What’s in my hospital bag and something about breastfeeding. Chill!

I need to start packing my hospital bag. At week 27, I was administered Dexamethasone to boost the development of the twins’ lungs. This is apparently essential in the case of twin pregnancy as premature birth is common. I was also administered the same shot when I complained of frequent contractions in my earlier 2 pregnancies between week 30 to week 35.

Frankly, as a 3rd and 4th time mum, I don’t have the same excitement I felt as in the previous pregnancies. I was previously conscious of my food intake and drank avocado milkshake every day. Definitely no coffee, which was my favorite beverage. This time round? No avocado milkshake at sight, I am having my daily caffeine shot instead.

Nonetheless, I have to do what’s need to be done. Sharing my packing list here, I am assuming that I will undergo a caesarean procedure, which involves a 3-night stay, plus 1 day of spare clothing for just in case.

Packing list

For the babies:

  1. Swaddles for going home;
  2. 4×2 sets of clothing for the hospital stay and going home
    • front-tied cotton tops
    • mittens and booties
    • beanies

Diapers and milk formula will be provided by the hospital. Please double-check with your own hospital.

For mummy:

  1. 4 pairs of socks to keep my feet warm;
  2. towel and toiletries;
  3. 4 sets of front opening sleepwear;
    • I am going for sleeping gowns as pajama pants may irritate my wound after the surgery;
    • front opening to facilitate breastfeeding
  4. Sweater;
  5. 1 pair of slippers;
  6. Thick sanitary pads to absorb heavy bleeding after birth;
  7. Abdominal binder for after surgery use to encourage earlier ambulation and alleviate pain;
    • Ensure that the binder is also brought along into the operating room and get the nurses to put on the binder for you immediately after the operation.
    • I have bought this binder which is strongly recommended by my family members. Not available for sale online, you can only get it from Guardian Pharmacy in Mount Elizabeth.
  8. 3 maternity bra and breast pads;
  9. 1 set of loose clothing to wear home;
  10. breast pump to start inducing milk
  11. panties but I will be requesting the hospital to supply the netted disposable underwear. It is stretchable and very comfy.

Something about breastfeeding

In my last near 3-week hospital stay, I encountered many mothers who were not confident with breastfeeding. They all told the nurses the same thing – they would try to breastfeed. However, when it came to the actual feeding, they could not produce “enough” milk and all freaked out. All requested the nurses to give formula milk in the end.

I am definitely not an expert in breastfeeding and failed miserably when I tried breastfeeding my first-born. Being a highly strung baby, my son had no patience to latch. My supply was low all the times, never beyond 30 ml per manual pump and it lasted for less than 3 months. My hands were tired from the manual pumping and each side took 20 mins. It was a tough and lonely journey, to be squeezing my breasts in the middle of the night consecutively for a few weeks . I felt miserable and useless, a common mix of emotions felt by mums who are unable to breastfeed successfully.

When my second child came along, I was determined to get it right and splurged on a Medela hands-free electric set. Mine, it worked wonders! I started pumping from day 4 and my milk supply gradually increased. It was an easier experience since the 30-min pumping was hands-free while I was busy catching up with my Hong Kong dramas. My breasts turned sore from the 3-hourly pumping but it was worth it! My milk supply gradually built up and I breastfed for 8 months!

Hang On!

New moms, the point here is it takes 1 to 2 weeks to build up your milk supply naturally. For the first few days, the newborn will be sleepy and does not need much milk. Chill and hang on as long as the baby is putting on enough weight! Of course, supplement with baby formula if you deem necessary. But as long as your baby latches correctly and regularly, or otherwise you pump regularly, that is every 3 hours if your baby is not latching at all, your milk supply will build up.

As for me, fingers crossed for the twins since it’s 2 times the requirement this time round. I will try my best too! Hope it will be an easy feeding journey for them and me.