If you are going to give birth in hospital, you may want to prepare your labour bag at around 36 weeks. Whatever you take with you, don’t forget your medical records and several copies of your birth plan, if you have made one – these are most important!
You may find it easier to pack two bags for hospital: one for during labour and one for after giving birth.
- Birth plan and hospital notes
- Your usual toiletries
- Massage lotion
- Facial sponge/water spray
- Lip balm (Lansinoh HPA Lanolin is great as a lip balm)
- Hair band
- Maternity pads and spare/disposable underwear
- T shirt/nightdress and dressing gown
- Slippers and socks
- Books, magazines
- Ipod, MP3 or CD player
- Phone and charger
- Camera and charger
- Change for telephone and telephone list
- TENS machine
- Drinks (easier with a straw)
Your partner may also want to take a change of clothes and toilet bag, a watch with a second hand to time contractions, and perhaps swimwear, if he intends to join you in a birthing pool.
- Front opening nightdress
- Nursing tops and vests
- Comfortable clothing
- Sandals / flip-flops
- At least two nursing bras
- Disposable breast pads
- Nipple cream
- Maternity pads and spare / disposable underwear
- Writing materials
- Nappies and nappy bag
- Pregnancy pillow/breastfeeding pillow
- Clothing for your baby - babygros/bodysuits, scratch mitts, hat and socks, going home outfit
- Tea bags, juice and snacks
Travelling home after giving birth
You will also need to be prepared for the journey home after giving birth (someone may be able to bring these items later). You will need clothing for yourself – although this will be your first outing without maternity clothes for some time you will, of course, still need loose fitting clothing. Your baby will also need a hat, socks/bootees, jacket and shawl. Remember that the hospital is unlikely to let you go home in the car without checking that you have an Infant Carrier (car seat suitable from birth) correctly fitted.
Other things to consider
It is also a good idea to get as much information as possible from the hospital in advance, for example:
- Where do we park, which entrance do we use and what is the admissions procedure ?
- How many people are allowed in the delivery room, and what are visiting hours ?
- What is their policy on:
- Drinks and snacks during labour
- Mobile phones
- Video cameras
Some of the questions may seem like common sense, but it is better to ask them sooner rather than later, when you and your partner may have other things on your mind !