You know you need nappies and baby clothes, but what about you? Experts and mums share the contents of their labour bags
“Being comfortable is what every mum wants when in labour. Bring a couple of tops that are baggy and easy to move around in,” says doula and clinical hypnotherapist Lucy Symons. Remember to bring the right type of nightie with you. “Make sure it’s long enough to cover your bits when you’re walking around,” says Lucy.
You’ll also need to think of footwear. “Your feet can get cold during labour, so wear socks and use comfortable slippers. Flip-flops are good to use in the shower after you’ve given birth,” explains Lucy. “A maternity bra and a nursing bra are also needed to give you support and convenience when breastfeeding,” she adds.
“Don’t forget to bring clothes for you to go home in. I asked my hubby to bring me some in and he brought in a work suit!”
Jennifer Dixon, 26, from Manchester, mum to Ben, 3, and Elizabeth Rose, 5 months
“Flannels are handy not only to wash with, but also to mop your brow. Travel-size shampoo and shower gels will take up less room,” says Adele Hamilton, senior lecturer in midwifery at City University. Protect your lips by keeping them moisturised. “Have some lip balm to stop your lips from chapping,” Adele adds, “ and if you get sick have a spare toothbrush to freshen up your mouth.”
Want to look fresh for the camera? Have a make-up fix. “A touch-up with mascara and lippy will help you feel more glam for your first photos with your baby,” says Adele.
“Clips or bands to keep your hair back are a good idea, and to avoid cracked or sore nipples while breast feeding, use a nipple cream from the start.” You’ll also need special maternity pads instead of heavy sanitary towels for post-birth blood loss. Buy cheap underwear that you won’t need again and can chuck if needs be. “Pack cheap, comfy pants or disposable ones that can hold a pad,” says Lorraine.
“Ideally you should buy two bags, one larger than the other,” says natal hypnotherapist and midwife Lorraine Berry. “Bring a small bag with what you need during labour, as the room probably won’t have space for a large case. You can keep the bigger bag in the car and your birth partner can nip out and get it when the baby arrives,” says Lorraine.
“When packing my hospital bag, I did three bundles in large freezer bags and labelled them ‘birth’, ‘shower’ and ‘home’. This saved a lot of time and fumbling about in my bag, both for my husband and me.”
Sonia Harris, 27, from Essex, mum to Tye, 4, Dain, 2, and Campbell, 3 days old
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