There are two kits you’ll need, one’s for before your birth and the other is for after your bundles of joy join you.
The moment you find out you’re expecting, you might want to start baby shopping immediately. Stop, right there. Before you buy anything for your babies, you’ll need to do a little shopping for your pregnancy essentials aka pre-birth kit:
Anti-stretch mark cream or oil
Nobody wants stretchmarks and according to biology, whether you’ll have stretchmarks depend entirely on your genetics and skin structure. However, I was going to do everything I could to avoid getting stretchmarks because I love crop tops way too much. I was deliberating between L’occitane and Clarins when I received a bottle of Tonic Body Treatment Oil from my generous friends. It’s a fast absorbing oil which I began using once I started showing up till the end. I loved the smell, it was so calming and a soothing scent to fall asleep to and guess what?
Not one stretchmark.
Stretchy wireless bras
You can use sports bras for the beginning and nursing bras towards the end because it’s bound to get tight and uncomfortable. I got a ton of nursing bras from Shopee which I wore constantly. They weren’t made of the best fabric and the quality isn’t quite there, but with a growing belly that any bra band will cut into, I figured that I could get expensive and quality bras after birth when my body is in a less transient stage. I didn’t want to splurge a few hundred on something that can barely fit after a few months.
You get to upgrade your wardrobe with long flowy dresses or babydolls – trust me, pants are not your friends especially during the third trimester when bending over becomes a nightmare. It’s just not worth it. Especially when you need to use the bathroom. Dresses are more practical and it’s more flattering too!
Shoes a size or two up
Everything enlarges and swells during pregnancy and walking becomes a chore so make sure you have well padded shoes or sandals. Flip flops don’t really give you the support you need but I got a pair two sizes up for convenience sake. I was wearing a pair of Cole Haan platforms till the last month when my feet ballooned up and couldn’t fit size 36 anymore.
Some mamas will swear by heat packs or body pillows, but I found that any ole cushions will do and heat only offers temporary relief. It’s nice to soak in a hot tub but it’s kinda hard to hit the spot with a heat pack. Once you get yourself comfortable, it’s time to think about your post-birth kit or hospital bag:
Outfits for baby and you
To be honest I was most excited about packing their discharge clothes till I discovered that they will be swaddled like burritos. So! To combat my disappointment, I got customized swaddles from Famsy and was very happy with their service (they misprinted one of the swaddles and replaced it quickly without requesting for a return and saving me the hassle).
You’ll also need to prepare your own outfit and I’d recommend going for something that buttons so you can breastfeed easily, paired with a nursing bra.
Diapers for baby and you too
While the hospital will provide pads or adult diapers for you, it’s usually uncomfortable. I highly recommend Kotex’s Overnight Panties (pictured above). They are c-sec friendly, it’s so comfortable and secure you can wear it over your wound. It might get a little pricey though (you can get them at Watsons), so if you’re looking to get something more budget friendly, you can go for disposable undies and use them with pads. You won’t want to be bothered with washing your soiled underclothes so soon after birth.
A tip for mommies: sign up for sample packs from diaper brands a few months beforehand and they’ll mail you samples. Sign up for a couple and viola! You’ll have a small collection to try from.
Depending on the situation, you might need to bring your breast pump along and that means you’ll have to prepare milk storage bottles or bags. From what I’ve been told, when you nurse your baby, your other milk bag leaks and since in the first few days, milk is extremely precious because there’s so little of it, it’s good to have a milk collection cup on hand. Also, a couple of nursing pads could save you from awkward or embarrassing situations too.
Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, skincare and deodorant, shampoo, towel and cutlery. Private hospitals often gift you a toiletry bag but I always find it a comfort to use my own. But, I’ll be giving birth at Sarawak General Hospital. Read about my experience here!