Hey Beautiful People! Tuesday 9th February 16 marked my 39th week in pregnancy which means, my other half and I have just two days until Baby Eco’s Estimated Due Date is upon us (Eeeeek!). To think I’ve been carrying around Baby Eco nearing 9 whole months literally blows my mind! So, knowing that our baby can make s/he’s appearance anytime between now and the end of February please god, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you My Green and Eco Hospital Bag Essentials For Labour and Birth. Now given my Green / Ecoapproach to using natural skincare products and parenting, many of the toiletry / baby items in my hospital bag will include either natural, organic or eco-friendlyalternatives.
Mum To Be Essentials
There are a fair few things to consider packing for a potential overnight at ones local hospital or birthing centre and whilst packing things like a dressing gown, slippers, nightshirt, underwear, my favourite green, organic and eco toiletries (pictured above) Bare Minerals Make-Up and a change of clothes / going home outfit are pretty much standard and of course common sense (this includes birthing plan, maternity notes and phone !), I thought I’d share with you some of the less obvious things an expectant mother will need, starting off with nursing essentials…
Nursing Bras, Vests and Lotions For Breastfeeding Mums
If you like I are intending to breastfeedyour little one, then you’ll definitely need to invest in quite a few nursing bras. At the moment I have three, and will no doubt be investing in more once Baby Eco is born please god as would you believe, a mother’s breast size increases YET AGAIN following the days after birth (god help me!).
I purchased a purse friendly twin pack from the ever affordable and much loved Primark and was also kindly sent **Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Brain limited edition Cherry via the fab team over at BumpPR. Aside from the strikingly gorgeous colour, this bra is very comfortable to wear. As an expectant mother’s bust is constantly growing throughout pregnancy and beyond, the Bravado Body Silk Seamless Bra comes in 4 different sizes (S-XL) and is specifically designed to mould to the wears unique shape.
My favourite feature of this bra thus far is the bras ability to transform into a regular bra once one has finished nursing, making this a fantastic investment and value for money. Look out for my full review of this bra in the coming months once I’ve managed to hopefully establish a successful breastfeeding routine with Baby Eco please god.
In addition to the nursing bras I also own at present, one nursing vest with a difference. This clever design by **Breastvestcan be worn under ones normal tops and tunics which stops just at the top of ones ribcage making ease of access to the nursing bra for feeds without ever exposing your post natal midriff! I personally think this is a FAB idea, as not only can you continue wearing your normal tops, you will ultimately be saving heaps of money by not having to fork out additional expenses on highly expensive nursing attire.
Breast Pads, Maternity Pads and Disposable Underwear
All three of these items are ESSENTIAL for use after birth. Once the placenta has been successfully delivered, you are going to need a fair few highly absorbent sanitary towels in the days and weeks to follow! In keeping with my green and eco-friendly approach, **Organyc Maternity / Breast Pads are my first choice when it comes to disposable options. I have used organyc menstrual products pre pregnancy and felt at ease knowing I wasn’t putting my lady area in jeopardy by exposing this highly sensitive area to chemicals and dyes often found in brands found in regular high street stores.
As you may or may not be aware, labour and birth can be incredibly unpredictable at times so I decided to purchase a few boxes of disposables underwear from Boots. At least this way I won’t be potentially ruining my own lingerie.
Health Conscious Snacks!
I’ve ensured to pack plenty of snacks for my significant other and I, as lets face it, one truly does not know how long labour will actually last. Some women have been known to be in labour for only a few hours whereas others I know personally have lasted more than a fair few days! My snacks include filtered water, aloe vera juice, coconut water, cashew nuts, dried apple rings, **Trek Protein Flapjacks, refined sugar free sweets, sesame snaps and my favourite Eat Real Quinoa Chips. I also purchased glucose tablets in the instance my body suddenly needs a quick sugar fix as advised by my midwife at my last antenatal appointment.
