The no nonsense “What you actually use during labour” hospital bag checklist”

You’ve been waiting for hundreds of days, dozens of weeks and a few bloody months for this day. I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked “are your bags packed?” This makes me doubt myself, the over preparation (yes it exists) and anxiety kicks in so I unpack and repack over and over until I’m satisfied all bases are covered…ready for the moment to arrive so we can grab the bags and dash to the hospital. That was for the birth of our first child.

We were in labour for a long three days and didn’t use half of what I packed. So now that I’m 37 weeks pregnant with our second baby and have adopted a simplistic mindset, here’s what I’ll be packing.

Mama’s bag

If you can grab one bag and one bag only, this is the one!

  • Medical notes
  • Tens machine (used early enough they’re fab to get you through the ore labour contractions)
  • Thin or lightweight maternity nightgown – hospitals are warm places. This is mainly to cover up when wondering around
  • Short sleeved maternity nightie or nightshirt that buttons all the way down (so your blood pressure can be taken and so there’s easy access to your belly)
  • Fresh pair of button down PJs for after you’ve delivered and had your shower
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • One or two pairs of slipper socks/thick socks
  • Coming home outfit (make sure these are lose, comfy and not too tight around the belly – to avoid c section stitches in case you have one)
  • Basic toiletries – deodorant; face cream; toothbrush and paste; hair brush; facewash; cleanser; toner; face wipes; a nice shampoo (don’t bother with shower gel as most UK hospitals provide a specific wash for you to use post delivery)
  • Hair band and hair ties
  • Basic make up bag (if you’re inclined that way) with essentials such as BB cream, blusher, mascara, eye liner and lip balm
  • Phone charger
  • Incontinence pull ups – life saver if your waters break. They’re easily disposable, pre labour or if you want to use them after delivery too. Optional but very useful
  • Sanitary towels (night time ones with wings)
  • Your biggest and best “Bridget Jones” pants
  • Disposable pants if you don’t want to use incontinence pull ups or your pants in early labour

Partner’s bag

This is a nice to have bag that will make the stay much more entertaining and comfortable.

  • A good book for each of you if you enjoy reading, or an iPad/laptop to watch your favourite box set on (you’ll be surprised at how long you could be in hospital for before you go into the delivery suite if you’ve been induced)
  • Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Straws (so you can hold the drink up for Mama during contractions)
    Camera and charger
    Phone charger
    Change for vending machines and hospital car park (check if you can get 2-3 day passes as it can work out more cost effective)
    Clean t-shirt

Baby’s bag

This can stay in the car until baby is born to save space around your bed and to avoid having to carry so much around as you may move from ward to ward.

    Car seat (not technically for the bag but you can’t take bubba home without it so that’s why it’s first on the list)
    3 basic sleep suits
    3 basic sleeveless vests
    1 special coming home outfit
    Coat/thick cardigan (think layers depending on the season)
    Single layered hat
    Blanket
    A special outfit for the Bounty baby photo shoot if you’re in the UK
    Sudocream
    Cotton wool balls
    Cotton wool pads (first few poos are sticky and thick-the cotton wool balls just don’t cut it)
    Wet wipes – as an experienced Mama, you never know when you need these!
    1 or 2 Muslins
    Baby milk in pre sterilised bottles. Fed is best!! (They no longer supply these at the hospitals in England)

Cheesy Carrot & Oat Flapjacks

Try these deliciously easy peasy oat flapjacks…even better when they’re gooey and warm!

Taken from The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook, but totally inspired by my sister! She makes these for my niece and I used to steal them before I finally learnt how to make them myself 😉 Great for boosting lactation when breast feeding too.

