Nearing your due date and not sure what to bring for labour? Here’s everything you need to pack in your hospital bag.
By Anna Bonet
If you’re nearing your due date, you might be wondering what to pack in your hospital bag. It is always best to plan ahead and pack some essentials – both for you and baby – at least two weeks before you’re due to give birth.
You can use any type of bag or suitcase. Some people prefer to pack two separate bags: one bag for mum, and one bag for baby. There are essentials for both, like a change of clothes for you and a full outfit for the newborn, but it’s also worth thinking about what possessions would make you feel at ease and comfortable during birth and labour.
Hospital bag checklist: for mum
Your midwife will likely have some suggestions on what to pack. To help you get started, we have complied a hospital bag checklist for you:
- Something comfortable to wear
Pack something loose and comfy to wear, such as a nightie or a baggy tee-shirt to wear during labour. Ideally, you want something that won’t be restrictive or make you too hot.
- Dressing gown
A dressing gown will come in handy if you end up moving around the hospital during early labour. Hospitals can be warm, so ideally opt for something lighter (and dark-coloured, if you want to minimise stains).
Slippers or flip flops are a good footwear option as they are comfortable and can be slipped on and off easily.
Feet may get surprisingly cold during labour, so it is a good idea to pack socks.
- Healthy snacks
Pack some snacks to eat at the hospital before, during and after labour. Most women are still able to eat during labour. While the hospital will have food, but it is a good idea to have snacks on-hand that you know you like. Opt for healthy, high energy foods that are quick to eat, such as fruit, unsalted nuts, crisps, popcorn or cereal bars.
- Breast pads
Even if you don’t plan to breastfeed – bring these. Your breasts will still produce milk after the birth.
- Lip balm
Lips tend to get dry on the wards – especially if you are using gas or air – so pack vaseline, or your lip balm of choice.
- Massage oil
Massage oil or lotion can be great during labour for helping with relaxation and pain relief.
It’s normal to bleed after giving birth so bring a couple of packs of super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads.
Don’t forget to pack your everyday toiletries, such as shampoo, your toothbrush, deodorant.
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
- Something to relax
Bring along something that can help you relax and pass the time. We suggest a good book, magazine or podcast.
To help keep the hair off your face during labour.
- Clean clothes
Bring about three changes of clean clothes, including an outfit to wear home from the hospital.
- Eye masks and ear plugs
Hospital wards can be noisy and brightly lit, so these essentials will help you nod off.
- Change bag
A change bag is perfect for carrying all of your baby essentials.
A nightie or comfortable t-shirt to give birth in.
Go for snacks that are high energy and easy to eat.
This is to keep you comfortable and relaxed.
You might be pacing the corridors.
Feet get surprisingly cold during labour.
Lips tend to get dry on the wards so pack Vaseline.
This is for relaxation and/or pain relief.
It’s normal to bleed after giving birth so bring pads.
Bring these – even if you don’t plan to breastfeed.
Bring something to keep you busy and distracted.
Bring a change of outfit for the journey home.
This change bag is perfect for carrying baby essentials.
Hospital bag checklist: for baby
For the baby, you might want to pack:
- Full outfit
- Shawl or blanket
Bring a cosy blanket to wrap your baby up in if it is cold outside when you are leaving the hospital.
- Muslin squares
Bring muslin squares for mopping up any milk your baby brings up.
- Baby car seat
You will need a baby car seat for the car ride home.