Packing Your Hospital Bag

Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!

I have comprised a comprehensive list of what to
pack in your hospital bag. I hope you find it helpful. Ideally you should pack your bag in
plenty of time just in case your labour starts early.
I would recommend packing an overnight hospital bag for yourself at 28 weeks with
nightwear, underwear, and toiletries, for any unexpected hospital stays.
You should aim to have your big hospital and labour bag packed in full by 36 weeks.
Some hospitals have limited space for personal items, so try to pack lightly. It is best to
leave valuables at home. Your partner or support person can bring in anything that you
might have forgotten.
It is recommended that you pack your maternity chart, including your birth plan if you
have done one and a list of all your medications.

You should have 2 bags.

A large bag for you and your baby essentials (suitcase size)  and another
smaller bag (carry on luggage size) for the labour. This is because a lot of birthing suites have limited space.

Your Labour Bag
For you
 Two night dresses or pyjamas (one for labour and one to dress into after birth),
ideally these should be button front or open at front for easy skin-to-skin. You can view this product here
 Loose cotton underwear (dark in colour). Some disposable underwear can be
very tight around your thighs, so if using disposable try them on first.
 A pack of maternity pads.
 Slippers.
 Socks (your feet get very cold especially if you have an epidural).
 Face cloth for wiping your brow.
 Lip balm (your lips get very dry if using gas & air).
 Large towel if planning to use pool, shower, or bath while in labour.
 Mobile phone charger.
 Light snacks (fruit, cereal bar) and drinks.

 Whatever you wish to choose to use in labour, like birthing ball, TENS machine,
essential oils, hypnobirthing recordings, affirmation cards or music of choice.

For your partner
 Ask them to pack this with you.
 Whatever will make them feel comfortable, it could be long few hours and the
rooms can get hot, so maybe a change of top (one that button down front are
ideal for skin- to -skin) toothbrush and deodorant.
 Mobile phone charger.
 Snacks and drinks.
 Newspaper or book.
 Change for carpark.

For your baby
 A hat (put on for first few hours, until baby can maintain their temperature).
 A Babygro. You can view this product here
 A vest.
 A nappy.

Your Big Hospital Bag
For you
 3 or 4 night dresses or pyjamas (button front or easy access for breastfeeding).
 2 supportive bras (a nursing bra if you are breastfeeding).
 1 dressing gown.
 Cotton loose fitting underwear. Go big as you must fit large pads inside.
 Flip flops for shower.
 Towels (dark and prewashed are best).
 Own pillow or pillowcase if you wish.
 Hair ties and hairbrush.

 Toiletries/ toothbrush/ make up if you wish.
 Breast pads.
 Nipple cream if breastfeeding.
 2 packs of cotton maternity pads.
 Long lead phone charger.
 Pen and paper (to record baby’s feeding).
 Late night Snacks (you can get hungry if awake with the baby).
 Small bottle of hand sanitiser.

For your baby
 6-8 vests.
 6-8 baby grows.
 6 bibs or burp cloths.
 2 cellular blankets (the ones with holes in them).
 2 baby towels (prewash them to get fluff off).
 1-2 packets of new-born nappies.
 Cotton wool balls or wool pads.
 Check with your hospital you may need a cot sheet (most hospitals supply
 A hat and a cardigan to put on your baby going home.
 Soft cotton clothing is best against new baby’s skin.

If you are having a Caesarean Section birth I would pack 4 nightdresses or pyjamas for yourself & 8 vests and baby grows for your baby, as your stay in hospital is usually longer.

Regardless of what media like to portray you won’t be back to your pre pregnancy body
overnight, so it is recommended to pack loose fitting clothes for you when going home
from hospital. Clothes that you wore at around 32 weeks pregnant are usually a good fit
for few weeks after having a baby.

I hope this helps!

Best wishes Lorna. (mum of 4 & midwife)