Packing for the hospital

One of the most exciting ‘must-dos’ during pregnancy is packing a labour bag for the hospital. For new mothers, packing the bag is as exciting as it is daunting because this signifies entry into unknown territory and the imminent arrival of baby.

“Mothers often forget that they will be spending some time in hospital themselves and it is important to pack personal items to make this stay as comfortable as possible from both a physical and emotional aspect. The following are basic items that are suggested for all expectant mothers to pack in the hospital bag,” says Astrid Anderson, distributor of Philips AVENT products and former maternity nurse:

For Mom:

  • Toiletry bag (including soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, body and face cream, shampoo and conditioner, face cloths, lip balm, hairbrush,  deodorant – but remember that scents should not be too overwhelming that baby doesn’t identify mother’s natural smell)
  • Bath towel
  • Handbag with personal identification documents
  • Loose Clothing
  • Feeding bras
  • Maternity underwear and maternity sanitary pads
  • Sleepwear, t-shirts, tracksuits – front opening for easy breastfeeding
  • Gown
  • MP3 player or I-pod
  • Hairband
  • Comfortable shoes (slippers and shoes for when strolling in the hospital gardens or to the nursery)
  • A pillow from home to aid in sleeping or relaxing
  • A few healthy, light but high energy snacks, or money to buy these at the hospital
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Camera with extra batteries/ video camera
  • Breast pump
  • Breast pads
  • Plastic bag for dirty clothing
  • Anything else that might personalise your labour room and make you feel more comfortable.

For Baby:

  • 6 or more pieces of clothing
  • 6 or more vests
  • A ‘going home’ outfit
  • 1 pack of nappies
  • Blankets
  • Soother
  • Beanie
  • Socks
  • Baby Oil / Lotion
  • Bum Cream
  • Wet Wipes
  • Cotton Wool to wash baby with

Mothers can express breast milk while baby is asleep or while holding sleeping baby with the Philips AVENT Comfort single electric breast pump. It automatically starts in gentle stimulation mode to assist let-down. Thereafter, a mother can choose between three pumping settings to ensure her milk flow is comfortable and effective. It is available at leading mother and baby stores including Baby City, ToysRUs, and selected Dischem stores, for a recommended retail price of R2 550.00.

The Philips AVENT Natural Manual Breast Pump has been developed to offer a more comfortable expressing position for easier milk flow, with no need to lean forward. The pumps allow mothers to express in a comfortable, reclined position, reducing the risk of back pain. It also has a massage cushion that combines peristaltic and vacuum actions for greater efficacy of milk expression. It’s available from leading mother and baby stores including Baby City, ToysRUs, and selected Dischem stores, for a recommended price of R1119.78

Philips AVENT soothers come in handy for soothing baby between feeds. The Philips AVENT Fashion Soothers are fashionably suited for both little girls and boys for a naturally comforting experience. They are fun and versatile and can be colour-coordinated with the beautiful flower-themed soother for girls and the car-themed soother for boys. They are available at leading baby and retail outlets and some pharmacies at a recommended retail price of R 123.88 (incl VAT).

Philips Avent Washable Breast Pads have a soft brushed cotton lining, which draws moisture away from the skin behind a leakproof liner. The pads are machine washable and dryable, and each packet comes with six pads, plus a laundry bag. They’re available from baby outlets from R210 a packet. Remember to place the bag in an easy to reach area for grabbing on the way to the hospital. Anderson suggests having the hospital bag packed and ready around week 35 of pregnancy, just in case baby decides to come early. Lastly, remind your partner to collect the baby car chair when coming to collect you both.

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