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What to pack for surgery. THE HOSPITAL BAG.

Updated: May 5, 2020

Preparing for surgery as an advocate is hard, emotionally and physically.

So here is a practical list to get you organised and give you ideas of what to pack for surgery to reduce anxiety and stress and ensure your experience in hospital will go as smoothly and practically as possible.

A LIST OF WHAT TO DO A WEEK BEFORE SURGERY <--- This list is a practical guide of what to do in the week leading up to surgery.

Things you will need:

A suitcase and or holdall

Comfy and practical well fitting clothes. This should be obvious but you'd be surprised how often these don't get packed. Hospital admissions, especially surgical ones involve a lot of sitting, a lot of physiotherapy, a lot of walking up and down corridors. Its hard on your body especially your feet. So try to pack well made shoes/trainers and decent socks, an appropriate coat if you are in and out of the hospital a lot. If you are expressing milk then think of adaptable clothing that can help you to express milk with dignity. Lounge wear is easily available, also make its easy to wash and tumble dry. General anaesthetic can make your little one quite sick and not tolerate food and drink so think of that too.

Phone Chargers. 3m cords are brilliant for hospital.

Kindle, ipad or tablet

Eye masks and ear plugs.

Neck/travel pillow.

Reusable mug with a lid on it / reusable water bottle.

Wash bag to include, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and conditioner, nail file, clippers, hair bobbles, a razor, shaving foam, a comb, deodorant (most wards prefer roll on and not aerosols) moisturiser, lip balm, hand sanitiser and hand cream.

Nappies/incontinent products.

Wet wipes.


A pack of tissues

A book/adult colouring and pens/magazines.

Particular pieces of equipment for your child

(Their sleep system, ventilator, feeding pump, suction machine, catheters, wheelchair, splints, casts, glucose monitor)

Your child's medication, make sure its labelled and in date.

Your child's specialised feed.

A few toys/books that will bring your child comfort.

A scarf sprayed with your perfume or aftershave has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote better sleep in places that are foreign to your own bed. So this may bring comfort to your child whilst they are poorly or recovering and may even buy you a few minutes to pop for a coffee or some fresh air if possible.

Empty carrier bags, for dirty washing or sending items home.

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