For first-time mums, the journey through pregnancy is normally filled with worry and uncertainty as you wait to receive your bundle of joy.
And one of the things a lot of women often wonder about is how to stock the maternity, labour or baby bag.
You are probably wondering what the maternity bag is. Well, the baby bag is the one bag you need to have with you when labour starts.
It has all your supplies and no matter where you are or what you are doing, you are always ready to go to the hospital when it's time.
If you are a stay-at-home mum you probably need a single bag that you can walk around with whenever you leave the house but for the working woman, it is advisable to have at least two bags. The main bag at home and one at the office in case your baby decides to make an early exit.
So, what exactly should be in your maternity bag?
A leso or shuka
In case you don't know, once you get to the hospital you won't be allowed to stay in your tight trousers or long dresses. A shuka or leso is the easiest way for you to walk around while you labour and also it makes it easy for the medics to check the baby's progress as you wait for time.
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It's not given that the baby will pop right out the moment you get to the hospital. For the lucky ladies it can take only a few hours but for some this wait can go on for days. So you need to have your phone with you if the internet is your drug or a book if you don't want any distractions.
While someone might think packing baby clothes is obvious, many women have found themselves in hospital minus baby clothes and only a shuka to cradle their newborns. As you pack your baby's clothes don't forget to pack a baby shawl as well.
Yes, another thing many women often forget about is diapers. You might have packed the baby clothes but without the diapers, you are back to square one. Also don't just pack one piece, pack enough for at least two days.
Change of clothes
Trust me, after labour has passed and the baby has arrived the first thing you will do is take a hot shower and that will need a change of clothes, and clean clothes.
As you pack your clothes remember to slip in a towel and slippers. Also for our extra ladies, a little makeup wouldn't hurt, right?
After your baby is born, you will experience bleeding for a few days when the womb is shedding and your usual pads will not be able to accommodate the load, you will need to buy maternity pads.
Although women who go through caesarean birth may experience less bleeding, they too will need to have these maternity pads packed and ready.
Last but not least, remember to carry your phone charger. Many women often go off the grid after having the baby, not because they want to but simply because they forgot to carry their phone chargers. Don't be that woman!
Tip: Having a list is the best way to ensure you don't forget anything as you pack your baby bag.