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What to Pack in your Hospital Bag

An easy and essential guide for every parent-to-be.

By Hannah Harvey

Hannah Harvey

I would suggest you aim to have your bag packed by the time you are 36/37 weeks pregnant.

If possible take a bag for you and a bag for baby, when you are in labour it makes it much easier to get something you need quickly, rather than rummaging around amongst baby’s things!

Mum’s bag.

Clothes for labour – you don’t need to buy anything new, think of an old nightie or baggy T Shirt that you don’t mind getting dirty. Lots of women I have looked after have thrown them away after birth!

If you are going to use the birthing pool, think about what you would feel most comfy in. Some women don’t wear anything and some cover up – there is no right or wrong! Try not to use anything too loose as it will stick to your body when wet – I would advise a bikini or tankini top, or a dark coloured vest top. 

Some women find a cold flannel on their forehead useful in labour, or if you have one a hand held fan.

If you have longer hair, hair bands or scrunchies.

Snacks and drinks – think of non-fizzy energy drinks, water or juice. Simple snacks such as plain biscuits or cereal bars are good, and hard boiled sweets or jelly babies for a quick energy boost. Think also of snacks for your partner as labour can be a long process!

Plan a playlist on your phone or tablet, music can be a great distraction in labour.

After birth – 1 or 2 pairs of pyjamas or nighties, if you are planning to breastfeed front opening ones can be useful. 

A dressing gown and slippers.

Big knickers! I wouldn’t advise the disposable ones as they tend to be too small and uncomfortable. Instead buy a pack of cheap comfy knickers.

Maternity pads – the proper thick ones rather than your usual thin sanitary pads – I would suggest 2 packs as you get through them quite quickly.

Comfy bras, and a small quantity of breast pads if planning to breastfeed.

Washbag – the usual things, shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste and brush, face cloth, deodorant, hairbrush.

Make up – not needed but can make you feel more human!

Comfy clothes for going home.

At the end, don’t forget to add your maternity notes and birth plan, phone and charger – you would be amazed how many people forget these things!

Baby’s bag.

Nappies and cotton wool for cleaning – we don’t advise baby wipes in the early days.

Muslin squares – 3 or 4.

Cotton hat x 3.

Vests x 3.

Sleepsuits x 3.

Outfit for going home.

Blanket for going home.

If planning to bottle feed, most hospitals will expect you to bring in bottles and formula.

Don’t forget the car seat, but this can stay in your car until ready to go home.

For more advice on birth planning and pregnancy download Juno for IOS or Android and talk to one of friendly midwives.