the twins

The hospital bag

It has been 3 years since Elliott was born so when it was time to pack the hospital bag for the twins, I had clean forgotten what goes into it. Thankfully, fellow mama to twins, Adeline, shared with me her hospital packing list which helped me tremendously in getting started.

After my own experience, I thought I’d share what I found really useful to have in the hospital bag. I ended up not using quite a lot of the stuff in the bag so I hope you find my list useful. For the record, we birthed the twins at Mount Alvernia Hospital (MAH) and different hospitals do provide different items.

None of these items are sponsored. This entry is purely based on my own personal experience and all opinions expressed are my own. Please feel free to use it as a guide but do remember that each individual is different and we all have different likes/dislikes.

Here goes:

  • Nursing gowns

For Elliott’s birth, I had to pack my own nursing gowns to wear during my stay at the hospital as they are not provided. This is no longer necessary for MAH as they now provide nursing-access gowns. Granted, they’re not particularly stylish (they’re purple – see picture below) but if you just went through childbirth (natural or c-sect), I don’t think being fashionable will rank too high on your list. At least it wasn’t for me. I just wanted to be comfortable.

Also, wearing the hospital gown also meant that when it got soiled (blood, sweat, etc), you can simply throw it into the hospital-provided laundry basket. Keep your pretty nursing gowns for home use, I say.

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  • Disposable underwear

This is very important as post-birth, there is a lot of bleeding down there. I used to think that there will be less bleeding with a c-sect but nooooooo, I thought wrongly.  For the first few days following birth, just buy any maternity disposable underwear (Mothercare probably carries them) but if you are petite in size, the travel ones from Watsons/Guardian work too. Yes, they are huge and totally unflattering but again, post-birth, comfort will be your number #1 priority. Once soiled, you can simply chuck them into the bin. Keep your nice ‘proper’ underwear for later use or you’d end up doing alot of heavy-duty washing.

What I discovered from the MAH pharmacy (ground level) are these Tena Fix underwear. These were about $12 for 5 pieces but they are washable (re-usable). Again, they are not the most attractive things but trust me when I say that they were really comfortable and snug. I highly recommend it, especially for ladies who undergo a c-sections birth.

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Note: I did not bother with nursing bras nor nursing pads because in the first few days, you will not be producing so much milk that it’d come gushing out. At least it did not happen for me. I guess you can pack 1-2 if you feel like you need them but honestly, I ended up not using any during my 4-day stay at MAH.

  • Sanitary pads

The hospital will provide you with one bag of sanitary pads (charged to your hospital bill) and they will use it for the first few days of heavy bleeding. If you intend to get your own, I found these comfortable. I have very sensitive skin and can’t deal with synthetic-type sanitary pads. These Pureen Madame maternity pads were soft and cottony and comes with adhesive backing, just like normal sanitary pads.

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The bleeding will taper off after about a week so you don’t really need such heavy-duty pads. After staring at the sanitary section and doing all sorts of comparison between the different brands, I’ve found a pretty decent sanitary pad.

I used the Sofy Extra Dry Skin Comfort (23cm) for ‘lighter’ bleeding days. It was still good enough for night-time use as it is meant for heavy flow. I also liked that it was soft and did not have a synthetic feel.

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If this is your first pregnancy, do note that you will still be bleeding for quite a few weeks after (especially if you breastfeed because it helps to contract the uterus which leads to blood being shed). However, it will be very light and periodic bleeding so you’d just need panty-liners so stock up on that.

  • Feminine wipes

This was one item I really wished I packed into my hospital bag but did not. As I mentioned above, you will be bleeding quite a bit post-birth. These wipes are basically wet wipes for your nether regions and it will make you feel fresh(er) after each sanitary pad change. You can get them at any pharmacy or supermarket.

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  • Comfortable flat footwear

I wore my cannot-go-wrong Birkenstocks throughout the hospital stay, from admission to discharge. I had grand plans to pack a pretty pair of bedroom slippers in the hospital bag but I realised that this wasn’t very practical as the floor of the hospital ward isn’t the cleanest. Keep your pretty bedroom slippers at home and wear something practical throughout your hospital stay.