Ingredients:

  • 300g Grated cheese
  • 200g Grated Carrots
  • 300g Oats
  • 100g Melted Butter
  • 2 Eggs, beaten

Prep time: 15 Mins Cooking time: 18 Mins

Servings: 24 Freezer friendly: Yes

Method:

  • Line a 20cm x 30cm baking tray
  • Preheat the oven to 180c
  • Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients so they’re evenly dispersed
  • Add the melted butter and beaten eggs
  • Mix until everything is nicely combined (warning-this may take some muscle)
  • Pack the mixture into the baking sheet and pop in the oven for 18 minutes or until golden brown
  • Let the flapjacks cool and cut into bite sized pieces

Cheesy Garlic Vegetable Bake

Ingredients:

1 Large handful Broccoli florets

1 Large handful Cauliflower florets

1 Large handful Sliced carrots

1 Large handful Sweetcorn

2 Large eggs

6-8 Knobs of unsalted butter

2 Small handfuls of grated cheddar cheese

1/2 pack Boursin garlic and herb (gournay cheese)

2 Tbsp Philadelphia cream cheese

1/3 Pack of original Ritz crackers

Splash of milk

Ground black pepper

Garlic Salt

Prep time: 10 Mins Cooking time: 20 Mins

Servings: 8 Freezer friendly: Yes

Method:

  • Crumble topping:
    • Crush the Ritz crackers and add half of the grated cheddar cheese
      Set aside
  • Base:
    • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
    • Cook the vegetables until crunchy and add to an empty baking dish
    • Add the eggs, butter, Boursin, Philadelphia cream cheese and half the grated cheddar cheese
    • Add a splash of milk
    • Season with salt and ground black to taste
    • Mix it all up
      Cover with the crumble topping
      Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown

    It turns out being a working Mama isn’t that easy!

    Happy New Year to all my followers!

    It’s been almost a year since my last post. Although blogging has been on my mind, it turns out being a working Mama isn’t as easy as it seems. My own mother made it look so simple! It probably doesn’t help that I have a 160 mile round trip commute almost everyday… but it does make it easier knowing that my Son is in the most capable hands (my self employed Husband who I’m eternally grateful for) and loves his nursery.

    What I wish people told me about before I went back to work from Mat leave is:

    “no matter what, you will suffer from #momguilt”

    That niggling voice in your head telling you that you need to get home quicker, that you need to cook more, you need to spend more time with the family, plan more outings, be more efficient – Do. More. Better! The thing is, we probably all are doing our best!

    Whilst learning to fight my own demons, I found out we’re pregnant again!! We’re super happy to be adding a little girl to our family in the next few weeks. If anyone has any sound advise on “two under two” now is the time to speak up and share please!

    I’m praying this one actually sleeps (my Son still co sleeps and wakes up 2/3 times a night) so I can get my blog up and running like I promised myself a year ago, and do something for Me…

    #workingmom

    #momguilt

    #twoundertwo

    Why writing my first blog only took 7 years

    Two house moves, two new jobs, a husband, a few parties and trips away, and of course one ridiculously active, 10 month old Son later I’ve finally managed to set up my very own WordPress page. Yes it’s “me” time – 6 weeks before my maternity leave is due to finish and I officially become a “working Mama”.

    I think I wildly underestimated how time consuming being a “stay at home” Mama is. Wake up, feed him, wash his laundry, put him to sleep, dry the laundry, he wakes up, feed him and so the cycle continues. On a good day I’d get out the house to a baby class or maybe get a food shop in-that’s if baby is playing nice and sleeps in his car seat. This was my sanity!!Having said all this I couldn’t bare to part from him. It took me around 6 months to leave him alone with his very capable Dad. Irrational I know, but it did get easier once I did it.

    We judge Mamas who stay at home as taking the easy option but let me set things straight- it’s bloody hard work!!! No hot drinks, no lunch break and on some days there is absolutely no adult conversation – it can be incredibly lonely. So let’s give them a break.

    Speaking of the kids, my face is being scratched (I suck at baby manicures) because we co-sleep (parenting fail?!) and he wants my attention. No doubt you’ll hear more about the baby who never sleeps soon.

    Oh well… 4 paragraphs in 7 years isn’t bad going!

    #firstblog

    #welcometomotherhood