What to pack in your hospital bag can be a minefield, if you packed every single thing that someone recommends you take, you would probably need a suitcase big enough for a family of 4!
When this conversation comes up in my antenatal classes I always recommend packing 2 bags!
One bag for the essentials for a normal straight forward.birth, where you are in hospital for a number of hours but not necessarily over night (as in a night after you give birth) and another one with extra things in case you do need or decide to stay longer.
here Is a list of things to make packing your hospital bag a little easier for you!
- Maternity notes, including your birth plan.
- A comfy, loose outfit for labour that you can move around in and that won’t make you too hot.
- A nighty or a big t-shirt is perfect. Something you can easily pull down, open or lift up for skin to skin is great.
- Chill-out kit including books, magazines, music or podcasts (more for the early stages…).
- A fan or water spray to cool you down.
- A phone and charger – make sure you have plenty of storage! (and a camera if you prefer it for pictures)
- Healthy snacks.
- A drink, consider an energy drink like the flat lucozade sports drinks (make sure you try it prior to labour…a mistake I made the first time around, luckily the orange one got me through because the blackcurrant one I also bought was yuk!). You might prefer just to take your own drink but I would recommend an easy sip bottle, you don’t want to be faffing with lids and things in the middle of active labour!
- Your own pillow, possibly a giant pregnancy one.
- A TENS machine and batteries if you want to use one and if your hospital doesn’t provide one. Any medication you’re taking.
- Your wash bag with your toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, soap, hair ties and other toiletries.
- Aromatherapy oils, especially if you have been using them during pregnancy, e.g. for hypnobirthing.
- Vaseline (or lip balm) as hospitals can be quite drying but also vaseline is great to put on your babies bottom straight after birth to save a huge effort trying to remove their first, sticky tar like, poo!
- Change for the car park.
- A soft outfit for baby, including a hat, mittens and blanket.
- Maternity sanitary pads.
- Paracetamol and Ibuprofen (not essential but I would recommend, I took them as soon as possible after my second and then regularly thereafter for a few days and it made such a difference).
- Big, black, comfy pants! Possibly 2-3 pairs just incase. Perfect for after birth when comfort is key! Don’t spend too much on these incase you get blood on them!
- A comfy outfit for you for after birth and to travel home in.
- Comfy warm socks and/or slippers especially in winter.
- New born nappies and cotton wool for babies first poops!
- A muslin cloth
If you haven’t already you should definitely check out a really fantastic company called BirthBags, they have created a range of pre packed birth essentials leaving you to focus on choosing your bag.
Take a look at our range of gorgeous Ottilie bags in grey, mint and coral, which have a huge capacity and many useful little features making them perfect not only as a hospital bag but for life with your new arrival!
In your second bag you can place extra clothes for yourself and baby, extra toiletries, more snacks and anything else you would like with you if you need or decide to stay over night or longer. This bag can be left at home but easily collected and brought to hospital by your other half or a family member needed.
Lastly one very important thing is your babies car seat, you will not be allowed out of hospital without this!