I hope you are all well and you had a great weekend!
Since I got pregnant and since I was fully aware that I will be giving birth in Tahiti I knew that I will need to take the subject more serious and really prepare for it. I was a little bit anxious because packing for labor in a tropical country is very different …at least for me. I did not know what to expect, I did not have any information, nor could I find it on the internet. This is why I have promised myself to write about this subject to help other moms.
I must say, I did quite a bit of homework comparing different blogs, interviewing my Polynesian midwives, different doctors, nurses and ladies in a children’s department store. Everyone had their own opinion and suggestions.My two major questions to ask were:
- how to dress the baby:first 24h, and further 3 days in the hospital (yeap 3 days in a Polynesian Hospital)?
- what type of clothes I need and how many?
What I have been told is that during the first 24 hours baby does not regulate his body temperature, which is why he/she needs to be dressed very warm. After this one day I should adopt the clothing to what I feel. The basic rule is:if you are cold , your baby is cold. Also you should always check the baby’s neck If it’s wet then the baby is too hot.Also the hospital aircon can be very efficient, which means that you need to check on the baby very often.
Also: both bags should be ready for the 35th week of pregnancy, so start your prep as soon as you can, leaving the purchase of the clothing for the 34-35th week, after you had an OB or midwife control visit, as you will be able to find out the approximate size and weight of your baby. You will also need this information to be able to buy the right size diapers:D.It will save you money and stress. I will give you my example: I was told that the predicted baby weight at the labour will be 4,1kg (9,04 lbs) and yes, OB’s AND MIDWIFES have those special spreadshits with division fro boys and girls weight, so there was no point for me to buy the Newborn size as I should go straight away for the size up (1 month old). The same rule applies with regards to the diapers.
Following the above suggestions I had prepared the 2 bags as per following:
Baby’s Bag for 3 days stay in the hospital:
- 1 pack of diapers, 3-5kg (not the newborn, as the bay will already be to big for them). I was looking for the ones with cut out space to protect the cord, but could not find one, so I will cut it myself.
- 2 towels for bathing
- soft blanket or even better:baby sleep bag(gigoteuse,turbulette). Baby sleep bag is very safe and warm.
- 10 bodies with long sleeves
- 10 baby gros (onesies)
- 5-7 bibs
- 1-2 pairs newborn socks
- 3 x mittens
- 10 muslin cloths (burp cloths)
- …and Surprisingly!:1 cotton sheet/pareo for the baby’s crib as the hospital (in Tahiti) does not provide this!! Weird right!
- Cotton wool or pads
- Sudocrem (the hospital may provide it, but I had a small jar of it anyway)
- Baby wipes-one pack. I packed two (Johnson’s and Huggies), as I may use them as well
- Baby Bath Gel-I bought Mustela
- Baby Oil(not Johnson’s one as this dries the baby’s skin! I was recommended the Monoi oil (which is widely available in Polynesia). You can also but any message oil for baby.
- Baby soothing Cream
- Sponge-made of natural sea wool, as its more resistant to bacteria and does not dry/irritate babies skin.
- For cleaning -Biopha Liniment, to clean and protect babies skin, whether it is his face or butt:D personally recommended by my midwife. This product does not have any nastiest and will safe you a lot of time, as does not require water. You need a cotton pad or a baby wipe and a little bit of this product. No need to rinse.
- Nail scissors just in case.Our midwife said the baby nails should not be clipped before the baby is 1 month old,which is why you should put mittens to protect the baby.
- Hairbrush & comb ;). Check the texture of a hairbrush as it should be made of very soft hair.
- Disinfection liquid to clean the cord and special net to protect it .
Going Home Outfit for the Baby and Me
- Option A – 1 pair of underwear + t-shirt or a body +1 pair of socks to match
- Option B- onesie
- blanket to cover the car seat
- Maternity Dress
- Flip flops
- Protection Pad
My Hospital Bag (Basics)
- Cute pillowcase-I took this inspiration from one blogger. Your own pillowcase will make you feel more comfortable
- 3-4 night dresses (as a reminder-this is for 3 day stay in a hospital). The night gowns can easily get dirty so its better if you have more
- Shower flip-flops
- Large shower towel( I packed 2, in case of any stains) + a face towel
- 3 pairs of socks-I know …we are in Polynesia, but the air-con is quite strong and you may get cold
- About 7 pairs of maternity underwear…not the fancy one!I am talking the granny panties:D, but made of cotton only.
- 2 nursing/maternity bras
- Pareos(including the giving birth pareo)this is very typical for Polynesia-pregnant women wear these when in hospitals as they are comfortable and cheap.One rule, they cannot by of dark colours.
- Postpartum griddle. The earlier ,the better, but ofcourse everything depends on your health.
- Maternity pads
- Bath Robe-this is very important if you will wear the hospital gownie, which DO NOT close at the back:/
- Makeup bag(see below)
- Wash bag (see below)
- Gynefam prenatal vitamins-these are the vitamins which Ihave been taking for the last 14 months.
- Balm for lips-your lips will dry out very quickly, so this is very important.
- Holy water and Cross-this is my own conscious choice ,as I am Catholic and will bless the baby after it’s born.
What’s in My Wash Bag (Toiletries):
- Water spray( Evian). Again personal recommendation from my midwife-this spray will serve you not one but 2 purposes:
- The obvious : cooling your face and body
- You can spray it in your mouth ,whenever you need, as you get thirsty pretty quickly and in many hospitals drinking/eating during labour is forbiden.Great patent, don’t you think:D
- Basq Cream-this is my weapon against strech marks
- Facial Cleanser for waterproof make-up
- Large size pads with wings (big pack) to protect your lingerie, as you may be bleeding a lot
- Face Cream
- Gel Body Wash (hypoallergenic)
- Shower puff
- Nipple Cream- I’ve actually have bought 2-Jessica Alba’s Honest Nipple Cream and Avent Nipple Cream. Time will show which one is better:D
- Ear Plugs…made of wax(more efficient) not foam-in case you are in the room with another preggy 😀
- Hair Spray
- Dry Shampoo ‘Batiste’
- Shampoo & Conditioner
My Makeup Bag (which I will be keeping next to me while giving birth:
- Bronzing Powder
- Eyeliner Pen-Waterproof!!
- Mascara- Waterproof!!
- Eyelashes Curler
- Lip gloss
- Extra scrunchy
Of course, we cannot forget about the Daddy, right!:
- Passports or ID cards-for paperwork purposes
- Family book-again for the paperwork
- My Pregnancy file with all the medical information
- Daddy’s favourite Snacks and drinks, as he may not even have the time ti run to the vending machine
- Cash-in case he has time for a meal in a hospital canteen or runs out of snacks and drinks:D
- Mobile phone
- Mobile chargers for him and me
- Massage oil or a Monoi oil, to massage mummy’s back or feet
- list of phones to contact the family members-we had actually downloaded an application that allowed us to create a special Baby arrival forum on which my H will be updating my family in Poland and England
- My and his pillow(as the hospital does not provide them)
Well. I hope that You will find this post helpful, even if you do not give birth in Polynesia:D
’til the next one,