Birthing Partner Essentials
My midwife suggests that it is not uncommon for first time parents to stay within the facilities of my birthing centre overnight so a change of clothes is also packed in addition to his going home outfit. Some of the essentials my other half has packed as my birthing partner include the following:
Camera, Lenses and Tripod– To capture those oh so special moments during labour and after birth!
Waterproof Camera Cover – I plan to have a water birth so packing the waterproof case will stop the camera from getting damaged.
Water Spray / Mist – To help keep my body temperature regulated and cool me down during labour.
Mobile Phone and Charger – To keep relatives up to date with Baby Eco and I’s progress.
Small change – For parking permit at the hospital.
Baby Eco Essentials
Whilst many expectant mothers start buying things for their unborn child and preparing the nursery throughout their pregnancy, my other half and I chose not to go down that route as we do not want to take anything for granted. Whilst a list of essentials have been made and are waiting to be purchased for same day delivery, I’ve only brought what is needed straight after birth and for Eco’s first trip home.
Sleepsuits and Body Suits / Vests
According to my go to reputable resource platform throughout my pregnancy The Baby Centre, it is suggested that a newborn baby will need 2 or 3 sleepsuitsand vests. Sowhilst on the hunt for gender neutral babywear, I couldn’t resist purchasing these lovely I Love Mummy and Daddy Sleepsuits from Mothercare. Unsure of Eco’s approx weight I decided to get these in size 0-3 months instead of newborn or first size.
If you’re counting the pennies (statutory maternity pay is quite a drop from ones regular monthly net income) clothing brand George and TK-MAX has some incredibly purse friendly cute gender neutral baby clothes.
I picked this 7 piece cream and lemon set from the TK-Max as one of Baby Eco’s potential going home outfit. Priced at just £12.00, this pack from Rockaby Baby contains a short sleeved vest, a sleep suit, a dribble bib, a pair of scratch mitts, a hat, a baby blanket and a soft toy and knew I would only be kicking myself if I didn’t purchase an entire outfit at an extremely affordable price.
Baby Eco also has approx 5 dribble bibs, 3 muslin cloths for feeding and mopping up spills, a white all in one snow suit purchased from George, Asda and an additional blanket (all not pictured) just incase we need to protect s/he from the harsh elements of wind and rain we have been receiving as of late here in the UK.
Baby Eco’s Toiletries
As a green beauty and natural products advocate, I’ve been spoilt for choice when it comes to baby skincare products. With soooo many reputable brands to choose from including Neal’s Yard Remedies, Child’s Farm, Sophie La Giraffe and Alevato name a few, I ultimately decided to pack this lovely Mini Calendula Baby Starter Kit by trusted **Weleda into my hospital bag.
Having accidently excitedly used an entire full sized bottle of the Weleda Calendula Cream Bathkindly gifted by a work colleague (not pictured), I can vouch for how soft and smooth my own skin feels after using this as part of my long bath soaks at night or during the early hours when one cannot sleep from the discomforts of severe heartburn.
I have also purchased a Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Baby Healthcare Kit which has yet to arrive and has has essential items such as a digital thermometer, toothbrush, brush and comb, nail clippers, nasal aspirator and 2 emery boards in the instance Eco is born with long fingernails!
Eco Friendly Disposable / Hybrid and Resuable Nappies
I must admit, being a first time expectant mother can be incredibly overwhelming at times! With ENDLESS lists of baby products to choose from to literally EVERYONE having an opinion and throwing in their two cents can indeed be very alot to take in and sometimes hard to cut through the noise. The same is with the ever increasing mine field that is the world of nappies!
Upon finding out we were expecting, I instantly knew that my passion for sourcing all things synthetic free, organicand eco-friendlywill be my number 1 priority for our little one and via extensive research, I am extremely pleased that there are soooo many different brands that offer an eco friendly way of changing our little ones nappies.
With decisions to make between eco disposables, hybrids and reusable cloth nappies, I ultimately decided that I didn’t want to limit myself to one way of doing things and to be open minded when it comes to changing time.
