THE last trimester is here (phew) and you are a few weeks shy of your due date.
Definitely, there IS a lots on your plate these days…..from gaining your peak pregnancy weight which won’t let you move, sleep or do anything comfortably, to stocking and filling up the pantry for post baby days… from your OCD infused nesting instincts to preparing yours and baby’s stuff for the big day and grand arrival. A lots of RIGHT planning and organizing at a RIGHT time will give you heaps of mental peace at the end of the day, letting you enjoy your special moments without unnecessary worries.
Trust us for a fact that you will NOT have enough time at the very last moment to be juggling between things in order to find that important piece of toiletry or mommy/ baby essentials to put in the Hospital Bag. You MUST be ready well ahead of time in advance, say at least 4 WEEKS before your due date, as there is always a room for an unexpected call in the last few weeks.
So what are the ULTRA Basics that MUST find a place in your hospital bag?
We have compiled a CRISP and ON-POINT guide which will help you pack your Hospital Bag just right, with all the essentials. For your convenience, we will post ‘Baby’s Hospital Bag essentials’ in a separate post 🙂
First & Foremost!
Prepare a Travel size set of all your every day use toiletries to avoid the hassle of waiting last moment to dig out all that stuff. You definitely don’t want to miss out on your tooth brush or face wash at the last moment and then have your husband or family members run around to get ‘that’ when you need their presence around the most.
MUST keep toiletries include a hand wash/ soap, tooth brush/ tooth paste, shampoo, cream/ lotion/ moisturizers, sanitizer, a small pack of TISSUES, a Towel set, perfume/ body sprays (provided you are perfectly OK smelling of labor and hospital room when guests come over to see the baby :p )
Whatever toiletries you are keeping for yourself, do keep the same for your partner too.
2. Eye contacts/ Glasses/ solutions/ Contact storage box
For those who wear glasses KNOW what we mean when we put the ‘eye wear’ on the top of our hospital bag list, as it’s something you can easily forget at the last moment, and CAN NOT SURVIVE without.
Guess what? There is absolutely no harm in wearing contacts during delivery. Rather, in our humble experience, they only add more comfort as compared to wearing spectacles (especially if you are lucky enough to be in labor for a short time). Also, if luck has you stay a few days more in case of a C-section, you will only be pleased with yourself for keeping them as you definitely don’t want nerdy pictures taken with your newborn, especially if you plan on being a fully ‘dolled up new mom’ (see # 3)
An extra set of all these things is suggested. You never know when a contact or that pair of glasses break.
3. Make-up essentials
Sadly so in our desi culture, Pregnancy, Delivery and Post delivery period is considered some kind of illness or an abnormal period of life. In truth, this is perhaps the most real and natural phenomenon of life and instead of being ashamed or embarrassed about it, you should celebrate and flaunt it with the best zeal and enthusiasm possible.
You and your baby are the stars of this show and will be the center of attention. All the picture memories will have YOU in them so do make sure you rock and leave something beautiful to reminisce about. Most importantly, the fatigue from those nerve wracking and tiring labor hours and those pregnancy/ post-delivery hormones will already be making you feel a mix of emotion. Looking your best self will only make you feel A LOT BETTER.
What you want to keep in your vanity kit completely depends on your routine make up preferences. Avoid over-doing it though. It is definitely not a good idea wearing false lashes during the delivery 😉 Your best bet is to keep things minimal and practical. For example, you can completely skip that thick concealer and foundation and go for a basic moisturizer and a dab of compact powder to make you look fresh. You can go for your favorite eye liner and/or a mascara, a blush, and a matte lipstick in nude/ pinks. Make sure all the products are long-lasting. You don’t know how long you will stay in there.
4. Hair Care
It is IDEAL to leave home for the hospital in freshly washed, shampooed and blow-dried hair, but if by the twist of fate you do not happen to find time for that, keep your hair dryer, straightening irons, a few ponies, clips and bobby pins at your disposal. These things will help you set your hair after a fresh shower or help in making that simple yet classy bun or high pony tail in literally 2 minutes time.
If you use serums, mousse or volume infusing hair sprays, then you might add them in too but Just remember it’s NOT a beauty contest and chances are you might not be in a mood or health to do anything that fancy during those crazy hours/ days with the new baby just at hand, so stick to the basics.
5. Comfortable Clothes/ PJ set
THIS is a MUST.
No matter how fancy-shmancy your wardrobe is otherwise, one thing that you will absolutely crave is COMFORT.
Whatever your clothes preferences are, try to stick to DARK colors.
