6 things not to bother packing in your hospital bag

6 things not to bother packing in your hospital bag

Exercise 5 - Talk

Packing your hospital bag is an exciting event. After weeks of patiently waiting, your baby is almost here! There are countless what to pack in your hospital bag lists available, and no doubt you will get tips from other mums. Most of the things you will hear and read are very useful, but some really are not.

When I was pregnant, a mother suggested I pack some massage oil. I get it, labour is long, you need to relax … but I had three quite quick labours, and if Hubs had whipped out massage oil during any one of them, I think he would have been quite surprised with a swift elbow to the gut (aside from the fact I couldn’t stand to be touched when I was in labour with baby number 1).

I have spoken to a lot of mums about hospital bags, and the consensus is: keep it light. People can always bring you things if you need them. So, stick to the musts and consider leaving the following six things at home:

1. Pretty much any clothes you wore before you were pregnant

I have two words for you: Kate Middleton. If Princess Catherine still looks seven months pregnant the day she leaves the hospital, then there is not much hope for us true commoners. Even if you didn’t put on much weight during your pregnancy, you will still have a belly. Or if you’re like me and put on quite a bit of weight, don’t bother bringing anything that isn’t maternity wear.


2. Lots of snacks

I took so many high-energy snacks to hospital, the first time, it was ridiculous. I was told that “keeping my energy up” was of utmost importance. That’s true! However, I felt so nauseous the whole time I was in labour that the mere thought of food made me want to puke. I know some labours take longer, but in all honesty, even if you don’t feel sick, you will probably not feel like picnicking.
Once you’re on the ward, it is a different story! But those snacks can be brought to you, so they don’t need to go in your hospital bag. Save that room for other important things like, you know, a string bikini ?


3. Shoes which require hands to be put on

This includes any shoes with laces or shoes where you need to bend or squat to get your feet in. Even if you don’t have a caesarean, bending over is not the easiest thing right after having a baby, let alone perching on the edge of the bed or seat. So, pack only flat, slip-on shoes such as thongs/jandals/flip-flops/plakkies or whatever else you might call them. Your swollen feet will thank you too.


4. Books

I know a book sounds good in theory (and you do have to plan for the possibility of having a long stay in hospital), but even if you have time to read a book, chances are you won’t want to. Most mums I speak to about packing a book in their hospital bag laugh out loud and say that they wish they had packed another five pairs of black granny undies and maternity pads instead.


5. More than a couple of onesies for your baby

Try not to be tempted to pre-empt your baby’s size. For instance, my first was 4.2kg and 57cm at birth. He was too big for any of the 0000 suits I brought along. Similarly, I have met lots of mums that ended up with very small babies that required 00000 suits, instead of the 0000 suits they packed. And don’t bother with “outfits”, there’ll be plenty of time for baby dress-ups when you’re back home.


6. Makeup

If you must take makeup, limit it to one or two things. You will probably not feel like wearing makeup after you have had your baby and you are in that newborn bubble. A mum I know said she took her whole makeup bag and ended up using nothing. In her words: What was I thinking? That I could actually have been bothered to do some Kim-Kardashian-contouring?

So, unless you are Kim Kardashian, don’t bother with makeup. Of course, Kim Kardashian doesn’t need makeup because she always has a makeup artist on hand … but that’s a different story.

This is article was is originally published in babyology.com.au


Why you must step out of your comfort zone…

Why you must step out of your comfort zone…

Hi there! Remember me?

I’m the one that took a quick break to re-brand her business…….

I’ve come to realise nothing is ever quick with children in tow (except maybe their nap time. Ha ha ha!). So, it has taken the better part of 2019, but the re-branding of my business is complete. The Dr Jennifer Hacker Pearson website is live and the Tough Mothers programs are here!

This is just the beginning of the change that is coming to support women during pregnancy and motherhood. And I am excited!

Actually, excited is an understatement.

But, it wasn’t all rainbows and fairy floss. There were (and still are) times when I am absolutely terrified. My mind goes into overdrive – what have I possibly done wrong, what might I do wrong and what if this is all wrong…

It’s often quite stressful. But then most things outside our comfort zone are, aren’t they?

Did you know that the feelings of excitement and the feelings of fear originate in the same region of the brain, the limbic system?

In particular the hypothalamus, which controls the body’s stress response.

More on that fascinating topic in an upcoming blog.

The stress felt when we are outside our comfort zone is usually in the form of eustress.

Eustress is beneficial stress, that is either psychological, physical or biochemical in nature. It causes a chemical response that gives the brain the ability to create new connections. These will wire your brain in new places, strengthen your brain in new areas and even grow it (by increasing grey matter)!

The brain is like a muscle, it works on the same “use it or lose it” principle. That means, if you do the same things you already know, and feel comfortable with, you are only using the same areas of the brain that are already “strong” and neuronally well-connected. It’s like only doing a right arm bicep curl as your workout, every time…

Now that scientist have found the brain has the ability to change itself (this is called neuroplasticity), we literally have the capacity to change our brain on purpose. We just need to exercise different areas of it. An easy way of doing this is by stepping outside our comfort zone.

It is outside your comfort zone where true growth occurs. Not just neuronally but in all areas of life. So, it’s important to step outside our comfort zone often. It might be scary at the time but the reward is so worth it. Not only are you changing up your brain, but the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine will leave you energised and feeling great, as well as give you a feeling of achievement and bliss. New neurons are now wired together and will propel you to achieve again, creating a wonderful feel-good loop.

So, I’m just going to hang out here for a bit longer and enjoy the eustress. I hope you can join me on this journey by stepping outside your comfort zone too. Your brain will thank you for it, and I bet you will be delighted with the benefits too.


Jen xx


PLEASE NOTE: It is important to not create debilitating stress (i.e. distress). This can make us very sick. So, don’t step outside your comfort zone too far.

Think eustress as creating butterflies in your tummy. Cute, little, beautiful butterflies. You don’t want vultures in your tummy! They’re bad news and will activate your fight, flight or freeze response leading to distress and anxiety.


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