After the birth and some skin-to-skin time, you will take a shower (heavenly!!) and the nurses will move you, in a wheelchair, while holding baby, into a shared post labour ward.
You will likely share a room with three other women, their newborns and husbands. There is one bathroom for four women – it includes a shower/bath and is quite spacious.
Here’s what to expect:
You get a curtained area containing:
A bed – duh (with cool remote to adjust height) One sheet, a thin blanket, a thin pillow and a small crispy towel.
A single seater couch which turns into a bed for your partner to sleep on if he/she wants to stay over
A TV (as if you are going to watch TV!!)
A little cabinet for your bag and stuff.
A perspex crib on wheels for baby
Jug of water and glass
Remember – there is very little additional space so don’t bring more than a hand-luggage size suitcase
Bring for you:
Portable charger for phone/camera – I didn’t have any plug points
Extra blanket, pillow & towel (I brought my preggy pillow which is excellent for sleeping on, propping up baby, putting under your knees etc.)
Comfy PJ set – I recommend trousers (remember there are other men in the ward) a button down shirt (for easy breastfeeding) and slippers (for walking to the toilet)
Toiletries for your entire stay. They is very little provided so bring like there is nothing except loo roll. (Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturizer, lip balm, body lotion, sanitary pads, breast pads, breastfeeding bra)
Water bottle (just in case the nurses are super busy. A bottle is also easy to drink while lying down)
Paracetamol – the good news is you are no longer pregnant so you can knock these babies back every 3 hours. The bad news is you need to knock them back every 3 hours. Buy in bulk.
IPad / Book / Magazine – I didn’t actually manage to read but other women do because it can be hard to sleep. Also, if you give birth early morning you have the entire day to get through and it’s not easy to sleep.
Bring for Baby:
Nappies – at least 6 (my first nappy I put on backwards)
A changing mat – you don’t have a lot of space so you might change baby on the bed between your legs. A mat helps you not worry so much about leakage
Wetwipes – it’s your first nappy change, trust me, you need way more than you will eventually use!
Formula and a bottle (just in case your milk doesn’t arrive for a few days – that happened with me and I had to beg the nurses for some Aptimal liquid to get me through the night. They gave me the last one in the entire hospital)
3 x baby grows, socks, bib, hat, hand mittens (so they don’t scratch their cheeks with their little nails) Jack pooped and I managed to get it all over his first baby grow so ended up using two outfits in the space of 10 minutes and had to send my husband home for more! Here was his first outfit:
Two baby blankets (in case he pees on one or you spill something)
Muslins – to wipe spit / milk vom / drool