Nearing the end of pregnancy it is all about preparation. It is recommended to pack your hospital bag between 32 and 35 weeks so you’re ready to go if your little bundle of joy decides to enter the world a little earlier than expected. It can be hard to know exactly what to put into your bag to ensure you’re truly prepared for labour (are you ever?), but don’t worry, while you’re checking and double checking your bag, here are some essentials that you new moms will not want to leave home without.
- 1.A Breast Pump
Essential if you plan on breastfeeding. There are lots of reasons why a breast pump is handy to have during labour. Breast pumping can stimulate the nipple which can progress labour, as well as providing milk for your baba should you two be separated after birth, or if they are struggling to latch. The Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump is compact and simple to use and can be used in addition to, or to replace an electric breast pump. Something that is definitely worth making sure is in the bag to make your life that little bit easier after birth.
- 2.A nipple Shield
Another essential for those planning to breastfeed. You want the experience of breastfeeding to be as enjoyable as possible, after all it is a beautiful intimate time for you and your baby, this is where the nipple shield comes in. The Haakaa Breast Feeding Nipple Shield is made of 100% soft silicone with an extended teat that makes breastfeeding a lot easier and less painful especially for first time mothers.
- 3.Nursing Pillow
Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, a nursing pillow can provide comfort for you and your little one. Not only does a breastfeeding pillow save your back and shoulders when both breastfeeding and bottle feeding, it can assist your baby in latching, keep them comfortable when feeding, assist you if recovering from a C-section and help to prop your baby up when they get a little older, a breastfeeding pillow really is your best friend. The Clevamama - ClevaCushion 10-in-1 Nursing Pillow provides all these services and more with its multiple functions, it can take you from breast feeding, to the stroller and even car journeys, multi-use items are a big help for mothers!
- 4.Breast Milk Storage
It is vital to have some storage on hand for breast milk, let nothing go to waste! Breast milk storage bags are handy for storing milk to be used later for freezing and thawing, they take up little space and can protect the milk during transportation. The Ardo Easyfreeze Breast Milk Bags assist when freezing and have a heat indicator on the bag to let you know when the milk is warmed, handy! The Haakaa Generation 3 Breast Milk Storage Set also works well for keeping milk fresh and for freezing if you preferred a bottle form of storage. These containers can be easily converted into a bottle or breast pump when needed. You’ll be well prepared for any event!
- 5.Breast Pads
Disposable breast pads can be a big financial and environmental cost, luckily there are some eco-friendly alternatives that you can use to stop the leakage while doing your part for the environment. Carriwell Washable Breast Pads are soft touch, highly absorbent and can treat and prevent cracked nipples, what’s not to love? Just pop them in the wash once you’re finished and they’ll be ready to go again. Of course you can’t wash them in the hospital but a combination of these and a few disposables can reduce your waste. Another option is the Haakaa Ladybug Breast Milk Collector. This ensures no precious milk goes to waste, It fits discreetly inside your bra and collects let-down milk during the day, genius!
- 6.Nipple cream
Nipple cream is a must! You don’t want sore, dry cracked and bleeding nipples, all of these can happen and are natural when breastfeeding, but having a nipple cream nearby can sooth and reduce the effects on them. Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream is 100% natural and is ideal for breastfeeding as it doesn’t need to be removed before you continue, it’s baby safe with no additives, preservatives or chemicals! You’ll thank yourself for packing this essential.
- 7.Metal straws
Not something you expected to find on the list is it? Reusable straws can be a really handy item to have nearby during labour, you need to keep hydrated and straws can help with ease of position while in labour, of course re-useable straws are the way forward, which is why the Haakaa Stainless Steel Straw is the perfect addition to the bag.
- 8.Lip balm
Another surprising addition? Well, your lips can actually get very dry when breastfeeding and using air and gas in the hospital. It is one of the most popular things mothers ask for during labour, there’s nothing worse than wanting lip balm and having none around! Pop it in there and thank us later. Burt's Bees - Honey Lip Balm is a favourite, grab a few and pop them in pockets and pouches, to be sure you can find one on the day.
- 9.Disposable masks
Never thought this would be on the essentials list but it most definitely is high up there. We know that reusable masks are where it’s at, but it can be hard to keep them clean while in hospital so having a supply of disposable ones handy will be a savoir for you and your partner if you find yourself stuck. The 50 pack of Dr.Protekt Disposable 3-PLY Face Masks are a valuable addition to the bag, and if you’ve any left-over add them to your baby bag so you’re never stuck.
- 10.Camera phone and charger!
It is so important to have a camera phone with you to document your first moments with your child, make sure there is enough memory and battery life in all phones, chargers and power banks are essential, there will be a lot of photos!
I hope this was helpful during this exciting time. Good luck to all the new mumma’s out there you’re going to be amazing! You got this!
By Jade Carpenter