  • Your own pillow

This may sound really odd but the pillows at the hospital aren’t the most comfortable. I got the boy to bring me my own pillow and it made the stay that bit more comfortable. At the very least, I could sleep better on it.

  • Going home clothes (for you and baby)

This is the fun bit and what I actually packed first. I packed the Rose Sydney Nursing Dress from Jump Eat Cry as it is 100% cotton and I like that the red is cheery.

Fun fact: I also wore a red dress when we left the hospital with Elliott.

For the babies, I picked out 2 tiny newborn onesies, 2 new swaddle blankets from Bebe au Lait and a pair of mittens. For the record, even the tiniest of mittens were too huge on the twins so we ended up using surgical tape to hold them in place. This was a trick I learnt from the nursery nurses.

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  • Mittens and booties/socks

Pack lots and lots of mittens for your baby. MAH provided clothes, swaddles and blankets for the twins’s stay at the hospital but not mittens and booties/socks. I found the mittens more important as it ensured that they did not scratch their own faces with their long fingernails. Booties/socks weren’t that important as they were tightly swaddled anyway.

  • Toiletries

I packed my own toiletries, i.e. shampoo, shower gel, face wash, face moisturiser, hair brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc because it felt so good to use something familiar in the hospital environment. Of course, if you are not fussed, you can use the toiletries provided by the hospital. I just preferred to smell like…myself.

If you have long hair like me, bring hair scrunchies/hair ties and a hairband (optional) to keep hair out of face. You’d probably be trying to breastfeed your child and having hair all over their little face is no good.

I also packed light make-up (eyeliner and concealer) because I’m vain I wanted to look decent when we got discharged. I had grand plans to apply make-up when friends/family came to visit but honestly, it took too much effort and in the end, they just had to look at bare-faced me.

  • Mobile phone and power bank/charger

If you are like me and cannot live without your mobile phone, don’t forget to pack the phone charger. I found the power bank very useful because the wire on the phone charger will not be long enough to reach the hospital bed from the wall plug. As such, I found the power bank more useful for charging the mobile phone. Of course, you can leave your phone to charge, away from your bed but I found that most wall plugs were placed opposite your bed or right behind you (unreachable).

  • Camera

You can, of course, use your mobile phone but nothing beats having nice camera-quality photos of the milestone event eh? Just remember to charge the battery (bring extras if you have) and a memory card that can store a million pictures and videos.

  • Important documents

What I found useful: We bought and used a clear file – the sort that has plastic pockets and you can simply slot documents into it. You can get it from any bookstore. We used the file to keep all pregnancy-related paperwork. When it was time for delivery, we simply brought along the entire file. We did the same for Elliott and found it very useful because along the way, you will be asked for blood test reports, receipts, etc.

Hospital admission letter from your gynae

This is very very important. The nurses at my gynae repeatedly told us to ‘please bring this along’ because apparently, many parents forget to do so despite repeated reminders. We placed it in the clear file so that we wouldn’t forget. This was also the first thing the admissions counter asked for when we got to MAH on the day of our elective c-sect.

Identity cards

Please pack your identity cards, both yours and the husband’s. The hospital will require this at admission.

Marriage certificate (original)

If you intend to register the baby’s birth at the hospital (most hospitals in Singapore provide this service), bring along your original-copy marriage certificate as well.

Fun fact: Did you know that to register for your baby’s birth certificate at MAH will cost you $42 but it only costs $18 to do the same at ICA?

We ended up heading to ICA to register the twins’ birth because we couldn’t decide on their chinese names during the 4-day hospital stay. Such things shouldn’t be rushed eh? For the record, according to MAH’s website, ‘birth registration can be done within 42 days from the date of birth. However it is strongly encouraged that you register within 14 days.’

Receipts (originals)

Please also bring along any receipts that add up to $900 for pre-delivery expenses. More details here from MOH website. As per the website:

“Medisave may be used at both public and private hospitals. To claim pre-delivery charges from Medisave, parents need to present the bills incurred for pre-delivery medical care to the hospital where baby was delivered. The hospital will submit these bills, together with the delivery expenses, for Medisave claims under the Medisave Maternity Package.”

If you stumbled upon this entry when you searched for hospital packing list, I hope you find my list useful! The bottom line is, try not to over pack because if you forget anything, our hospital pharmacies are very well stocked 😉

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