There are certain home comforts and practical items that made this experience a little easier for me and my husband, so I thought I’d share them here incase the information is useful.
Paperwork – take with you any paperwork/medical letters you’ve been given at this point as it can be really helpful if you get any questions from medical staff and saves you having to go through everything yourself.
Throwaway Nightshirt & Underwear – Pick up a cheap, baggy night shirt/dress and a couple of pairs of throwaway underwear so you can wear them in hospital then bin them straight away.
Dressing Gown/Hoodie/Socks – I got quite cold while we were waiting for things to get started and it helped to have familiar, comfy clothes to wear before the pills got things moving.
Comfortable Clothes To Go Home In – I took baggy sweatpants and a comfy t-shirt, a zip up hoodie and trainers, as I wanted to be comfortable and wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling. This turned out to be a very good choice, as it was just like getting into PJs.
Extra Maternity/Sanitary Pads – I was wearing these for a good couple of weeks after I got out of hospital and the hospital won’t always give you a box of them, so it’s worth taking some of your own. I found the ‘Ultra’ versions of sanitary pads or incontinence pads worked the best.
Books/DVDS – Take anything with you that might help distract you in the in-between times. Our labour took 17 hours from start to finish and a lot of that was just waiting around. The room we were given had a DVD player, so we took DVDs from home, but it might be worth loading up TV shows on your phone/Ipad/laptop, stocking up on audiobooks and/or podcasts and taking some books or magazines along. You might think you won’t feel like doing anything as frivolous as reading when you’re going through this horrible experience, but I found it really helpful to be distracted for a while. I chose carefully though – I didn’t take any favourite films or books as I didn’t know if I’d associate what I watched/read with the experience afterwards.
Snacks – Again, you might be reading this incredulously, thinking why on earth would I want to be eating during this? But it can take a long time and you do need to keep your strength up. We took biscuits and things like that, and although we didn’t end up eating much of what we took, we were both glad we did have a few bits and pieces to pick at.
Phone Chargers – I know it’s probably obvious, but if I’m making a list, I figured I would include everything I could think of.