth” but mostly just to give me something else to smell! If you have a friend who has a good collection they’ll probably be happy to make you a blend for the price of what they use!

3. DR BRONNERS SOAP

I’ll use this for an easy bottle that can be soap, shampoo and hand soap. The “baby” one is unscented which is always what I’d choose around baby even if any other scents are clean so they can adjust to my smell.

4. A DRESSING GOWN/ROBE

I’m planning for an induction which might mean I’m in the hospital for 2 days before I’m actually in labour. It’s much more comfortable to wear a thin cotton gown of your own than spend days in the hospital gown. Especially true if you’re going to be walking around and not just in your room or on a ward. I’m packing the same one I’ve had for 6 years and wore at my other births. Just something comfortable that can be open in the front for feeding and/or skin to skin but also long enough to cover what you need to feel good walking around.  Something like the ORGANIC COTTON ONE from Pact – a company I love! Just size up if it’s not maternity which mine isn’t!

5. TOWEL

Depending on where you give birth there are lots of things they may provide, or that you may still want to bring from home for comfort! I’ll be bringing my own towel as a just in case. We have organic, fair-trade towels from Dip and Doze and in the US we had Sol Organix ones.

6. STRAW + WATER BOTTLE

There’s a lot of drinking that happens through the birth process and a LOT if/when you start breastfeeding.  So having my own water bottle and a straw (for easy drinking) will help reduce waste depending on how the hospital does things. I’ll also use it for easy drinking of fruit juice we’ll bring with us!

7. COFFEE CUP

I absolutely drank coffee in labour last time and there’s a hospital coffee shop and I might do it again, so a coffee cup! We both have Miir ones and I think they’ll be the go to forever!

8. SPORTS BRA

This is what I expect to wear for most of labour! Good support to keep me comfy, with the ability to feed from it too. My personal faves are from Wear Pact (worldwide link).

9. CLOTHES

I’ll wear comfy clothes for going into the hospital and going home I’ll want something comfy and clean so I’ll pack something comfy, loose and remembering you’re still going to have a big bump! Probably a roomy dress or maternity leggings and loose top.

10. CHARGERS

Easy to forget but if we’re waiting a long time (and if we’re not!) we’ll want devices charged for all their uses!

11. THINGS TO DO

Books, Netflix, audiobooks… in 30 hours of induction both times previously we’ve needed a lot to do, so I’ll be taking all the things and shoes I can walk in too so I/we can go for walks. Audible is one of my favourite things for motherhood and I’ll have some books ready to go for any hours alone.

US Audible free trial HERE and UK Audible free trial HERE

12. BIRTH PLAN, MEDICAL NOTES, INSURANCE ETC

What official documents or extras you need for birth will change person to person and depending on your area but think about anything official you’ll need – I forgot my insurance cards the first time because I wasn’t expecting to be there and they almost didn’t let me in with wet clothes and broken waters! I’m still undecided about my placenta but this would include anything needed for taking it with you or documentation for handing it over.

13. BASIC SKINCARE AND MAKEUP

Hospitals and sweating can make skin dry, and having a good cleanser just makes you feel more human! So I’ll be taking my go to Beautycounter cleanser and moisturiser for more dry skin as well as basic makeup for going home if I want it!

14. GOOD HAND SANITISER

I don’t know how much I’ll be using one and how much it will be needed but I’ll bring my own in case I have to use it a lot. THIS is a big treat serum meets sanitiser one that’s very gentle and nourishing for my hands and made with great ingredients and organic sugar derived alcohols. The other one I love is Dr Bronners spray (UK LINK HERE and US link HEREbut I’m taking my treat one for birth!


FOR BABY

1. DIAPERS/NAPPIES

I’m presuming we won’t be in the hospital that long (barring complications I know we’ll be sent home within 6 hours) so I’ll cloth diaper from the beginning. My favourites are thirties wraps and organic cotton prefolds and I’ll be taking about 6 prefolds, a 2 wraps and an all in one. Previously I just took our own more eco friendly diapers – Eco by Naty are my personal faves.

2. DR BRONNERS

I don’t actually plan on using this on baby, my top choice will be to not bath them within the first few hours but just in case it’s needed for any reason this is what we’ll take to use.

3. CAR SEAT

We’ve chosen a Nuna Pipa Lite for baby. Nuna is pricey but one of my favourite brands for their care in sourcing and thought for the environment. They’re also one of the only brands in the UK to assure no use of chemical flame retardants in any car seat or push chair.

4. BABY CLOTHES + GOING HOME OUTFIT  

I haven’t bought anything “special” this time, I’m going to use something second hand in the way that that’s special to me. I’ll take a few outfits, and one for going home in… although I plan on coming home and crashing straight to bed, not showing off outfits to anyone! I just want organic for their little skin, and obviously to know its ethically made!


FOOD FOR JARED + ME

My biggest question in birth the last two times has been “can I still eat?!” and then eating if the answer was ever yes! Mostly I’ve eaten bars and nuts and I had a can of a coffee drink (after the ok from my midwife) too. 

1. BANANAS

Without a fridge, they’re a great quick energy full snack.

2. NUT/SEED BUTTER

Great fats to fill us up and give us energy that again, don’t need a fridge. Fats will also be a key part of my diet post labour for breastfeeding – and it can go on top of oatmeal or a banana to make an easy meal.

3. DIY TRAIL MIX 

Again, quick grab and go energy! I get multiple things (nuts, seeds, dry fruit, chocolate!) from the bulk section and throw it together in a Stasher Bag or jar.

4. HOMEMADE ENERGY BALLS

Or something purchased! But in all of these I’m looking for quick and easy energy that will last without a fridge.

5. JERKY

A good grass fed beef jerky has been a great snack for both of us in the past! Good protein in a portable storage friendly form.

6. KOMBUCHA FRUIT JUICE

If and when I can only drink liquids but still want energy I want good options to keep me fuelled. I’ll have options because at different moments things sound good or straight up evil!

7. DIY INSTANT OATMEAL

Simple jars of quick oats, cinnamon, salt, raisins, coconut and nuts and seeds that we can add boiling water to for another quick and easy meal with no waste or faff and lots of great nutrition. I’ll fill the jar about 1/3 full so there’s room to add water, banana and nut butter.

8. COFFEE IN CANS

Maybe one of the most important things!!! Canned coffee like THIS has been a go to for both Jared and me in birth the last two times! Easy energy without leaving the room, essential for labour!


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