Preparing your hospital bag

The items listed below are suggestions of what might be helpful for you to pack:

  • Your birth preferences plan and hospital notes
  • Your phone, charger and camera
  • 3 changes of loose, comfortable clothes
  • 2 or 3 comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you're planning to breastfeed – remember, your breasts will be much larger than usual
  • Breast pads
  • 2 packets of super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads
  • 5 or 6 pairs of knickers – you may want to bring some disposable ones. If you are having a caesarean birth, high-waisted cotton knickers can often be better, and look for knickers without nylon or lacy fabric, as these can catch on or irritate your wound.
  • Your washbag with a toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, soap, lip balm, deodorant, hair ties and other toiletries like lip salve as the ward is quite warm and face wipes as you might not be able to move from your bed very easily straight after the birth.
  • Towels
  • Things to help you pass the time and relax – for example, books, magazines, music or podcasts
  • A fan or water spray to cool you down
  • Front-opening or loose-fitting nighties or tops if you're going to breastfeed – short leaves are usually better ion the hospital as it is warm
  • Dressing gown and slippers
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Extra pillows
  • Bendy straws   as sometimes it is difficult to sit up to drink
  • Any medicines you're taking
  • Loose change or bank card for parking
  • A list of important phone numbers in case your phone runs out of battery


What your birthing partner can bring

  • Change of clothes
  • Mobile phone and charger — useful for timing contractions as well as for letting people know the baby has arrived
  • Camera — fully charged so none of those special moments are missed
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Prescribed medication if they take any
  • Deodorant and toothbrush
  • Change or bank card for parking and vending machines


What to pack for your baby

  • Baby clothes — vests, sleep suits, cardigans (at least three of each) and a hat and mittens, plus an all-in-one snow suit if it's cold
  • Muslins or bibs — useful for mopping up
  • Nappies and wipes or cotton wool
  • Baby blanket or shawl — for when you go home
  • Baby car seat — essential if you are driving home after the birth. Practise putting a teddy into the seat and fitting it in the car before you have your baby.
  • If you have made an informed decision to formula feed your baby, you will need to bring into hospital ready-made first infant milk in sealed bottles with teats like in the starter packs


Some useful items to prepare at home

If you are struggling financially with any of this, please speak to your midwife for support.

  • Baby car seat    
  • Appropriate seasonal clothing for baby
  • Pram / buggy / travel carrier      
  • Changes of clothes
  • Cot /Moses basket         
  • Equipment for bathing baby
  • Sterilising equipment    


Useful Resources

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