Have you heard of a gigoteuse? How about a brumisateur? These were two things, I had never heard of when I was having my first child, that were on the list of proposed items for my hospital suitcase. Now that we are on baby number 3 , I think I have a better idea of what to bring versus what not to bring. It may seem like a lot but remember you’re not moving into the hospital!
As soon as my doctor told me last week that he thought I would be delivering early, I went ahead and prepared my list of things to put in my hospital suitcase and bag. I took only one childbirth class this time around ; a required introduction to the maternity ward and other classes they offer, that also registers you at the hospital so you don’t have to think about that later. The midwife gave everyone a list of items to bring with them. It wasn’t required to bring everything on the list, but rather recommended. I feel that the list contains a few useless items and also an extra number of certain items. But this also can depend on the number of days of your stay, which I will address in a minute.
The list that I came up with is based on the past two times I have delievered, once in summer and once in winter. This time around it will be winter time and based off the last time, the heater was on full blast that I had to jimmy the window open because it was super hot!
Average Hospital Stay :
The average hospital stay in a French hospital depends on the type of delivery ; a vaginal birth is usually 3 days and a C-section delivery is usually 5-6 days. The day that you actually have your baby does not count as one of these stay days, you will see the nurses refer it to J0 or Day 0. They will often let you know what day you will be getting out of the hospital and the time but this often depends on what time the pediatrician is able to see you on the final day. Usually, you are free to go by 1 pm or 13h.
Below you will find my list of recommended items for your hospital bag :
|For baby :
|For mom :
|1 birthday outfit
|loose fitting clothes for labor
facial spray - brumisateur
|Administrative items :
Maternity File - dossier de maternité
Blood test results - résultats d'analyses
Social security card and Mutual - Carte vitale + Mutuelle
Blood type card - carte de groupe sanguin
Family record book - livret de famille
A brumisateur or facial spray is for the time during labor when you are unable to drink water or are not supplied with ice chips. Ice is usually a speciality in France, so don’t expect to get any.
Hospital Suitcase List :
|For baby :
|For mom :
|3 tank tops
|1-2 long sleeve shirts or sweaters with an easy opening
|2 pairs of sweatpants
|2 pairs of sweats
|1 going home outfit
|5 pairs of underwear
3 pairs of socks
|1 or 2 photo shoot outfits
|2 maternity bras
|2 Burp cloths / bibs
2 small hand towels
1 towel for baby
|Toiletry bag :
shampoo / body soap
hair brush and hair ties
toothbrush and toothpaste
|* baby soap
* diaper cream
* brush and a comb
book / notebook
Don’t forget to check out the slide show below with some ideas on clothes to pack.
The first item they recommend for baby is a gigoteuse or what I like to call a baby sleeping bag.
I hadn’t heard of this with my first child, so I had to research online to figure out what the midwife was talking about. I did buy a gigoteuse; one that could be for a baby up to 36 months but I didn’t really find it that useful. This time around I will be using the swaddle blankets from Carters because my second child really liked being swaddled as well as a diy topponcino (A montessori security blanket).
The items that are starred (***) are the hospital recommendation,s but I found them unneccessary the first time around because the hospital usually provides these items. You should check with your hospital as well to see if they provide diapers and wipes or cotton squares.
A photo shoot in the hospital ?
The hospital where I delivered had a photographer who would go around and shoot pictures at least once during your stay. I didn’t really have something fancy to put Miss F in, so I decided when Mr. Z came along I would be prepared. The photographer actually was on strike so I didn’t get official photos took. So I took some of my own instead, I’m no photographer but I ended up with some pretty good shots.
Handmade personal items
I included some handmad items for a personal touch:
- Washable nursing pads
- Diaper changing pad
- Montessori topponcino
- Burp cloths
- afghan ( handmade by gramma)
If you aren’t crafty or into sewing, there are many stores online that sell handmade baby items.
I, include some little extra things for us, mamas, like:
- Emergency chocolate
- Dates (they help with milk production),
- A book and
- A notebook,
- Sudoku or a puzzle challenge book
- Telephone charger
- A pillow
Even though the hospital stay is for resting, I like to read a book when I find a few spare minutes or jot down some notes like a to do list of what needs to sent where.
I hope that this post provided you with some useful information about the hospital stay and what to pack in your suitcase and bag for giving birth in France. My upcoming post will be about homeschooling while pregnant.
Do you have anything you would like to add ?