Maternity Shopping list: Ten items that AREN’T on the hospital list

But they will come in really handy

You might read this and think, go away!
I am too stressed to have more on my list! Look, I know the hospital bag is rammers and you can’t fit it all in already. However, it is the first thing that you do fully for baby and not yourself. Please don’t start off being a Mam (if it is your first) by only thinking of baby and not you! These items are for your comfort. Make your stay a little simpler! Just have a read. You might find a gem. 
  • A notebook and pen. Write down your baby’s movements. I found it definitely helped when mentally establishing some sort of clumsy attempts at a ‘routine’ later. It organised my head anyway!
  • Tea tree oil. Keep those stitches (if you have them) purified and infection free!
  • A squirty bottle. I know. What? Why?! So many nurses told me to get a ‘squirty bottle’ as it is easier to ‘get at’ those stitches. NO baby book set me up for this vision of myself squirting water at my tender regions from a plant waterer/ small kid’s multipack Lidl water bottle. It happened. I am also glad it did.
  • Food. Oh good lord, bring food. If you were like me and many others I spoke to, you will be starving. The hospital feeds you well and regularly, but you still will want those sultana crackers, apple jacks, apples, pears and Innocent smoothies etc. in between.  Straws are handy too-especially in the delivery room!
  • Your own cup. I know. It sounds daft. However, if you are ‘in’ for more than a few days, coffee/tea in your own piece of home is more comforting than you will believe. Limit that polystyrene! Save the environment! Actually, that is just a bonus. I just like my own CUP. My friend swears by bringing her own flannelette pillow case everywhere. Whatever your thing is.
  • A water bottle. They will give you water and a jug, but when the staff are busy and you need cool drinks, topping up from the water cooler is great. Get your visitor to do it for you. Hydration is ESSENTIAL postpartum and you will save money too.
  • Phone charger. On no lists! You will want it for that two am panic-googling on dealing with new-borns!!
  • A small torch. OK. You might think this is daft. With my first, I noticed in my room there were two ‘types’ of light. Full on blindly bright and a dimmer ‘night’ light. The night light bulb had blown over my bed. Options were full on blinding light or darkness. The poor nurse explained that she wasn’t allowed change it. Demarcation. I had no way of doing it until my husband brought in a bulb and even then they were afraid of letting him do that. I had to use TV light/street light in the middle of that first scary, slightly lonely night as baby and I first got to know each other
  • Your own health and beauty products. You will think of the essentials, but how about those non essentials? How often do we have what we need when we need it? Rarely! That half pack of sticky lozenges gets flung out and then you can’t find one when you need it. Examples of what I mean include Arnica. People often use it to help bruises clear and I found it useful with baby one. Olbas Oil is my big one. I find it helpful for sinus. Vicks. Vaseline. Cough sweets. Silvermints (I don’t know why, but my Granny has instilled their need in me!). Flip flops for communal showers. Your make up. A bit of blush. Cameras are swung about recklessly in there. Be semi prepared!
  • A small purse to store your dignity as you won’t need it until you get home! Look, they all see everything when getting that baby out and that is how it is. You will be poked and prodded afterwards a bit too. I even needed help with my first shower as I was still a little out of it. If they need to help you or check you in a way that requires privacy, ensure you are comfortable- closed curtains etc. as I found one nurse was so used to all of this that discretion wasn’t employed. Don’t be afraid to ask for a quieter tone, or to draw that blind and we will keep as much of our dignity as we can.
Good luck with your adventure into parenthood (if this is your first) and enjoy every part of it. I hope my list has given you some guidance and I am sure there are many of you who could add to it!
Writen by Orla, who is in her thirties (much to her disbelief), married to a handsome farmer and they have two beautiful little girls. She blogs at where you can visit to read her other musings!

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