My friend recently posted a blog that she had found whilst looking for suggestions for her hospital bag. It was a generic listicle, we’ve all read them. If you’re anything like me then you pored over them, memorising them, packing and repacking your bag accordingly each time you read a different suggestion. This particular list had a top 5 of things to take to hospital that you might not think of, the first being make up and the fourth being nice nightclothes. Now, I know I’m hardly Zoella but I appreciate make up as much as the next girl. I also, however, appreciate a five day stay in hospital, anaemia and major surgery (my personal experience of childbirth). I could have done with several things that I would *never* have thought of but lipgloss? Not so much. As for nice pyjamas/yoga pants etc.. ? I personally found it near impossible to find a nightgown/big tee that allowed for unbuttoning and breastfeeding. I ended up in a snazzy BHS nightie. Not sexy but very comfy and very practical. You hurt, you bleed, you can end up bed bound for days, you don’t need to look your best ‘in case your husband’s boss stops by to meet the new addition’*
My top five essentials you’d potentially overlook would be: Lucozade, peppermint/ginger teabags, a spare pillow, SOCKS – big, slouchy ones – and a phone charger.
I had a planned caesarean so I could sort of plan accordingly but I still had no idea these things would be the difference between a comfortable stay in hospital and a fraught, miserable affair. I know also that childbirth is anything but easy to plan for. So I asked another mummy friend (who went through 36 hours of labour, emergency c-section, transfusion and nearly two weeks in hospital) for her top five: 1. coconut water. 2. Playlists – long ones. 3. Slippers. 4. Lip balm. 5. Lavender oil.
Obviously, if you’re concerned that you won’t look good in photos on the postnatal or labour wards then do pack your make up bag. But maybe make smart choices like waterproof mascara, tinted moisturiser rather than foundation and a hint of a tint lipbalm rather than your standard Chanel red. Or ignore me completely and go full on Betty Draper Mad Men style and wear full warpaint, blousy negligee and fluffy mule slippers too. Huzzah.
*Actual ‘issue’ raised by the aforementioned top 5 list.