It’s nearly time to meet your little one. You’ve made the final touches the nursery. You’ve decided on a name. And you’ve taken all your NCT classes. But have you packed your hospital bag yet? Ideally, you should have everything prepped by 33 weeks. As you can imagine, bringing a new babe into the world requires a long list of essentials. Don’t worry; help is at hand! This checklist will help you prepare everything you and your tiny munchkin will need on the big day. Once packed, keep this bag handy – stash it safely by the front door or in the car. Your precious bundle may arrive earlier than expected, so you need to be ready to go at the drop of a hat. Here’s your essential maternity hospital bag.
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way and talk paperwork. If you have a birthing plan, bring it with you. Though you may have discussed options with your midwife and medical team, it can be helpful to have a few printed copies available, just in case any last-minute queries arise. Have your medical records handy, too.
Newsflash: labour is exhausting business. Make sure you bring all the essentials to keep you feeling fresh, clean and, well, ‘human’. Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, face wash, toothbrush, and toothpaste are a must. Beyond this, lip balm and moisturiser are wise additions – hospitals are notoriously dry, clinical places, and pregnancy has already toyed with your skin enough!
Long hair + the exertion of delivering a baby + buckets of sweat = a messy, infuriating combination. A stretchy hairband will keep wild, untamed hair out of your face, which is one less thing to fret about. Feel free to pack a brush and dry shampoo, too.
Sleepwear, dressing gown, and underwear
You want to make labour as comfortable and stress-free as possible. And this means kitting yourself out with cosy, cotton loungewear. As far nightwear goes, you’ll need maternity pyjamas, a maternity nightie, and a supportive sleep bra. A gorgeously soft dressing gown will come in useful for strolling down the hospital hallways. Oh, and you’ll also need comfortable undies – and plenty of them. (Side note: these undies will get messy, so don’t pack your best briefs!).
Extra undies and extra-absorbent pads
After delivery, you’re going to need an abundance of these guys. While the hospital will provide you with some heavy-duty pads, it’s best to bring your own supply, too. Remember, it’s very normal to bleed a lot after birth. You’ll probably need to change the pads every two hours, but within a couple of days, your flow will lighten.
Slippers and/or socks
Perfect for keeping your toes clean and toasty while resting in bed or walking the hospital corridors, especially as many find their feet become cold during labour.
Don’t underestimate the power of flip-flops during labour: they’re brilliant for showers and carrying swollen tootsies home after birth.
Come prepared with a few comfortable nursing bras (ahem, our super snug, jersey Essential Black Nursing Bra is just the ticket!)
Homecoming outfit for baby
How exciting! You’re going to dress your little bean for the first time! Before you get carried away with picking a cute outfit, it’s important to be mindful of the weather: a bodysuit, all in one, and hat will be fine for the summer months, but you will need a pramsuit in winter. The hospital will give you a blanket, but you may want to bring your own for extra dose of cosiness and comfort. Don’t forget to pack 20-30 nappies along with baby wipes, either.
Homecoming outfit for you
Spoiler alert: you’re still going to look about 6 months pregnant when you leave the hospital, so pass on the non-maternity loungewear. Pack your comfiest maternity leggings, a simple maternity dress, and a sleep bra instead.
Your body endures a lot of stress during labour. Release tension with a range of relaxation tools, like a stress ball, back massager, hot water bottle, massager oil, or homemade rice sock.
Your little nut may take a while to show her face, so settle in with a book, a Netflix series, or some relaxing music.
You may find the pillows in hospital uncomfortable, plus using one of your own could encourage relaxation (every little helps, right?).
Phone and charger
Beyond needing your phone for the obvious (taking photos, sharing your special news with loved ones, or updating your social accounts), you may want to use it for specific apps – games, meditation, or white noise. Remember the charger, too!
Glasses and contact lenses
Sure – it’s simple advice, but these essentials can often escape your attention when packing your hospital bag. If you need glasses or contact lenses, don’t forget ‘em! You’ll want to see your little cherub’s face, after all!
Snacks and drinks
Labour is thirsty, hungry work! Be sure to pack plenty of water and your favourite snacks. Sandwiches with peanut butter, cheese or ham, vegetable sticks, plain rice cakes, fruit, or boiled sweets are all good options.