Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.
The Scouts got it right – being prepared makes any situation less stressful, more productive and so much more enjoyable. As an expectant mother you have spent nine months preparing – for the unpredictably of birth and the untold variables of motherhood. However, details often overlooked by the most well meaning of moms-to-be are the hospital bag, the hospital stay itself and what will be expected of you during your hospital stay. It will also serve you well to consider how to handle eager visitors, of whom there will be plenty!
In the forthcoming 2 to 4 day show, it is essential to consider the contentment and well-being of two main characters – you and your baby. Once you’ve carefully chosen a hospital and a birth plan to suit your needs, spend some time making sure you and baby will have the necessary essentials at hand before the time comes to head home.
- An outfit and blanket for the journey home
- A packet of newborn disposable nappies
- Newborn-sized dummy – just in case
- Surgical spirits and cotton wool for cleaning the cord
- Baby shampoo and soap, cream, barrier cream and wet wipes
- Feeding bras
- Disposable breast pads
- Several comfortable or disposable panties
- Comfy pyjamas with button-down top or feeding night shirts
- Slippers and lightweight dressing gown
- Healthy snacks – you may feel like more than hospital food and getting plenty of nutrition is essential when breastfeeding
- A cell phone (for spreading the good news)
- A camera – and extra batteries
- Anything that fits in with your chosen birth plan – music, massage oils etc
- Maternity sanitary pads
Be aware that every hospital has its own policies regarding what will be expected from you during your stay, the duration of your stay and visitation rights of your well-wishers. Be sure to ask questions about these topics when deciding on a hospital.
After the birth, whether you’re breast feeding or bottle feeding, have had a vaginal delivery or a c-section, and especially if you are a first time mom – remember that one of the greatest benefits of a hospital birth is that you are surrounded by experts. Take advantage of the skills and years of experience surrounding you and never be afraid to ask for advice. Something as simple as being shown the correct way to bath your baby or a little help with breastfeeding will ensure that things run as smoothly as possible when you get home.
In the hospital and in the weeks that follow, you will be inundated with friends and family who want to share in your joy and meet your little angel. While it is indeed a special time that you will want to share many aspects of, remember that you and your baby come first - there is no shame in wanting a bit of private time. The best way to avoid offending anyone is to ask everyone to call before popping in. And, when guests do arrive – don’t be tempted to be the perfect hostess. A cup of tea and a biscuit will suffice. With a bit of luck, your guests will remember their own experiences and arrive with a cake for teatime and an offer to do the dishes before they leave!