Babies can be unpredictable, so pack your bags in advance — just in case your little one decides to make an early appearance!
“I’ll get to it!” — the famous last words of plenty a mom caught unawares! A maternity hospital bag is a suitcase or kitbag containing all the things you’ll need when you’re in hospital. Even if you’re planning on giving birth at a birthing centre, or at home, it’s wise to have your things prepared, just in case you or your baby need to be taken to the hospital.
Have your hospital bag checklist sorted, and your hospital bags packed and ready at around 34 weeks. Having everything ready and in one place also means that should you have to go into hospital for any reason, no one will need to rush around pulling together an emergency bag for you. Your hospital bag should contain all the items you’ll need during labour and immediately after birth — for both you and your baby. Any kind of bag is fine, although one with extra pockets will be easiest since there’ll be lots of items that need to be kept in a safe place.
A hospital stay can vary in length depending on whether you deliver in a government or private hospital, and whether you have vaginal birth or a Caesarian Section. An average stay for a vaginal birth is around one day, while mothers who have Cesarean sections can usually expect to stay around three days. Remember, birth can be unpredictable, so make sure you’re packed for a longer hospital stay, even if your first choice is to deliver vaginally.
Items for labour and birth:
A toiletry bag to include:
You may also want:
For your baby:
As most of us know, the earliest sign is a missed period but this could also be down to stress or other factors. The easiest and quickest way to answer your question is to take a home pregnancy test, which can be taken from the first day of your missed period. They're usually pretty reliable but if you're unsure, contact your GP and get booked in.
In most cases it's totally safe to have sex when pregnant, though you may want to avoid putting too much pressure on your bump and breasts! If you have a high-risk pregnancy or have had any bleeding then it's worth consulting your midwife or doctor first, just to be on the safe side.
Unfortunately the answer is yes. As the bleeding is mostly the lining of the womb it's totally normal to have vaginal bleeding after a caesarean, just as you would for a vaginal birth.
We would advise against this straight after birth as your vagina needs time to heal and using internal protection could increase the risk of infection. You're best to wait for your 6 week check, where your midwife will inform you if you're okay to use tampons.
It can take a while for your menstrual cycle to get back into a routine and even then you may find that your cycle and flow are different. If you feel you need to change your tampon every 2 hours or less, then it would be wise to switch up absorbencies on these heavier days...and don't worry this is quite normal and nothing you need be alarmed by.
Got a question you’ve been too embarrassed to ask? Wondering if what you are experiencing during pregnancy is normal?
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While they’re mostly used to manage postpartum bleeding, maternity sanitary pads can be used during labour. Find out more about maternity pads here.Find out more