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.
Since early 2011, Australia has had a Paid Parental Leave scheme. This allows eligible working parents to get paid for up to 18 weeks when they take time off work to care for a new baby or recently adopted child.
Driving during pregnancy can present a unique set of risks - it pays to be as informed as possible about the facts.
Currently in Australia, there is no recommendation for pregnant women to stop driving. And it’s not illegal in any Australian State or Territory to drive during pregnancy. The same road rules apply to all drivers, pregnant or otherwise. But pregnancy itself is not a reason to stop driving.
Our understanding of exercise in pregnancy + postpartum has come a long way in the recent years, and we are much more likely to treat the “normal” pregnancy as a normal physiological process – not a disability.
Exercise in the postpartum period is helpful to regain your shape, increase your energy levels, lift your mood and give you the strength required for your new job of mothering.
Your new role will involve a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing, getting up from chairs and the floor, and holding for feeding.
After the birth of your baby there is a period of healing and physical adjustment from the effects of pregnancy as well as from your labour or delivery.
During pregnancy, there is increased pressure on the pelvic floor from your growing baby, placenta and extra fluid.