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What to pack in your hospital bag

Packing a hospital bag can be overwhelming. That’s why we suggest breaking it down into three separate bags - your labour bag, your postpartum recovery bag, and your baby bag.

In your labour bag, you might need:

  • Antenatal notes
  • Birth plan 
  • Sick bags (mainly for the journey there!)
  • Maternity mats or towel for any sudden gushes in the car
  • Comfy, loose outfit for labour, including possibly a bikini for the pool
  • Hair bands
  • Lip balm (hospitals really dry things out!)
  • Flip flops or slippers
  • Water bottle (choose one that you don’t have to tilt to drink out of)
  • Portable speaker and/or headphones
  • Fan, a must-have for summer pregnancies
  • Pain relief methods, such as TENS machine, cold flannels, aromatherapy
  • Something to pass the time, like a magazine or pre-downloaded TV
  • Phone charger
  • Medications or glasses/contact lenses, if you have any
  • Spare change for parking

In your post-birth bag, what you’ll need will depend on what kind of birth you’ve had. In particular, if you’re having a C-section, some of this won’t apply. But you might need:

  • A couple of comfy, loose outfits with front opening, if you’re planning to breastfeed
  • Maternity bras
  • Breast pads
  • Several pairs of pants (the disposable ones are hideous, but super useful)
  • Maternity pads 
  • Peri bottle (to soothe your vulva and perineum when peeing)
  • Towel
  • Toiletries, such as deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, moisturiser, shampoo, etc.

In your bag for baby, you might need:

  • Newborn vests and sleepsuits
  • Hat
  • Scratch mittens, if your babygros don’t have them already
  • Socks or booties
  • Wipes
  • Nappies
  • Blanket
  • Muslin cloths
  • Going home outfit
  • Jacket or snowsuit, if it’s cold
  • Car seat

You’ll probably always take a million things you don’t need and forget that one thing you could have done with. By try to remember, a hospital is not a different world! People can still go and buy or collect things for you, as and when you need them, so try not to worry.