You might not be interested in this post if you are any of the following:-
- Man who has had children
- Woman who has had two or more kids
- Woman/ Man who is not hoping to have children anytime in the near future
Such friends of mine can leave the page now and come back for the next post 🙂
Or if you are a curious cat, you may stay…After all there is nothing called “wasteful information”!
The morning bears good news. Another one of my friends is pregnant. That makes it four now. Four of my friends are pregnant!
I am at that stage in my life when everyone around me (friends and peers) has either just expanded their family or are in the process of doing so. And being the info- maniacs that we are, the minute the pink-line appears, we rush off to the laptop (possibly even before we tell our better/ worse- halves) and fire up Mr Google.
What to expect in the first trimester/ second/ third?
What to ….
There are million questions….
During my pregnancy, the BabyCenter app was my counsel, best-friend, confidante, doctor, critic- all rolled into one. I was obsessed with lapping up as much information as I possibly could. I scoured the internet, reaching up to page 40 and 50 on most searches! Now that I look back, I honestly think it was information overload.
How did our Mums and Grandmums manage?
In some ways, I wish I had no clue. By week 38 I was a anxious wreck!
Truth be told though, I am glad I was THAT prepared. I ended up using most of the information. And when the Lil one was ill and in hospital, considering I was far away form friends and family, I often turned to the internet for solace and comfort. Though, be warned; as a doctor I’m well aware that everything written/ advocated online isn’t true. So, I always took everything with a pinch of salt.
Well… I digress (When do I not?)…
Hospital Bag. Yes. That one turned out to be my biggest conundrum. Mainly because I had no clue how things roll at the hospital (Women’s Hospital, Doha) where I was due to give birth in. I did ask the doctors and nurses. Sadly, they weren’t very helpful.
As a first- time Mum, I was pretty clueless. And being away from home, I had to do all the legwork and shopping myself. I watched tons of YouTube videos and scoured several popular blogs.
Ultimately though I made a list of my own. I imagined the sequence of how matters would progress and wrote down things that I thought I would need. And went with my instinct.
I wanted to finish all the pre- delivery shopping before I got too big and tired. By week 34 or so, I was done. I bought only the absolute essentials. Just the things that would tide me over the first month or so.
In retrospect, if things had gone well (normal delivery with no complications thereafter), I would not have used most of the items in my hospital bag. But, I ended up staying in the hospital for quite a while, and I ended up using every single item I had packed.
At Hamad, they provide the following:
- Bedding, sheets
- Baby diapers (We used the one we brought from day 3 onward)
- Sanitary napkins with disposable underwear (the humongous ones)
I changed into a gown of my own withing 24 hours of delivery. They usually discharge uncomplicated cases in less than 24 hours, in such cases you wouldn’t need to change.
Anyhoo, with the knowledge that I now have, what would I pack in my hospital bag?
Quick rant- Some of the videos I watched online showed ridiculous amounts of stuff being packed. Will I be rubbing tummy- butter a day after delivery? Would I care enough to massage oil to get rid of stretch- marks on the first day post- partum? Will I bother with eye-liner and foundation? Or fiddle around with mascara wands? Well, kudos to the super- mums who did that. I wasn’t one of them. A shower, some lip-balm (my lips were parched and cracked like the Sahara) and a spray of deodorant was all that I could muster. Also, your one day old baby will definitely not be needing any toys!
- Clothes for Mama. A gown would be the best choice. For several reasons. But if you want to look presentable, maybe a nursing top and some loose fitted pyjamas. You would also need a set of clothes to leave the hospital. Note- You will NOT fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes immediately after giving birth. Remember Kate and her five- month like belly? That’s reality…
- Clothes for little one. Pack a few pairs. I found the sleep suits with the integrated mittens to be super handy. Saves carrying extra mittens.
- Baby wipes
- Mittens and socks for the little one. (If you are not using sleep-suits)
- Towels. For Mama and Baby.
- Blanket for the Baby.
- A receiving blanket/ swaddle blanket.
- Changing mat/ pad
- Sanitary napkins.
- Mommy inner- essentials
- Nursing pads (you will most likely not need them this early, but just in case)
- Combs, pins, hair ties etc. Anything to keep your hair in order.
- Lip- balm/ Chapstick. (You’l thank me for this one!)
- Mama’s feet can get cold. Hence,socks for Mama
- Pair of slippers
- Soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste etc for the Mum.
- Baby soap/ wash for baby (Again, may not be used at all)
- Deodorant for Mama (Trust me on this one!)
- Hand sanitizers
- Tissues and wet wipes.
I guess these would be the absolute essentials. I may have missed some items- I will keep updating the post as I remember. Other Mums advice carrying moisturizers, nipple balms, make- up, camera, batteries, snacks, juices, candy, feeding- bottles (if you don’t intend to nurse), burp cloths …
If your husband intends to stay with you, that would another bag for him as well.
For me. my iPad turned out to be indispensable during the hospital stay. To keep in touch with family, to look up information, to click pictures….
Short, quick post for my lovely ladies. Hope this helps. Most important tip- keep it simple! If you missed/ forgot something, you can always ask hubby dearest to get it for you. A forewarning, he might find it difficult to navigate and find things in your closet!
When you arrive at Emergency at Hamad Women’s they will first ask you for your Health Card, so keep it handy. They will have all your records in their database (if you received pre- natal care at the PHC), nevertheless do carry your pre- natal records. Also, keep your Qatar ID on you. And your husband will need his on hand to get past security. Try to not wear any jewellery (especially bangles/ bracelets), they will have to be removed to gain IV access.
I wish I had pictures to share. I found this on my phone though. Must have clicked it as I was packing my bag. I had mine ready by 30 weeks (had a feeling Lil Z would arrive early!).
I carried a backpack with my things and packed all of Zoe’s stuff in a small diaper bag. When the time came, we just threw them into the car and off we went. Easy. No running around. No frantic searching. I even had a “going to the hospital to deliver” outfit ready. I also made a list of things that I might need (but didn’t pack) and wrote down instructions on how to to locate them- for MR H. Thought he might be panicky. I was wrong. Mr H was cool as ice!
So my dear ladies, anything to add?
Till next time…
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Where did you do the whole shopping in doha.
Iam new here so it would be good to know.esp sleepers for the baby
Very good doctor jazna!!! Nice article.
Dr shilpa j
I super loved your blog. It was exactly what I was searching for. I am about to give birth at Hamad Hospital this October 2016 and I guess nothing much has changed over the years, so I find your blog very helpful to those clueless moms-to-be. Thanks so much. I hope you and your family are doing well. Cheers!
Thank you for this Dr J! 🙂 Though I’m still months away. 🙂