Okay, I am going to admit something straight off the bat – when I had my first daughter Evie, I was completely underprepared. Not in the sense that I didn’t pack enough (you will get a good giggle when I mention some of the ‘essentials’ I did pack in my hospital bag). No, I was underprepared in the sense that I had no idea what was coming. Of course people would tell me labour didn’t tickle and that it wasn’t really like what you see on television, but my Mum – and bless her for not freaking me out, told me that giving birth was like, and I quote her directly here ‘having a big poo’. Put it this way, after I had Evie, I suggested to my Mum that she seek medical advice ASAP! But I digress, to cut a long story short, I was induced due to being overdue, so I knew exactly when I was going to be giving birth. In addition to straightening my hair, shaving my legs and applying my make up the morning I was due to give birth (time that would have been better spent in bed resting for the day ahead), I packed my hair dryer (full-size, not travel), hair straightener and full make up bag – these items did not see the light of day during my 48 hour hospital stay.
Second time around, I feel like I have it a bit more sussed – although part of me (the unrealistic part) does aspire to look like Kate Middleton when I leave my little suburban hospital. Here is what makes up ‘my side’ of the hospital bag.
- 1 x old nightie for birth
- 1 x button front Sussan nightie
- 2 x pyjama pants from Cotton On Body
- 2 x breastfeeding tanks from Kmart
- 1 x loungewear outfit from Cotton On Body featuring printed, cotton harem pants and long sleeve lose-fit tee
- Bonds breastfeeding tank to wear under tee to allow for easy breastfeeding access
- Sussan hooded zip up jacket
- This one is probably not necessary, but I’ve also packed a ‘leaving hospital’ outfit, should I feel like getting dressed. I’ve gone with a striped Cotton On maxi skirt, vibrant orange Metalicus lose-neck tank, Just Jeans chambray shirt and black rubber thongs.
- 8 x pairs of full brief cotton underwear from Kmart
- 3 x pairs of socks
- 3 x breastfeeding bras from Loveable
- Slippers from Cotton On Body
In the way of toiletries, I am still going to pack a little bit of makeup (concealer, bronzer, cream blush and lip gloss only) because if I am feeling up to it, covering my under-eye bags and giving my face a wash of colour does make me feel good. Other more essential items include:
- Maternity pads
- Nursing pads
- Nipple cream
- Travel size body wash
- Travel size shampoo and conditioner
- Travel size facial cleansing wipes
- Travel size deodorant
- Shower cap
- Hair ties and pins
- Travel size cotton buds
- Face moisturizer
For baby number two, I have packed with practicality top of mind. With Evie I packed fussy little onsies and stressed to my mum that if I had a girl, she was to bring some baby headbands pronto. What I learnt is more buttons mean more work, the Marquise nightie soon became Evie’s staple nightwear because in the middle of the night when I was knee deep in nappy changing, all I needed to do was lift the nightie to change her nappy and re-swaddle her. Oh and the headband – when she was born, I was so scared that I might break her that there was no way I was going to be putting a headband on her soft little head. With these lessons in mind, here is my baby checklist:
- 2 x Marquise nighties
- 2 x Marquise onsies
- 1 x Seed onsie
- 4 x Marquise singlets
- 2 x socks
- 2 x mittens
- 2 x cotton hats
- 3 x extra-large swaddle wraps
- 1 x cellular blanket
- 1 x packet of newborn nappies
- 1 x packet of fragrance-free baby wipes
All that is left to do now is download my favourite ‘you can do it’ songs and burn them to CD – I envisage myself belting out Eye of the Tiger as I birth baby #2.
Most women are fertile two weeks before their period starts. However, breastfeeding can delay the return of periods, making it hard for women to know with any confidence when their ‘fertile window’ may be. This is why some women conceive again before their periods have come back.
An epidural is an anaesthetic procedure, where a local anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space near the spinal cord. An epidural anaesthetic numbs the nerves so pain cannot be felt in certain areas of the body.
An epidural during labour helps to block pain signals from contractions. If birth intervention is needed, e.g., caesarean or forceps, an epidural is a common form of anaesthetic.