Updated: Feb 23
Your labour bag should be packed and waiting by the front door by 36 weeks to ensure you are ready for anything.
Here are some suggestions for what you should pack in your bag. The list is by no means exhaustive and if you think there is something we have missed please mention it in the comments below. Remember though that the hospital is not a hotel room so pack as light as possible, one large suitcase is much better than multiple holdalls.
We suggest you have your bag packed and ready to go from 36 weeks. When ever you go into the hospital for a check-up or appointment pop the bag in the car so you have it in the unlikely event you will have to stay in.
Change for the car park (easy to forget in the rush) or register card by phone.
Maternity Notes...Important to remember!
Socks – for when you get cold feet in labour!
T-Shirt / something comfortable to wear for the birth ( you can always wear a hospital gown if you prefer)
Snacks/Drinks – some for you and some for your birth partner
Camera for those all important first pictures - maybe you would like some of the labour itself to remember the event (my kids love looking at their birth pictures)
Books/Mags/Music/download movies – to pass the time before/after active labour, especially important if you are being induced (include your headphones)
Tens Machine! A must for early labour at home or at the start of the induction of labour.
Toiletries (inc. toothbrush and toothpaste, shower gel, hair wash)
Water Spray Bottle/wipes/Magicool spray - to help keep you cool
Playlist and a way to play it – favourite tunes make labour more bearable and dancing to them makes the process quicker
Face cloth to soak in cold water - get your birth partner to mop your brow!
Hair Brush / hair bands / hair clips
Water bottle – small bottles with a spout are easier to drink from or bring a straw
Bach Rescue Remedy – for times of crisis. if you like the idea of this then you should look into homeopathy for labour
Lip balm (dry lips are annoying)
Change of clothes for birth partner - in case they get hot, or baby wee's or poo's on them
Going home outfit, something baggy and comfy
Knickers – disposable or cheap cotton 'big pants' (always go a size bigger than you think you need)
Nursing Bra / vest top
Maternity Sanitary Pads – bigger the better – at least 2-3 packs
Nightdress / PJs that are suitable for breastfeeding
Dressing Gown, lightweight - hospitals are hot!
Slippers / flip flops (size larger, your feet will swell)
Deodorant - hospitals are hot!
Towels – ones that don’t matter, dark colours are good! The hospital only have baby size towels.
Nipple cream – well worth packing!
Cosmetics (if you can't bear the thought of being seen 'au natural').
Ear plugs – in case you find yourself with the only sleeping baby on a noisy ward!
Peri Bottle - what is that we hear you say! Peri is short for perineum, after birth this area may have stitches, be swollen and sore. The peri bottle helps you squirt water onto the area to be able to easily keep the area clean to help with recovery and healing as well as reducing any stinging while peeing.
Car Seat – can leave it in the car until ready to go home
Babygros / sleepsuits (at least 3)
Baby vests (at least 3)
Nappies (1 pack)
2 Hats - one for immediately following birth (which you don’t mind getting dirty) and one for trip home
Cotton Wool balls....you'll be surprised how many you get through
If not breastfeeding ready made hospital pack of artificial number 1, infant first milk (whichever brand you choose). If you need help choosing a brand then take a look at First Steps Nutrition website for lots of unbiased, evidence based info.