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Giving birth; what essentials should I pack in my hospital bag?

Updated: Jan 17

heavily pregnant woman due to give birth

A Guide to the Essential Items to Pack for Your Hospital Stay

Bringing a new life into the world is an incredible experience, and as you prepare for the big day, packing your hospital bag is a crucial step in ensuring a comfortable and stress-free stay. Whether you're a first-time parent or adding another member to your growing family, being well-prepared can make all the difference. Let's dive into the essentials you should include in your hospital bag in preparation for your birthing experience.

1. Giving Birth Essentials for Mum: Comfort During Your Hospital Stay

Clothing: Begin with comfortable and loose-fitting clothing for the duration of your stay. Pack a couple of nightdresses or oversized T-shirts, as well as a cozy robe for those walks around the maternity ward. Don't forget comfortable slippers or socks for padding around the hospital ward / room.

Toiletries: Maintain your self-care routine by packing your favorite toiletries. Include toothbrush and toothpaste, a mild shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. A gentle facial cleanser and moisturizer can help you feel refreshed during your hospital stay.

Postpartum Care Items: For postpartum care, include maternity pads, comfortable underwear, and any specific postpartum care items recommended by your healthcare provider. Some mums find a soothing perineal spray or balm helpful for recovery.

Nursing Essentials: If you plan to breastfeed, pack nursing bras, nipple cream, and breast pads. A nursing pillow can also provide comfort during feeding sessions.

2. Documentation and Essentials for Labour: Be Prepared

Medical Records: Ensure you have your maternity notes and any necessary medical records. Having these documents on hand will help the medical team provide the best care for you and your baby.

Birth Plan: If you've created a birth plan, include a copy in your hospital bag. While it's essential to remain flexible, having your preferences known can help guide your birthing experience.

Snacks and Drinks: Labour can be a lengthy process, and having snacks and drinks on hand can provide much-needed energy for Mum. Along with your favourite snacks, pack some healthy slow release energy foods, along with a reusable water bottle.

3. Comfort Items: Bring a Touch of Home

Pillow and Blanket: While hospitals provide bedding, bringing your pillow and a cozy blanket from home can make your space feel more comfortable and familiar.

Entertainment: Labour can be a waiting game, so consider packing a book, magazine and laptop or tablet for entertainment. A playlist of calming music or your favorite podcasts can also create a soothing atmosphere.

Camera or Smartphone: Capture those precious first moments by packing a camera or ensuring your smartphone is fully charged. Make sure you bring a charger as well, you never know how long you'll be in for!

Newborn baby with Mum

4. Baby Essentials: Welcoming Your Little One

Going-Home Outfit: Pack a sweet and weather-appropriate outfit for your newborn's journey home. Don't forget a hat and cellular blanket to keep them warm.

Car Seat: Ensure you have a correctly installed and suitable car seat ready for your baby's first ride home. Familiarise yourself with how to secure your baby safely in the car seat.

Nappies and Wipes: You will need nappies and water wipes to clean your precious new bundle. Don't forget the nappy sacks too!

Feeding: Though many hospitals have ready made formula available, if you are not breast feeding you may wish to bring your own formula, as well as sterilised bottles.

Comfort: If you intend to use a dummy/soother, pack a set to take with you, ready sterilised. You may wish to also bring a travel dummy steriliser.

5. Contact and Comfort: Keep Connected

Phone and Charger: Staying connected with loved ones is crucial during this special time. Pack your phone and charger, and consider creating a list of important contact numbers ahead of time.

Snacks for Birth Partner: Don't forget to consider the needs of your birth partner. Pack snacks, a change of clothes, and any personal items they might need during the labour and hospital stay.

A Thoughtfully Packed Bag for a Memorable Experience

Packing your bag with the essentials for giving birth in hospital is a significant step towards ensuring a positive and comfortable birthing experience. By including essentials for mum, documentation and items for labour, comfort items, baby essentials, and contact and comfort items, you'll be well-prepared for the exciting journey ahead.

Remember, every birthing experience is unique, so feel free to tailor your hospital bag to suit your personal preferences. As you prepare to welcome your little one, take a moment to savor the anticipation and joy that this special time brings. Safe and happy birthing!

swaddled newborn baby


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