Your Essential Hospital Checklist

Did you have a secret ingredient in your packing which made your multiple birth easier ? Would you like to share it with us ? We’ve been asked for a hospital checklist for a twins birth and have cobbled together the following from our personal experience. The contents of the list will obviously be applicable to all multiple births, triplets, quads etc.

If there is anything which you don’t see that you think we should add then please tell us and we’ll be happy to amend the list accordingly

Firstly lets start by saying it’s very easy to pack everything but the kitchen sink but much harder to squeeze it all into an NHS bedside locker. We’ve tried to keep the list to the essentials, relying on your own discretion to pack your contact lens kit and the letter you started 3 months ago to your friend in US/Spain/Guadeloupe. It’s worth taking some reading material – this will probably be the only opportunity you’ll get to lose yourself in a book for sometime. And remember that even in the height of winter hospitals are reknown for being warm (helps the bugs germinate), so a fan is not just for those delivering in August. Otherwise just use the list as an example of what people have recommended, not a hard and fast list that you will come a cropper without! In no particular order therefore we suggest :

For you :

  • Clothes (nighties and pyjamas should be front fastening if you want to make breastfeeding easier) including dressing gown, slippers, maternity bras and clean knicks
  • Sanitary towels (the biggest thickest pillows you can find)
  • Breast pads (whether you are feeding them yourself or not, you will still need them)
  • Water holder/bottles of water (try to keep them cold in a sink full of water)
  • Fan – even in the middle of winter hospital rooms can be stiflingly hot, even without the throes of labour. (Note : some hospitals will not allow you to use electrical equipment unless it has been checked by their own maintenance staff so either ask in advance or invest in a small battery powered one)
  • Reading material
  • V-shaped pillow (for comfort before, during and after labour and to aid breastfeeding)
  • Pain relief (tens machine, paracetamol, remedies etc)
  • Tissues
  • Face cloths (for the soaking in water and dabbing of the brow)
  • Usual toiletries (including water spray – Guerlain do a wonderful one – and lovely pampering stuff for bathtime)
  • Food/snacks (you may have to wait a long time before your next meal)
  • Paper knickers (cos even wearing a giant pillow in your ordinary ones you still leak sometimes)
  • Water spray (for in the delivery room – for when you can’t stand to be touched or you need more than your brow dabbed with cooling water)

For babies :

  • Clothes (vests, sleepsuits, hats)
  • Blankets (the ones provided are sometimes better suited to the cleaners bucket)
  • Nappies (even the smallest, weeniest ones will be too big)
  • Nappy sacks
  • Vaseline/Petroleum jelly (that meconium sticks like tar without!)
  • Wipes (for all manner of wiping)
  • Cotton wool (for bathing as well as nappy changes)
  • Bath juice (infamol, Johnsons or similar)
  • Muslin squares (invaluable for just about everything)

You may also need:

  • Your address book for contacting those on the A list, and for writing birth announcements to all others
  • Your phone and battery charger or money for public phone in case your battery runs out
  • MP3/Ipod/personal stereo (so you can block out all the background hospital noises (like other mums snoring!) )
  • A pen
  • Sterlised containers for collecting all that precious breast milk when it comes in – the hospital will usually keep it in the fridge until someone can take it home and freeze it for you)

Once you’ve packed everything and you think you’re all done, stick an emergency bar of your favourite chocolate into a separate compartment. Believe me, at 2am when you’re feeding for the fourth time since dropping off you’ll be blooming glad you did!

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