I would suggest you aim to have your bag packed by the time you are 36/37 weeks pregnant.
If possible take a bag for you and a bag for baby, when you are in labour it makes it much easier to get something you need quickly, rather than rummaging around amongst baby’s things!
Clothes for labour – you don’t need to buy anything new, think of an old nightie or baggy T Shirt that you don’t mind getting dirty. Lots of women I have looked after have thrown them away after birth!
If you are going to use the birthing pool, think about what you would feel most comfy in. Some women don’t wear anything and some cover up – there is no right or wrong! Try not to use anything too loose as it will stick to your body when wet – I would advise a bikini or tankini top, or a dark coloured vest top.
Some women find a cold flannel on their forehead useful in labour, or if you have one a hand held fan.
If you have longer hair, hair bands or scrunchies.
Snacks and drinks – think of non-fizzy energy drinks, water or juice. Simple snacks such as plain biscuits or cereal bars are good, and hard boiled sweets or jelly babies for a quick energy boost. Think also of snacks for your partner as labour can be a long process!
Plan a playlist on your phone or tablet, music can be a great distraction in labour.
After birth – 1 or 2 pairs of pyjamas or nighties, if you are planning to breastfeed front opening ones can be useful.
A dressing gown and slippers.
Big knickers! I wouldn’t advise the disposable ones as they tend to be too small and uncomfortable. Instead buy a pack of cheap comfy knickers.
Maternity pads – the proper thick ones rather than your usual thin sanitary pads – I would suggest 2 packs as you get through them quite quickly.
Comfy bras, and a small quantity of breast pads if planning to breastfeed.
Washbag – the usual things, shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste and brush, face cloth, deodorant, hairbrush.
Make up – not needed but can make you feel more human!
Comfy clothes for going home.
At the end, don’t forget to add your maternity notes and birth plan, phone and charger – you would be amazed how many people forget these things!
Nappies and cotton wool for cleaning – we don’t advise baby wipes in the early days.
Muslin squares – 3 or 4.
Cotton hat x 3.
Vests x 3.
Sleepsuits x 3.
Outfit for going home.
Blanket for going home.
If planning to bottle feed, most hospitals will expect you to bring in bottles and formula.
Don’t forget the car seat, but this can stay in your car until ready to go home.
For more advice on birth planning and pregnancy download Juno for IOS or Android and talk to one of friendly midwives.
We are living in a constantly evolving world with regards to technology, social media and people looking for support online. As a midwife, I have seen over the past few years how important it is for us to have a presence online so that we can offer online medical support and reassurance when people need it most. I’ve noticed it even more since the start of the Pandemic.
All services within the NHS are overstretched due to Covid-19, meaning you are now seeing more and more women unable to access maternity care when they need it the most. Which means it is perfect timing to find alternative routes to access professional advice alongside your normal maternity care.
Finding the right medical advice online.
I came across an article from the BBC recently about maternity services and how they are suffering during the pandemic. You can read it here. Women are struggling to access the care that they need, during the most important time of their lives. Our maternity services were stretched prior to the pandemic, so it is no surprise to see women turning to facebook groups for support from other mothers. Whilst having this support network is important, it is also imperative to note that this is not professional advice. This means women are potentially being given the wrong advice when looking for support from friends, family and social media groups.
By creating Juno – we will be able to give vital support and advice via an app so that women and parents-to-be can choose to access medical advice in a quick, safe way. Not only that, it also gives us as midwives a voice online to be able to support women. In a tech-heavy world, where everyone picks up their phone to google symptoms, I believe this is vital support that we need to implement nationally for everyone in pregnancy, postnatally and beyond.
The importance of midwifery.
Women are missing face-to-face appointments with their midwives, consultants and some are going months without seeing a healthcare professional because of the pandemic. As a midwife, I know how much this will increase anxiety levels for women and their families. If we can provide an online service like Juno to run alongside NHS care, this will help reassure and alleviate anxieties in pregnancy. I absolutely love being a midwife and caring for women and families. We become midwives because of our compassion and how passionate we are about maternity care. This is why we’ve created a service to offer online support as much as we possibly can. With lots of medical services now offering online consultations and advice – it’s about time midwives had an online presence too!
During pregnancy, you have so many questions that need answering and that’s what we are here for. Early pregnancy, when you haven’t met your midwife yet, is the most common – as you have so many symptoms in the first trimester and it is nice to be able to access reassurance if you need it. We also find that a lot of women come to us between 16-25 weeks of pregnancy. You normally don’t see a midwife during this time and there are so many questions you may have.
Why Juno is the future.
I had one woman access advice online who was pregnant for the first time with twins. She was bleeding in early pregnancy and was very worried about losing one or both of her babies. I gave her support, reassurance and guidance throughout her whole pregnancy and she gave birth to two beautiful healthy babies. She felt that having access to midwifery support whenever she needed was invaluable and helped her enjoy her pregnancy more. This is why our Juno midwifery advice service will be invaluable for families and why I am so excited to be a part of it.
So if you are planning to have a baby, pregnant or have a newborn baby, please download Juno and contact us whenever you have any questions you need answered. We are currently available 8am-8pm, 7 days a week and run a fast response service with highly experienced midwives available at the touch of a button.