A senior midwife has revealed a list of weird and wonderful things that expectant parents bring with them to the labour ward.
Maternity educator Marie Louise has years of experience helping to deliver new babies, and she says parents-to-be often bring unnecessary items with them when they're about to welcome a new arrival.
"Newborns really don’t need much but I see all kinds of weird and wonderful products," she says. "I also find some parents are confused by what to pack and can feel stressed by the conflicting advice given from different sources."
Some of the wildly out-of-place items Marie has seen over the years include an actual live dog.
"I love dogs, so I really enjoyed looking after this lady," Marie tells The London Economic.
"She didn’t really like people, so she just wanted her dog with her. I got it but the dog was freaked out."
And beach chic is about the last thing most people have on their minds when giving birth, but Marie has also been surprised by a pair of Speedos in the birthing area.
"A good friend of mine was planning a water birth," she explains. "But when her other half packed in tiny Speedos and a snorkel and mask she called me and asked if I would deliver her baby so no one else had to suffer the sight! We are still good friends... "
Senior midwife Marie Louise with a new arrival
While many of us love the smell of babies, Marie has known people to bring in fragrances for their newborns.
"I have seen couples bring in perfume for their baby and the phrase ‘ I wouldn’t recommend that for your newborn as it’s not safe’ comes out again," the midwife says.
"If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your newborn baby’s skin."
Marie has now launched a line of pre-packed bags for mums and dads-to-be to take with them when a baby's arrival is imminent.
The totes are made from non-toxic, environmentally responsible materials and are filled with safe, organic products for labour, delivery and the first 24 hours of a newborn baby’s life.
So, if you're heading for a hospital labour anytime soon - remember to leave Rex the Labrador at home. He'll thank you for it...