When I was scheduled to have a c-section to deliver Eleanor, due to having high blood pressure and some protein in my urine on during a routine appointment, they decided to keep me in until the day she came. Thankfully, I was prepared in advance and already had my birthing bags ready to come in for surgery so that made life a lot easier for me. I absolutely hate being in hospital. It’s uncomfortable, there’s not a lot of privacy and it tends to be boiling hot and clammy. Also – I really hate being on my own and find it so isolating being in the ward and having to wait for visiting hours. So, over the last few months I’ve figured out my essentials and found out that having certain things with me can really make a difference to my mood and really perk me up!
I definitely recommend having an emergency bag packed for the hospital if you are prone to visits or know you need to come in in the near future – it takes the stress off and you can make sure you have exactly what you want/need. Inside my bags I have –
To me, there’s nothing worse than being unclean, clammy or sweaty. I tend to combat this by having a few key pieces ready packed such as
- Shampoo/Conditioner. I keep a cheap bottle of each in my bag – nothing I’ll miss in my usual bath-time routine.
- A small tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush.
- At Least one flannel. I like one for showering/bathing with and one to keep to dab myself down with cool water when I get overheated -which is very often!
- Shower gel/soap. Again, don’t take all your best stuff.
- A clean towel. Hospital do provide them, but they’re stiff and about the size of a postage stamp.
- Wipes. Always handy to have but more-so in hospital as sitting around can get quite sticky and uncomfortable. They’re also good for cleaning desks etc.
Other items to take
- Phone charger. The phone/TV packages in hospital are so expensive and can really add up if you are in there for a few days/a week. Plus if you’re like me and take a tablet/laptop with you to watch TV on (again the TV packages are expensive and some rooms didn’t even have one) you can sometimes use your phone as a wireless router/hotspot and so keeping it charged is important.
- Drinks and snacks. Hospital will offer you tea/coffee, water, milk or tiny juice cartons so its a good idea to take along your own squash to add to water or juice/soda as buying from the shops is pretty expensive. Also taking little snacks like breakfast bars etc is a good idea as if you’re like me – they often forget to actually bring your meals or what they do bring isn’t particularly that great.
- Desk fan.These aren’t allowed in some hospitals/wards due to infection control, however being in hospital heavily pregnant through summer trying to sleep on those plastic beds which get boiling hot is unbearable. Thankfully I tended to have my own rooms and so I was fine to have one. I literally had it on morning, noon and night because the wards were so clammy.
- Finally, family/friends. Try to make a schedule for people to visit. It can be draining/overwhelming having too many people at once (I know it was for me at times after my birth) and you really need to look after your wellbeing when recovering in hospital. Try to keep people in the timed slots and try to arrange to go out into the hospital (you can go in a chair if needs be) to get you out of the room and give you something to look forwards to. When I was In the last few times, I really looked forwards to my partner and my mum coming as both would wheel me out for fresh air/to the cafe so I could “escape” from the room. It really made a big difference to my mood and helped to pass the time.
(On one of our room escapes!)
So those are my tips! If you’re unfortunate enough to need a stay in Hospital, hopefully these will give you some ideas on how to stay as comfortable and happy as possible!