I purchased a pack of biodegradable nappy sacks and a quite few samples of different Eco Disposable Nappy brandsincluding Nature Babycare,Beaming Baby, Bambo Nature and Molex via online Green and Eco Baby RetailerBeaming Baby.
I have done this not only to compare size and fit, but to also help me determine which of these brands are most absorbent in dealing with explosive baby poo breastfed babies are known to make (apologies for the graphics people!) so I can invest as my back up disposable option to have to hand for use during the night and when out and about visiting family.
Bridging the gap between disposablesand cloth is the hybrid version in form of the ever delightful and super cute **gNappies! I literally fell head over heels in love with their concept upon discovering them at The Baby Show Kensington Olympia last year personally cannot wait to start using them once Baby Eco arrivals please god.
Note: All nappies mentioned thus far are said to be biodegradable which is an extra bonus to know that I will be playing a part in helping save our planet earth and not be contributing to the landfill problem of using your typical conventional disposable nappies that simply never break down.
On the reusable cloth nappy front I ultimately decided to give leading cloth nappy brands **Tots Bots and **Close Parent a whirl! Despite not having any experience with cloth alternatives (I have siblings much younger than I), these particular brands fill me with confidence knowing they have won numerous awards and accolades collected over the years, together with raving reviews I have come across from fellow parent bloggers and parents on baby forums such as MumsNetand The Baby Centre to name a few.
The Close Parent Pop In Newborn Trial Pack are specifically designed to fit smaller babies ranging from 5-12lbs, 2-5.5kgs and LOVEthat the front section is contoured to sit below the umbilical cord rather than ontop of it!
The Tots Bots Peenut Wrap is a birth to potty reusable cloth nappy, meaning it will fit most babies (8lbs-35lbs) There are two adjustable settings at the front of the nappy and can be altered to size using the poppers. I have mine on the the smallest setting with the cloth insert already stuffed into them.
As I’m unsure which of the the four nappy alternatives I’ll be using straight after the birth of Baby Eco please god and for our overnight stay, I’ve packed all four though my gut instinct tells me it’ll be between the eco-disposables and gNappies given there are disposable. The thought of carrying around soiled cloth nappies in my bag doesn’t sit well with me and will most likely use these nappies in the comfort of my own home.
Reusable Baby Wipes
Lastly, having done a fair amount of research on disposable baby wipes, for me, none come close to that of Allergen UK Approved brandWater Wipes.
Made with just two simple ingredients Aqua (water) 99.9% and Citrus Grandis seed extract (0.01%) this will be a regular in my household as our disposable option. Another discovery via last years The Baby Show, I took advantage of a recent offer at Boots and brought enough to last a few months at least. I’ve even testing these wipes on my own skin, admittedly going as far as using them as a facial wipe and make-up remover (both of which does a sterling job by the way) leaving me with the conclusion that I’d get multiple uses out of them.
So there you have it, everything listed and pictured within this article successfully made it into my hospital bags with the exception of a few items I am still currently pondering over.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading My Green and Eco Hospital Bag Essentials For Labour and Birthwhich I hope will also act as a guide for other expectant eco-conscious mothers and parents on what sort of things to pack.
Have you recently gave birth or are too expecting and nearing your due date? What hospital bag essentials did you pack that haven’t been mentioned?
I’m keen as ever to know your recommendations as you may have thought about something I potentially missed! Do please let me know by either leaving a comment below or getting in touch via Twitter or Facebook (buttons can be found on the top right of the screen).
Do look out for my upcoming pregnancy posts on My Pregnancy Skincare Routineand my Third Trimester Experience.
Disclaimer: Items marked with ** next to them are PR Samples that were kindly sent for me to try. This is not a sponsored post and NO money has been exchanged. As always, my thoughts and opinions are honest and entirely my own.
Danielle is a 1st Dan Kickboxing coach / Assistant Instructor under the PKA Kickboxing Association who is also a health, fitness, green beauty, wellness and lifestyle freelance writer / digital journalist. Her passions include encouraging others to lead an active, health conscious lifestyle whilst leading her Breakin' Boundrez team on various fitness related challenges.