Oh the preparing, or should I say over-preparing that went into packing my hospital/recovery bags! I may have went slightly overboard.. but with good reason! I was clearly still hanging onto a lot of the anxiety I had after the small backpack with a few outfits that I had packed for my first labour just didn’t cut it.
With Charlie I spent the entire 10 months reading everything there was to read about labour. How to breathe through contractions, how hypnotheraphy in labour worked, and massage for pain, and essential oils.. seriously, you name it, I read it. But what I never bothered to read up on was what happens after all of that – I was under some crazy illusion that when that baby came out it kinda ended there. I legitimately was not aware that you could ‘tear’.. and boy did I learn that the hard way. I missed the memo on ‘after birth pains’ and what it was like going to the toilet for the first time after labour. And for some crazy reason I actually thought the 0-3 month Bonds outfits for baby and some Libra liners for me ‘just incase’ would cut it.
So, with that said, you’d forgive me for lugging two huge bags (and by bags I mean suitcases) into the hospital this time around!
1 / Clothing for you!
Buttons are your friend! I lived in the PJ’s from Bras n Things because they have buttons (great for feeding and easy changing), a looser fit (fitting me before and after birth) and made from a super silky material. I had absolutely zero shame walking the hospital halls in my button up PJ top, also helped that it was cute AF! Plus all of your standard essentials like nursing bras, socks and underwear (size up and grab black!).
2 / Outfits for Bubs
None of the tiny ‘0000’ or even ‘00000’ outfits I packed for Charlie were even close to fitting my 5 day overdue 7 pound 10 baby! This time I played it safe and stocked up on L’oved Baby Bodysuits and Overalls in size Newborn (4-7 lbs) and 0-3 months (7-12 lbs). What I love about these is they are sized by the babies weight, so as soon as Mila was born and we were given that magic number we knew what outfit would fit. Another bonus is the Kimono wrap design on these outfits making changes SO easy!
Another fave outfit of ours were the Jamie Kay Ribbed Bodysuits which we used for the Birth Announcement Photos with Little Fresh Photography (if you’re in Adelaide check these guys out!). Size Newborn was a great fit for us with a little room for Mila to grow – she’s only now just moving into the 0-3 months at 1 month old.
3 / Nappies
And I don’t mean for the baby! Seriously, this was probably the biggest game changer for me. I didn’t quite think I’d be sporting a pair of Depends at the age of 25 but here I am. They can literally handle a full bladder if your pelvic floor gets as bad as mine did during that first week and they are strangely extremely comfortable! So much so that 3 weeks post baby my partner had to sit me down and ask me if maybe we can stop now. #UmClearlyItsANo. AND you don’t have to throw out a million pairs of underwear and deal with annoying uncomfortable maternity pads that feel like your wearing a mattress. You’re welcome.
4 / Recovery Essentials
The essentials that I WISH I had the first time around because hell, they would have stopped a couple of ER visits and a whole lot of crying.
Laxatives – Trrruuuussttt me on this. You want to have these bad boys handy – just in case. Don’t let yourself get to day six and your sitting there wondering why you can’t walk straight….. like what happened to a friend of mine………….. #YeahAFriend.
Momwasher – Only the best invention ever. I used this religiously those first 24 hours. It’s basically like a little hose for when you pee so it doesn’t feel like your bits are on fire #ThePainIsReal. Just fill it up with cool water with a touch of Witch Hazel (or this solution – we loved this!).
Ice Packs – Our choice was Feme Pad because the shape! After Charlie I just used Iceblocks from Coles because that’s all we had in the freezer at the time to be honest, but those sharp edges! Not very comfy. So the Feme Pad was an easy choice.
Sitz Bath – Yes, I actually did buy one of the Sitz Baths that sit on the toilet. I did warn you I went all out – just some insight into how traumatised I clearly was after Charlie!! But, I didn’t actually end up using the little bath. I used the Postpartum Sitz Bath Soak for the bath tub which has all the good stuff you need to help promote fast healing down tharrr! Totally recommend!
5 / A Great Hospital Bag
So you’re going to need something to lug all of this around in obviously. My choice was the Storksak Elizabeth Nappy Bag, which I used for all of Mila’s things, as well as the Storksak Cabin/Carry On Bag for all of my things! The Cabin/Carry On Bag has a pull up handle along with wheels which made it that much easier for my partner to drag everything in.. including me! And it even had an inbuilt (but removeable) organizer. So once I was settled in I was able to keep all of my toiletries in the hanging organizer. So so handy! I also love that I’m able to continue using both bags for baby and travel after the labour!
So there you have it! Everything I packed for round 2. I must say recovery was so much easier this time around and we settled in so much easier. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that being prepared for the labour, birth and recovery made it SO much easier. And I’ll end it with one piece of vital advice. Don’t forget to pack the laxatives!