1-2 comfortable dark colored Pajamas with loose tops will give you all the confidence and ease in the world to move about freely, without having to worry about any unwanted stains here and there. It is very practical to consider beforehand that you will be going through a heavy post-partum bleeding for at least next few days before it lessens. Most hospitals require you to wear their clothes, usually a loose tunic and pajama. Do consult the hospital administration beforehand too on what their protocol about that is.
Most ‘desi’ moms choose to wear regular desi clothes. Even if you do that, try sticking to LOOSE pants and kurta tops instead of going for tightly fitted clothes. If you get hold of a good pair of maternity tights or pants that’s a plus, since you will definitely not jump back to your post pregnancy size immediately and maternity pants help you look more in shape while maintaining the comfort factor.
(We will soon do a round up on the availability of good maternity clothes in Pakistan)
6. A Home coming Outfit
It is high time our desi women start taking pride and feel dignified in carrying a newborn baby IN STYLE.
Like we mentioned earlier, you are a star of the show and should look like the center of attention for those few days to come. Dress up SMART and neat and stay in style. We are lucky to be in an era where Pakistani Fashion market is on it’s peak with myriads of clothing options to choose from and stores to rush to for a trendy pick.
Choose a very smart dress based on your dressing sense in an up size of course.
BEST TIP?? Don’t forget that you will be required to breastfeed the little one for at least the next few weeks almost all day and night long, and that begins from the very first day. So keep your home coming outfit loosely fit, ideally something comfortable with front buttons. Needless to say this tip goes for all your attire options in subsequent days as well. AVOID expensive clothes 😉
(There will be a separate post soon on the tips & tricks for breastfeeding moms to fight off those early days woes, we promise)
7. THE “MOST” COMFORTABLE Shoes & Slippers you own.
You heard that right! THE MOST is what the emphasis is on.
Put aside those fancy sandals that leave an annoying painful mark on your feet, give you an itch or always make you slip. By now, you already surely would be owning a pair (or two) that has been your go-to pair in those swollen pregnancy feet.
For summers, get a nice n’ comfy rubber sole flip-flop pair and for winters you might grab for a pair of ballets or espadrille flats (we love our TOMS) with or without socks.
There is simply no way you could miss out on capturing those rare moments with the click of your lens eye. While mobiles do make the task very convenient nowadays for all those social media worthy selfies, you will never get a frame worthy or print worthy quality to make it to your baby’s record book or as a keepsake 🙂
9. Mobile & Chargers
Yours as well as your spouse’s.
Both of you will be getting SOOO MANY calls from concerned family members, as is the ritual in desi khandaans.
Phupho, khalas, chachus, tayi ammi, cousins, cousins kids, and perhaps their kids too……all those who can not make it will be calling you up to inquire about the mommy and baby. Also, not to forget that you ARE supposed to make social media posts ‘immediately’ to keep your distant relatives happily informed too. So CHARGERS you definitely can NOT miss out on.
Please AVOID taking laptops, with so much advanced technology right at our hand, carrying a laptop is an ABSOLUTE NO-NO!
10. Maxi Pads, Underwears, Nursing Bras and nursing pads
As lame as it sounds, these are a MUST.
A lots of new moms are not even aware that they will need these things, let alone ‘THE MOST’.
Most hospitals do provide those large sized, heavy duty cotton pads to sustain the heavy bleeding after delivery but if your hospital does not provide or has a limit to how much you can take, you must have them with you in your bag to avoid any inconvenience. Get at least 2-3 packets well ahead in advance. Also, carry a few dark large sized underwears which are not fancy enough to part with later. If you plan on breastfeeding for long, it’s recommended to invest in a few good nursing bras. Some women choose to skip them completely, however we feel they make the task very very convenient and comfortable. Nursing pads will help you a lot in those initial days of excess leak.
With loads of money to pay the bill 😉
(provided your office is taking care of your medical)
Our Tip? Please AVOID keeping huge amount of cash, carry all your cards instead. All good hospitals accept debit cards. Check with your hospital beforehand too on how they accept the payment. You don’t want to loose any money amidst all the frenzy.
With those interminably long labor hours and breastfeeding, you will be pretty drained off of all the energy and will need to snack and munch in between.
Treat yourself and keep your favorite stuff. However, we suggest you keep snack items which are filling and energizing. A variety of Nuts like Almonds, walnuts, cashew, DATES, energy bars, all are great quick items to pop in, in order to revitalize yourself. A huge bottle of water or any other drink that you prefer are your best bet to keep you hydrated.
13. Goodies for the Staff
Chances are that your hospital staff especially nurses and support staff have taken a great care of you by being at your help day or night with unconditional support. Don’t forget to thank them by distributing goodies and celebrating your joy with them 🙂
Happy Laboring & CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE! 🙂