There's so much to juggle, especially when you first get home from the hospital!
If I could give any Mum-to-be a small piece of unsolicited advice, I'd let them know that it's not what you need to pack in your hospital bag, it's what you need ready to go when you get home that will make the difference!
Throughout your pregnancy, you'll have heaps of support around you to check in on your little belly-bean and make sure he or she is tracking well. You're going to have birthing classes to teach you about the birthing process and what to expect if you have an epidural or cesarean. AND If you're anything like me, you've probably also been studying 'Up The Duff' and regularly checking your mobile app to find out what fruit size Bub is this week (not to mention the latest developmental progress of whether his or her tiny little legs have started growing or if he or she has fingernails [eww, gross I know, but let's be honest... we all find that stuff super exciting and fascinating when it's our own little human]).
You've also probably been thinking about packing your hospital bag and researching like mad about what to pack; How many sets of clothes you'll need, whether or not you need to take nappies, snacks for your partner, etc. When you're in hospital you have people around you at all times to help, nurses to show you how to change a nappy, how to swaddle your baby, small pre-mixed bottles of formula if you need them, a pump. But when you get home, you're in control.
So here comes the 3 pieces of (unsolicited) advice - Before you go to hospital, get your home ready! (Take it from the Mumma who researched like crazy her entire pregnancy and packed everything under the sun for Hospital). The most important thing to prepare for is coming home from hospital - and I don't mean having frozen, pre-cooked meals in your freezer to heat up (although that was definitely handy!). I mean the little things you need for 'just incase', because when 'just incase' becomes 'WE NEED IT NOW!' and it's nowhere in sight, it's a nightmare.
- Number 1; before you go into hospital, it's a good plan to have at least 2 bottles washed, boiled, and ready to go. If you're planning to breastfeed, great! But just in case things don't go according to plan, having these ready to go will make life significantly less stressful when you get home. (trust us when we say the car ride home will be slow... I'm talking driving down the highway at 40km/h type slow and unless you live just up the road from the hospital, I can almost guarantee that by the time you're discharged from hospital and get home, Bub will be ready for a feed.
- Do your research! - Regardless of whether you're planning to breastfeed, find a formula you're comfortable with. You don't need to buy it, just know which one you want to use, and where you can buy it from if you need to.
- This next one requires a bit of research as well - know which pump you're going to use. If you're happy to buy it before hospital, BRILLIANT. But if you're planning to wait, make sure you know where your nearest stockist is, if they have it in stock, and the timeframe for their next delivery if they sell out - don't forget everything is delayed with covid so this might be a while away!
That's it. That's my 3 things to organise and research before going to hospital. You may not need any of them, but in the case that you do, I hope it makes the first few hours after hospital easier.
You're going to do an amazing job! xx