Before your due date, one of your most important tasks is to pack your hospital bag.
We have an extensive list of what you need in your hospital bag, but there is another option.
If you're running short of time and want someone else to pack your hospital bag for you, Marie Louise Maternity is a new company that provides you with a pre-packed hospital bag.
The Marie Louise Maternity hospital bag contains almost everything you need during your hospital birth, you just need to add some essentials like snacks and your personal items. No rushing around the house when your waters break required - just grab your bag and off you go.
M&B spoke to Marie Louise to find out the inspiration behind the pre-packed bags, which are full of organic and environmentally friendly goodies.
What inspired you to start MLM?
I've been in midwifery for almost a decade and I noticed the same recurring problem, expectant parents are confused and conflicted about what to pack for their newborn. From my personal experience I estimate around 75% of parents are misinformed. Expectant parents end up bringing in a lot of chemical-ridden products, sometimes these are harmful to newborns and disrupt their skin barriers.
I practised as a midwife in Australia and noticed the same problem there. As a modern midwife I have about another 40 years worth of work in me and I couldn't stand by and observe this problem worsening. I had to do something about it. For parents MLM is "confidence you can carry".
What makes your hospital bag different to what a mum-to-be might pick herself?
Due to the amount of conflicting advice mothers usually either over pack and bring items such as baby wipes (which are not suitable for newborn skin) or forget the most important items - for example, proper maternity knickers!
Even if you haven't had a C-section you need big comfy knickers that rise above the belly button to support you, as your tummy doesn't go down instantly.
Another common item brought in is pyjamas, but if you plan to breastfeed, for your own comfort it's best to bring a nightdress that unbuttons so you can see your baby's attachment clearly (not under a ruffled-up PJ top). You can also nip to the loo and change pads much easier without having to pull your PJ bottoms up and down.
Little tips like this make life much easier and more comfortable. Comfort is key after you have had a baby.
I also recommend 100% organic food-grade nipple cream as babies digest small amounts unless it's washed off. You need to be careful when it comes to the introduction of chemicals and products early on.
What’s your favourite item in the bag?
The NYP and baby balm cream by Inlight. It's handmade in Cornwall by a medical doctor and not only is it natural and safe, NYP cream has such a calming effect because its base ingredients are lavender and calendula. There's a 75ml tube included and it can be used on any cracked or broken skin. I often use it as a lip balm and you can do this during labour especially when using gas and air as your lips get very dry.
What feedback have you had from mums so far?
It's probably best to hear from MLM mums themselves, here's what they have to say...
“I love my bag! I was going to take the sets of knickers out but I am glad I didn’t because they were so comfortable and I wore them for two weeks after birth!” Heidi, first baby
"I get lots of compliments on my bag and I love the tweed pocket especially because it’s unique to me. I don’t feel like I have had to lose my sense of style. I learned so much about caring for my baby and really got off to a good start because I was more confident and felt well supported by Marie Louise." Sophie, second baby
“There’s plenty of room in the bag and it has all the right compartments, I loved the babygros and the products that came with the bag. My little one has grown out of his MLM babygro now but I’m having it in my patchwork blanket as it was the first babygro he ever wore. It's so soft.” Lauren, first baby
"I have used my bag every day for six months on my pram, come rain or shine...it takes a right beating and it still looks new. I love it." Helen, first baby
“I bought this bag because I wanted to do something helpful for my wife during pregnancy and wasn’t sure what she would want or need but I thought I couldn’t go wrong with an MLM bag and I was right! She loved the design and instantly relaxed when she saw it had everything she needed already packed by a midwife!” Paul, first baby