The ultimate guide to packing your hospital bag
Packing your hospital bag is one of the last things you are going to do as you prepare for the arrival of your little one. Of course, it is always a good idea to start packing your hospital bag as early as you can. This way, when you go into labour, it will simply be a matter of grabbing it as you walk out of the door.
That said, what should go into your hospital bag? This guide will look at all the things you need to pack for you and your baby. I recommend packing separate bags for labour and birth. That way you know where everything is without searching through multiple bags. Fabric bag organisers are also a great idea to make finding things as easy as possible.
What to pack for labour and delivery
Here is a list of things you need to help make labour and delivery a little less stressful:
- Hospital records: Have all the important maternity notes and medical records ready for your doctors
- Birth plan: If you have a birth plan, print it out and pack a few copies for the medical team
- Birth affirmations and music playlists
- Dressing gown: This will come in handy during labour and afterward in the postnatal ward.
- Slippers: Go for the backless kind that are easy to slip on and off
- Swimwear if you plan on a water birth
- Socks: Just in case your feet get cold during labour
- A wheat bag or tens machine may come in handy for aches and pains
- Body lotion: If you would like to get massaged during labour, this will come in handy. You can also use essential oils to help support your labour so remember to pack your diffuser also. Lavender and Clary Sage are great options for labour but of course check with your health professionals first
- Distractions: What things help you relax? You will need them during labour. Books, magazines, a tablet.. whatever you like.
- Pillows: Buy a C-shaped pillow for extra support during breastfeeding. Most hospitals will not provide these.
- Lip balm: For rehydrating your chapped lips during labour
- Phone and charger. An extra long charger cord is ideal
What to pack for you for after delivery
Here are some of the things you will need after the baby comes:
- Clothes: Pack a few comfortable clothes that you will wear in the hospital. Go for loose-fitting comfy clothes that are easy to put on. Pack an extra one for your going-home outfit
- Breast pads: Your breasts will still produce milk even if you choose not to breastfeed. Therefore, you will need breast pads either way. Go for reusable if possible. Our wool nursing pads are a great comfortable option.
- Nursing bras: Bring two or three if you plan to breastfeed
- Nightshirts: Get the front-opening kind as they’ll make it easier to breastfeed
- Maternity pads: Pack a few heavy-duty maternity pads. Adult disposable underwear are also a great option
- Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, moisturizer, conditioner, hairbrush, face wash, deodorant, the works.
- Underwear: Invest in several pairs of dark, comfy underwear that can accommodate the heavy-duty maternity pads
- Snacks and drinks: Just in case your labour ends up being very long. Just be sure to talk to your doctor about what you can and cannot eat during labour.
- Thongs- these can be super handy to use in the hospital shower
What to pack for your partner
Your birth partner also needs a hospital bag packed and ready to go. Here’s what to pack:
- Something to cool you down: Think water spray, handheld fan, or a sponge. Anything that will cool you down during labour
- Snacks and drinks: So they don’t have to leave the hospital room to find something to eat
- Comfortable shoes: They are going to be standing for a long time, so they better get comfortable
- Clothes: A change or two of clothes will come in handy when there is no time to go home and change
- Entertainment: A book or a phone
- Phone, Camera: Useful for documenting the birth and early moments with the baby. Also, a lot of people will be calling asking for updates, so a phone and charger will come in handy
What to pack for your baby
What about your little one? Well, here is exactly what to pack for your baby:
- Nappies and wipes: Pack 20-30 newborn nappies and wipes as most hospitals don’t provide these
- Socks or booties and beanie: A pair or two to keep their tiny feet and heads warm
- Blanket: This will keep them warm in the hospital and when you head outside to go home. Choose organic if possible which is perfect for sensitive newborn skin
- Singlets, onesies, and sleepsuits: These are great for layering for that extra warmth
- Muslin clothes: To prevent milk from getting on your clothes
- A going home outfit and an announcement plaque to announce the arrival of your precious child
- Make sure your car capsule is installed
Other little items that you may wish to pack include nipple shields, a breast pump, bottles/formula, a peri bottle, pacifier, sibling gift
A well-packed hospital bag is a must-have item for any pregnant woman. Even if you are not planning on giving birth at the hospital, you need to get one ready in case there is an emergency and you end up being rushed to the hospital. Make sure you have a fully packed bag by the time you get to 32-36 weeks. Good luck!