Tuesday 2 May 2017

Getting your hospital bag ready for childbirth? Here are things you would likely need to take along.

Getting  your bag ready for the hospital can be a very confusing task  especially for first time mums as one may not always be sure of what would be needed in the hospital for birth and the few days after. This can lead one into buying things around the hospital which usually could be more expensive, or to repeated requests for one thing or the other to be brought to the hospital from home. This list is different from what hospitals usually demand for delivery which often includes delivery mat and all that; it contains the items a new mum will need for herself and the baby; it is by no means exhaustive but will hopefully give Nigerian-based mums an idea of what to pack in their hospital bags.


1. A bag or box. This should be something portable which you can grab with ease.  The size should just be enough to contain the needed items; not too big but not too small either. It should be a light-weight bag or box that will not add unneeded weight to the few things you need to throw into it.
Image result for carry on bagImage result for carry on bag

2.Cloths for you the new mother- to-be. If the health outfit where you intend to give birth does not provide clothing for women in labour, you can never go wrong with wearing a loose, free gown to make you covered but also available for checks especially if you are the kind that would not like to walk round the labour room naked. The gown should make it easy for you to be checked for dilation. Some hospitals provide gowns so inquire if yours will. You will also need cloths you will wear during your hospital stay as well as going-home cloths. If you plan breastfeeding (which most Nigerian women do) then wear cloths that will allow you do so. When choosing such cloths, bear in mind that your belly will still have a bump. Two to three cloths will be okay even though one cannot predict exactly how long the hospital stay will last. Trousers or skirts should be soft- rimmed.

(3). Maternity pads. The most common ones in Nigeria come in a pack of 10 pads. It is safest taking two packs of those though one may end up using just one pack depending on how long the hospital stay lasts. The first few days will come with fairly heavy bleeding and you may find yourself changing your pad 5 to 6 times a day.
one of the most common maternity pads in the Nigerian market

(4) Pants for the new mum. About 6 black coloured pants are recommended especially if you will not be able to wash and dry used ones.

(5) About 2 nursing bras.  These should be comfortable and not too tight as your breasts may get sore at some point. You need something that could be soothing to your sore breasts. They should allow you breastfeed your newborn with having to unhook the bra.

(6) Breast pads to trap the leaked milk. After colostrum comes the mature  breast milk;  usually by the second day.  This could  leak a lot and  breast pads could come in handy in such cases.
Image result for breast pads
(7)  Toiletries. These should include a towel,  bathing soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair comb, sponge and  make up for the new mum. After birth, you will very likely want to look as good as you can so your make up bag needs to be taken along.

8) Foot wear. You will need something to wear on your feet in the hospital and on your way home. A flip flop will do for the hospital and something free and nice for going home.

(9) Sizeable water flask. You will at some point need hot water for tea, bath or any other thing.

(10) Some snacks. You could get hungry and need something to munch before or after delivery. Whatever snacks and drinks you fancy will do.

(11) Your phone's charger. The number of calls one will likely make or receive after birth can be enough to run your battery down. You may need to put a spare phone charger in your bag as it is one of the most easily forgotten items.

12. Recharge cards. You will need to make a lot of calls and may not have the convenience of someone to send on errands in the hospital.

(13). Camera. This could come in handy if you are picture freak. You may need to capture those first moments. A phone can also play the same role if you have a camera phone.


(1) Baby cloths. The most common ones used in Nigeria are onesies and overalls. Three to four onesies and same number of overalls should do. It is nice to have a variation in  baby cloths sizes as you don't know how big your baby will be.
(2) Baby diapers.  A pack or two will do depending on the number of diapers in each pack. The baby usually passes out tar-like poo at first followed by mustard-like poo. Sometimes frequency could be up to 5 times a day. Since one isn't sure of how long one would end up staying in the hospital, a total of about 20 diapers will do.

(3) A pack of Baby wipes. These should be fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin. Some pediatricians suggest using cotton wool and warm water to wipe the baby's sensitive bum the first few days so a pack of cotton wool may be brought in place of wipes.

(4) 2 baby caps. These should be soft-rimmed and not tight on the newborn's head.
Image result for baby cap
Baby cap
(5) one baby towel for bath or cleaning times. 

(6) One baby flannel. It's advisable to spread your baby's own flannel on the bed before laying your baby down.

(7) Insecticide-treated bed net. You wouldn't want to expose your baby to mosquitoes that early.

(7) Baby oil and petroleum jelly. These usually come in handy when the baby's body is cleaned and needs oiling. They also come in handy when changing diapers. Fragrance free ones are recommended.

For the checklist of what to buy in preparation for baby's arrival in general read this

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