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Off to hospital

It's time! You want to be as comfortable as possible during your stay, so it's best to be prepared. Here's a checklist of everything you'll need to take along…

Labour Necessities:
dressing gown
old baggy t-shirt for labour
warm socks
lip balm
old or disposable underwear
maternity pads (take lots!!)
hair band
watch with a second hand to time contractions
natural sponge to help you keep cool
camera with lots of film
drinks / snacks
your birthing plan (if you're using one)
'tens' pain relief machine (if you're using one)

Labour Extras:
aromatherapy oils for the bath or to scent the room
an object with special meaning to help you concentrate
hot water bottle for your back
massage oils if
music to help you relax
bathing trunks for your partner, in case you want him to join you in a birthing pool
notebook and pen for keeping a birthing journal
address book and change for the phone when it's all over!

After the Birth Necessities:

something comfy to wear home - avoid trousers
nursing bras
nursing pads
sanitary towels

After the Birth Extras:
cold drinks - avoid fizzy drinks (too much caffeine)
juicy novel, magazines, writing paper and envelopes in case you stay for a few days
a breastfeeding book, along with telephone numbers of local breastfeeding counsellor
bran! You'll need lots of fibre to prevent constipation.

For Baby Necessities:
nappies - some hospitals require you to bring your own
warm, soft blanket
an outfit for the trip home - something soft and stretchy is best
socks or booties
jacket or snowsuit for cold weather
infant car seat

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