pregnancy

Monique Bowley has shared the 13 things every mum needs to pack in her hospital bag.

Monique Bowley, former co-host of Mamamia Out Loud and podcast extraordinaire, has done the ultimate service to mums-to-be everywhere. 

She has compiled the perfect list of things one needs in their pre-birth hospital bag. 

Yes, lists have been written before. Thousands of 'what to pack in your hospital bag' lists are floating around on the Internet. But never has a list so comprehensive, so organised, and so honest, been presented to the curious public. 

Watch: Questions about childbirth answered. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

At the end of last week, Monique gave birth to a baby girl named Margaret in the midst of a global pandemic, in Melbourne, a city in Stage Four lockdown. She drove herself to the hospital. Family and friends couldn't visit. And her husband had to wear a mask while he held her hand.

To hear more about Monique Bowley's birth experience, listen to today's episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.  

But there was one thing Monique could control. 

And you better believe she had the best bloody hospital bag in all of history. 

This isn't her first baby, so she knew what she'd need. This time, she came exceptionally prepared. 

To view her full explainer, be sure to check out her hospital bag hacks highlights on Instagram, but we've also compiled the list below, starting off with:

1. Your own pillow

A breastfeeding pillow from Target. 

Mon's pillow. Image: Target. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Hospital pillows are not known for being particularly comfortable, so you're better off bringing one you already own and love.

Her pick is a breastfeeding pillow, this one is $24 from Target

2. A drink bottle

Image: Instagram / moniquebowley 

Specifically, a big one you don't need two hands for. 

3. Fancy-arse body wash

As Monique says, from here on in you will have approximately one minute to yourself per day. Make it smell nice.

She also says that shower you have after giving birth will be the best of your life. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Monique recommends Salus body wash and body cream

You can get a 50mL bottle of the Salus Geranium and Juniper Berry Body Wash for $8, and explore their range of products right here

But basically just find something you love the smell of and drench yourself in it. It will make the world of difference. 

Image: Instagram / moniquebowley 

4. Adult nappies

You heard the woman. 

Monique recommends you skip the maternity underwear and go straight to adult nappies. If you think a pad chucked in your undies will do the trick you are very, very much mistaken. Specifically, she recommends you pack Depend Real Fit underwear.

They make for way less washing.

Image: Chemist Warehouse 

ADVERTISEMENT

5. SRC recovery leggings

supplied 

Monique's most expensive purchase was a $200 pair of tights she swears by. 

"I have lived in these since basically the minute I stepped out of the birthing suite," she said.

If you want them a bit cheaper, Monique reckons you see if you can find them second hand. 

They "hold everything in" and offer medical grade compression on your legs and tummy. 

6. Your own mug

Apparently hospital mugs are tiny and if you're a big tea drinker like Monique, that just won't do post-birth.

Bring your own massive mug for added comfort. 

Image: Supplied / Instagra 

ADVERTISEMENT

7. A really, really long phone charger cord 

Getting an extendable power cord for your phone is an absolute must, like this one from Target. As Monique says, there will only be one powerpoint in your room, and chances are it will as far away from you as physically possible. 

Save yourself the trouble.

7. Breast pads

When milk starts coming in, your boobs will be on fire. 

That's why breast pads will be your new best friend. Monique's favourites were gifted to her by her sister and can be heated and cooled, for stimulation and relief. 

We found some dupes at Baby bunting though.

Image: Instagram / moniquebowley 

ADVERTISEMENT

8. Feeding singlet from Kmart

Apparently, the feeding singlets from Kmart are incredible. Monique recommends the Maternity Camisole, which costs $15

Image: Kmart 

9. Hydrogel Breast discs

Hydrogel breast discs go on your nipples between feeds and provide lots of relief. You can grab them from Woolworths for around $8

Image: Instagram / moniquebowley 

ADVERTISEMENT

10. Laxatives

Lots of new mums talk about how terrifying it is to go to the toilet for the first time after giving birth. 

"Make sure that that first poo just breathes out of you," says Monique. 

Any brand of laxatives will do. Just make sure you have some handy. 

Image: Instagram / moniquebowley 

11. Baby packs

This is where things get GENIUS LEVEL HELPFUL. 

Monique says that after you have a baby, you won't know which way is up. You'll be rummaging through your hospital bag trying to find a sock and a hat and a bib and save yourself the stress. 

So she created ziplock bags filled with everything you need for changing your baby, all labelled to avoid any confusion. Each pack includes:

  • a wrap
  • a singlet
  • a onesie
  • a bib and
  • a hat

She bought a few different sizes because of course she did. 

Image: Instagram / moniquebowley 

ADVERTISEMENT

12. Mum packs 

And of course, one for the mums too. 

Whenever you want to have a shower, just grab a pack you prepared earlier. Inside, Monique has: 

  • fresh pyjamas
  • fresh undies and bra
  • a new pad and
  • breast pads

13. A notepad

And last, but certainly not least, every mum needs a pen and a paper so she can write stuff down. 

Doctors and nurses will inundate you with information, none of which you will remember. 

Save yourself the stress, and pop it in your notepad.

Feature Image: Instagram / moniquebowley

Are you expecting a baby this year? We want to hear from you - take our short survey for your chance to win $50
MMSurvey
00:00 / ???