How to Pack an Overnight Bag for Labour
17.01.2015 by LadyAlly
I didn’t post this up before heading to the hospital because I wanted to see for myself if whatever I packed in my overnight bag necessary or not, and whether I missed out on something I had to ask my hubby to bring during his visits. Packing for a private hospital is probably almost the same, (I honestly cannot remember what I packed when I delivered my firstborn 7 years ago), but since I was going to be delivering my little girl at PPUM/UMMC, a government hospital that practices strict visiting hours, I had to make sure I had everything I needed.
Here is a photo of the stuff I packed. I am just going to ignore the things I’ve packed and let you know what YOU need to pack that is necessary during your stay at the hospital.
For the Mummy
- Maternity pads: The hospital do provide maternity pads, but the ones they provide are attached to a string which is extremely messy, uncomfortable and difficult to wear/use. I bought this brand “Madame”, which works just like your usual pads – the type that had adhesive to stick to your undies – just that it is pretty big, it is almost like sitting on some diaper cushioning. Haha.
- Disposable undies: Unless you fancy washing messed up stain undies when you get back, it is most convenient and hygienic to get some disposable panties. They are not costly, and save you the trouble of cleaning up a bloody mess.. literally. Don’t bother trying to buy sizes like S or M, unless you are reeeaalllyy small sized. I bought L, but regretted as I forgot that I would have a caesarean wound to avoid putting pressure on. It would have been better if I’ve gotten XL.
- Nursing bra: Generally, you won’t be using this during your stay as your hospital gown is changed everyday, and you wouldn’t be producing enough milk to be dripping around. But you will need this when you are discharged. So just bring one.
- Breast pads: Sigh, women sure use a lot of pads. Anyway, just bring a pair to put in your nursing bra to avoid wetting your bra when you are discharged.
- Wet wipes: Very important as the hospital (as far as government hospitals are concerned), do not provide wet wipes. These are used to wipe your *ahem* private parts to clean you up. Also used to clean baby’s poop. Bring a medium size pack.
- Change of clothes: You will need this when you’re heading home (duh!). Bring easy to wear loose clothing. I brought a long loose skirt and a cotton button up blouse for easy feeding, just in case. You can also opt for a sarong, loose yoga pants or drawstring pajama pants.
- Toiletries: If you are going to be admitted before a c-sect, then do bring shampoo and body soap as you can shower on the day you are admitted. However, don’t forget mostly to bring toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as a face towel, unless you don’t mind having yucky breath. Haha.
For the Baby
- Going home clothes: Bring more than 1 set, in case the baby can’t fit in it. You won’t know the size of your baby till he/she is born anyway. Haha.
- A few handkerchieves: You will need this to wipe baby’s mouth if she spits up and after feeding her milk.
- Diapers: Although the hospital might give you diapers for your baby, just bring a few newborn diapers just in case.
- Blanket/Swaddle: Babies get scared really easily, so wrapping him/her in a swaddle or blanket gives him/her a sense of security, and not catch a cold too.
- Mittens and booties: To keep your little one’s mitts and tiny feet from getting cold on the way home.
For the safety of your baby, prepare a car seat in advance to bring your little one home. If you don’t want to buy, you can always ask family or friends to borrow since you will only use this type for a short while only. Or you could just buy a preloved one from Carousel or Lelong. There are a lot of cheap ones for sale usually since it is quite cumbersome to store once you don’t need it anymore.
My experience at PPUM/UMMC
Here’s a little summary of my experience at the University Hospital government hospital. Generally, it was pretty decent. With the new maternity wing, parking is much easier, and the building is cleaner and more organized. I don’t have to wait very long to see the doctor compared to some private hospitals and clinics I’ve been to.
As for my stay at the hospital, my only gripe was the visitation hours and having to share the ward with 3 other people. Since the air-conditioning is shared, at times your ward-mates might be so horrified of the cold that they tend to adjust the temperature to be stifling warm. So, two of my ward-mates kept putting the air-cond up to 30 degrees and on low. *Sigh*.
Service-wise, thank God I had nice nurses. If you talk to them nicely, they will be nice to you too. Just be friendly to them, and frankly, I appreciate the things they do. Not easy being a nurse, especially with all the cleaning of gross bodily fluids. Doctors are pretty young but they are OK. Just be prepared to get different Medical Officers seeing you and asking you the same thing over and over again. Haha.
Since I was pretty bored, I entertained the medical students from the university as they made their rounds. I let them press my tummy and answered their questions. Well, just helping to widen their knowledge in hope we have better doctors in this country. Haha.
Be prepared that in a government hospital, you are expected to take care of your own baby. Since I had a c-sect, the nurses took the baby back to nursery to take care for one night to allow me to rest, feeding the baby formula milk.
On the second day, early in the morning, the nurses passed the baby back to me to feed, clean and soothe. If you are in for natural birth, I understand from a friend that you are expected to take care of your baby immediately after they clean him/her up after birth. If you are worried about not knowing how to nurse your baby, don’t fret. You can always ask the nurse, and there will also be a lactation nurse who will make her rounds during the day to teach as well.
Other Plus Points
We received some goody bags from the hospital, probably from sponsors. Lots of useful samples such as diapers, nappy rash cream and detergents. I love having the many diaper samples since I can gauge which my daughter can use, especially when it comes to pricing.
Overall, I don’t have anything to complain about, especially since the bill came up to only RM1,000+ for caesarean, which also includes baby’s first 2 vaccinations. Saved a lot of money as a c-sect in a private hospital is more than RM7,000.
P/S: Do ask your hubs/friends/family to bring some titbits like bread and biscuits. You might go hungry in the middle of the night, especially when having to wake up multiple times to nurse the baby.