Packing your hospital bag.

It’s recommended that you pack a hospital bag by 36 weeks, even if you’re planning a home birth, (in case you need to go into hospital at some point).

Hospital Bag for Mum:

During Labour:

  • Hospital/Midwife notes - Have your notes handy, so that your doctors can easily see your medical history. This will also include the birthing plan you agreed with your midwife.
  • Labour clothes - t-shirt, something comfy (you may be in it a while)
  • Socks - Many mums pop on some warm socks if their feet get cold during labour.
  • Lip balm - Your lips can get chapped during labour. Having some lip balm on hand will help hydrate your lips.
  • Snacks and drinks - Labour can sometimes be very long, so you could consider packing some snacks and drinks.

After Labour:

  • Dressing gown - A soft dressing gown is useful for pacing around during labour, or afterwards if you spend some time in the hospital.
  • Slippers or flip-flops - You’ll want slippers that are comfortable and easy to slip in and out of to wear as you walk around the hospital ward. Pack some flip-flops for using in the shower.
  • Pyjamas - A couple of sets, depending on how long you stay in the hospital for. If you have trouser bottoms ensure they are loose as they need to sit higher if you have a c-section.
  • Underwear - Pack several pairs of comfortable underwear
  • Bras - Something comfortable
  • Normal day clothes - Something comfortable and loose, pack a couple of sets. As you will need them for around the hospital as well as something to come home in.
  • Toiletries - Don’t forget towels, tissues, hairbrush, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hairdryer, hair clips, and hair ties, make-up.
  • Breast pads - Take quite a few, some ladies breasts can leak more than others.
  • Heavy-duty maternity pads - It’s normal to bleed a lot after the birth, and maternity pads are softer and more absorbent than standard ones.
  • Phone and charger - Unless you opt for a little digital detox during this special time, don’t forget your phone and charger. That way you can stay in touch with loved ones, you can use it to take those first few pictures, and post your special news on social media.
  • Snacks and drinks - Consider packing some of your favourite snacks for after labour as you may feel like some comfort food during your hospital stay.

Hospital Bag Essentials for Your Birth Partner

  • Snacks and water. Labour can be thirsty work even for supportive partners. Pack some snacks and water, as well as change for the hospital vending machines.
  • Phone and charger. Unless you opt for a little digital detox during this special time, don’t forget your phone and charger. That way you can stay in touch with loved ones, you can use it to take those first few pictures, and post your special news on social media.
  • Clothes. Labour is an unpredictable process, so a change of clothes is always a good idea, as you never know how long the stay will be.
  • Entertainment. Something to do: books, a tablet, and a music player are all good options.

Hospital Bag for Baby

  • Bottles and formula milk - Some mums choose to take the pre-made bottles whilst they are in hospital but some choose to make there own.
    (Whilst you are on the maternity ward they provide the pre-made bottles for you.)
  • Babygrows. Remember, with baby grows it’s a good idea to choose those that fasten up at the front.
  • Vests - Take 2 - 3 sets
  • Hats and scratch mittens - These are always essential in your hospital bag, when your little one is first born the hospital may provide a hat (but not always) so take a few sets.
  • Socks - Newborns can get cold easily. Even during skin-to-skin contact, your newborn can wear socks.
  • Nappies - It is dependant on how long you are going to spend in hospital but babies wear an average of 10-12 nappies a day.
  • Wipes - Newborns’ skin is particularly sensitive, so it’s best to use only cotton wool balls and water or sensitive baby wipes in the first weeks.
  • Muslin squares or bibs - These can be draped on your shoulder or placed underneath the baby to prevent dribbles from getting on your clothes.
  • Going-home outfit. Consider the weather conditions: a bodysuit, booties and hat could be fine during the warmer months, but in winter pack mittens and a jacket or snowsuit as well. But remember, thick coats, jackets or snowsuits should always be removed before putting your baby in the car seat for optimum safety.
  • Blanket. While the hospital will likely provide blankets, a blanket of your own is always good to have on hand to use during skin-to-skin contact. It can also be used to keep your baby warm in the car seat on the way home.
Car seat. This obviously isn’t for the hospital bag, but the right car seat should be installed in your car around the same time you pack your baby bag so it’s ready for the hospital.


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