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Mum

Any ideas on what to pack in my hospital bag?

I took all the wrong things! But keep in mind that I live 100ish miles away from the hospital I gave birth in so I took a bit more stuff.

Right, for the baby. If you live near the hospital or can have someone easily drop you off some things if you have to stay in then don't go nuts packing! Four vests, four sleepsuits, a couple of hats, going home outfit. Some scratch mitts (or buy the sleepsuits that have the bit at the sleeves you can fold over their hands) and a blanket. You'll need nappies and wipes (I used the Lidl nappies and water wipes) and a few dummies if you like.

As for your bag! Lots of big comfy pants. The pads you'll wear after (if you give birth vaginally) are massive so the bigger the better. You'll need a few sets of pyjamas, four or so pairs of trousers (I wore my maternity stuff) and make sure they're loose around your waist and around the crotch! Big t-shirts, a couple of comfy bras. Loose and comfy is the way to go, I promise you won't care how you look, you'll be too in awe of your baby!

You'll need a bag for your toiletries. I got wee travel size bottles to save space. Breast pads, big big sanitary pads and whatever else you'd take with you for an overnight stay.

Mum of 1
Pregnant mum of 3

Hi there! Here's what I'd suggest:

For you:

- Maternity notes/birth plan

- Comfy sleep wear/dressing gown

- T-shirts/shorts/tracksuit

- Slippers/flipflops

- Lots of comfy pants

- Maternity pads

- One or two nursing bras

- Breast pads

- Lanolin

- Wash bag with toiletries

- Lip balm

- Hairbrush/hairbands

- Comfy pillow (I was so pleased I took this for afterwards)

- Drinks and snacks for you and your partner

- Mobile phone

- Music/reading material

For baby:

- Newborn nappies

- Wipes

- Sleepsuits and vests

- Newborn cardigan and hat

- Baby blanket

- Car seat

Take lots of big granny pants. I took three packs of disposable pants but they are super uncomfortable. You'll also need millions of pads for a while after, so take a lot.

Take three or five outfits for baby, take different sizes because I took newborn and zero to three months and ended up having a 9lbs baby and she didnt fit. Take three or four PJs for you - accidents happen and while in labour I was so sweaty that I needed my partner to bring more.

Take a phone charger, books, or puzzles. You might be in a while and it's really boring in there, especially during the pandemic when your birthing partner might not be allowed in at certain times. Also take headphones, it's normally noisy on the wards. Take a towel, the best feeling for me was the bath during birth.

Nappies: although they say babies don't usually go to the toilet a lot in the first couple of days, mine went every hour so it's better to be over prepared.

My advice is put together an emergency bag full of a baby's stuff (bottles if you're not breastfeeding, nappies), pads, your PJs and pants.

And pack a dramatic extras bag, with a full pack of stuff like nappies, milk, pants, pads, bigger baby clothes, extra PJs, hairbrush, bobbles.

You won't care what you look like during birth but I really wish I had put my hair up or plaited it - it stuck to my face because I was so hot.

Remember you're in the best place surrounded by people who see and know childbirth, but always speak your mind. If something isn't right it's your body and only you know how you feel.

I was terrifed of birth but it's the most natural thing ever, my body knew exactly how to do it and being calm really helps.

Mum