Bristol-based mama

What Should I Pack In My Hospital Bag (UK)?

Sunday, 7 November 2021

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If you're a first-time mum like me, you definitely Googled, "what should I pack in my hospital bag?" or asked a friend/family member who has already been through it all. You probably read/received plenty of conflicting answers... The truth is, everyone has their own opinion. However, if you're clueless (like I was), you need a good place to start. 

I gave birth in April, so it was nice and mild. Hospitals are notoriously warm, so it's also worth keeping that in mind when picking outfits to take. To help out, I've created a simple list of essentials, nice-to-haves, and items I didn't need/don't rate.

What to pack in a hospital bag uk

For the mum-to-be


  • Maternity notes aka the "yellow book"
  • Your own pillow (it might seem a bit excessive but you'll thank me)
  • Flip flops or slippers for walking to the bathroom / having a shower (they can be grotty)
  • 2 open button nightshirts/pyjamas for skin-to-skin and/or breastfeeding
  • Nursing vests (if you plan to breastfeed - I recommend the H&M strappy ones)
  • Comfortable going-home outfit - forget style, you'll still be bloated and sore. You also won't care what you look like... I wore maternity leggings, sandals and a smock top.
  • Your favourite socks
  • Peri water bottle (probably my favourite purchase)
  • 6 pairs of large high waisted 'granny pants' (if you're using maternity pads)
  • Toiletries - I splashed out on expensive travel-sized haircare and skincare. The best decision ever. I was sick during labour and felt like a new woman after a shower with my favourite products
  • Maternity pads or maternity pants (I rate Boots' own brand pads or Always Discreet Pants)
  • Nipple cream (if breastfeeding) - Lanisoh is the most popular one but I didn't love it
  • Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits
  • Water drinking bottle for keeping fluids up - if you have a catheter fitted during labour, you are required to pass a 'pee test' once it's removed. So you need to drink a decent amount of water.
  • Casual clothes for birth 
  • Bikini top if you want a water birth
  • TENS machine (if you fancy it - I started using mine in early labour)
  • Freya App (if hypnobirthing is your thing - I thought it was incredible)
  • Phone charger with a long lead
  • Your camera

Nice-to haves:
  • Cute ziplock bags for separating your clothes and baby's
  • Snacks for you and your birth partner - I couldn't keep any food down and Sam wasn't hungry (despite a 43-hour labour)... but I ate snacks the day after giving birth. We had to buy Lucozade during the final stage of labour so I recommend packing isotonic drinks
  • Cool bag with ice packs for your colostrum if you expressed any (labelled)
  • Change of clothes for your partner

I didn't use:
  • A nursing pillow - newborns are tiny anyway, even 8lbers!
  • Fairy lights, essential oils, or headphones. Maybe if I had a shorter labour I would've been into this... I did use headphones during the car journey there to keep myself  'in the zone'
  • Earplugs / an eye mask for the ward - I wanted to be alert and let's be honest, it's unlikely you'll sleep anyway (I had one full hour the night I gave birth)
  • Breastpads - at the earliest your milk comes in on day 3 so they are pointless unless you have to stay in due to complications
  • Nursing bras - I just used my nightdress/pyjamas and baby boy was constantly feeding anyway

For baby
  • Clothes - I took way too many. If you're only in for a couple of days you won't need much. I'd suggest 3 sets (vest and sleepsuit combo) and a going home outfit that includes a cardigan and a hat
    • I 100% recommend wrap-over/kimono style vests as putting your newborn in a vest feels like such a struggle when you're a first-time parent. They are really wriggly and very hungry so the quicker the change, the better! Zip sleepsuits are a game-changer too
  • Water wipes - midwives prefer them and they are more convenient than cotton wool
  • Nappy sacks
  • 15 - 20 nappies (to be safe)
  • Barrier cream - apply this after every nappy change. I recommend Weleda Calendula Nappy Cream
  • Blanket for going home (they get wrapped in a hospital blanket for your stay)
  • Stash of muslins
  • Car seat

In my experience (I heard two midwives moaning), hospital staff don't love it when you rock up with an endless amount of bags and to be honest, it's just not needed. I took a small carry-on suitcase (shown below) and a backpack. My husband had his own backpack with snacks and a change of clothes. 

Suitcase for Hospital Bag

One final tip:
As I gave birth at 41 weeks, I had plenty of time to prepare my nails - I suggest avoiding gel nails as they can interfere with the pulse oximeter. I didn't expect to end up in theatre and assumed Barry M Gelly Nail Polish wasn't proper gel polish, but I was wrong. Thankfully the staff just rotated the device so a reading was still possible but I'll avoid gel nails next time (although I did feel cute). 

Have I missed anything? I'd love to hear your must-have items and what you didn't rate/use!

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Navigating Motherhood During a Pandemic

Friday, 22 October 2021

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In the words of Britney, is this thing on? How did a couple of years slip by without a post? I'm going to start by blaming COVID-19. I was planning to revive this little corner of the internet for those nostalgic folks who still read blogs (like me), and then, BAM... A global pandemic.

I bought a house, worked from home, had a baby (hello sleep deprivation), and spent a good four months Googling every little concern. We're nearly six months into parenthood and the fog has well and truly lifted. I've adjusted to the lack of sleep, and honestly, this kid of ours is an absolute joy. BUT motherhood. It's a real mixture of emotions. All the emotions. Mum guilt is real.

Bristol Mummy Influencer UK

It's fair to say things have changed. I still love fashion, have serious wanderlust, and enjoy DIY, but this baby is the boss of me. Instead of caring about my own wardrobe and lifestyle, I now invest all my spare cash into his wardrobe and social activities. He's really well dressed, whereas I'm... currently wearing loungewear (reader: I'm wearing old leggings and a hoody), and I'm only just beginning to feel like my body is my own again. 

I hope to find time to write when the sleep thief is taking a rare nap. I feel like I've learned so much in six months - so expect some baby content, parenting realness, shopping lists, maybe the odd review, and hopefully some outfit posts. 

Before Remy (the boss) burst onto the scene, I always imagined I'd share his outfit posts... instead, I pretty much hid my pregnancy from social media. As much as I love following parenting influencers and have worked with some fantastic ones in the past, I'm not sure this guy's face will make the internet. Which, let it be known, is an absolute travesty - I know every parent thinks their kid is cute but this kid. Oh my. That doesn't mean we won't be sharing some cleverly angled photos though.

So this is post is just me saying, "I'm back" to anyone still listening and if you had a baby during a pandemic, I tip my fedora to you. We endured lonely scans, rushed appointments, mask-wearing (when it was hard to breathe), midwife shortages, non-existent visiting hours after birth, and cancelled classes... amongst a whole host of other rubbishness. Yet we overcame these challenges. And these challenges were just the beginning.

The boss is awake now. Until next time.

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Bristol Street Style: Polka Dot Maxi Skirt

Monday, 1 April 2019

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Oh beautiful Spring sunshine, you are everything to me! Bristol is always prettier when the sun makes an appearance and I'm always happier when I have my legs out. Fact. I do love my denim skinnies but skirts and dresses are approximately eight times more comfortable. I've been holding onto this little polka dot number for about a month now, and I finally got to wear it last week! Hurrah! 

So where have I been? Well, earlier this week I posted an article about the dreamiest trip Sam & I took to the Algarve in Portugal. It was our first time visiting the country which is a bit scandalous considering Sam is part Portuguese (sort of). I wore lots of cute dresses during our time there but since then, my spring/summer wardrobe has been waiting for the temperature to rise in the UK.

Primark Polka Dot Maxi Skirt
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