First of all, it’s easier to pack two bags; one for you and one for baby. It’s also a good idea to have everything packed and ready to go by the time you’re 36 weeks’ pregnant.
- Your hospital or maternity notes and birth plan – have them at the top of your bag as your midwife will need those straightaway
- Slippers or flip flops
- 3 set of sleep wear; night dress or pyjamas, whichever is comfiest. If you’re planning to breastfeed buttons at the front will make it easier
- Lightweight (dark) dressing gown
- Toiletries – keep it as small as possible but if you normally wear makeup, take that too
- Nipple balm; there’s no need to buy a separate lip balm, nipple balm, such as No Harm Nipple Balm will work far more effectively so there’s no need to double up on things.
- Spritz for Bits; our hero product and fast becoming the number one addition to hospital bags. It provides instant cooling and relief from pain whilst the active ingredients help to improve healing and prevent infection
- Any medications you’ve been taking – some hospitals also ask that you take your own pain relief too, such as paracetamol, but check with your midwife first
- Maternity Pads – 1 pack (the big bulky ones)
- A large towel for showering
- 5 pairs of big pants – you ‘ll want to be comfy and the sanitary pads fall out of small pants
- 2 comfy bras – sports bras and vest tops are great too
- A plastic bag for your dirty clothes
- Comfy clothes for you to wear home
Baby's Bag (or a separate tote bag in your bag)
- A hat for baby - important as their heads will be wet and lose heat otherwise
- 6 nappies – size 1 is fine but if you’re expecting a really small baby maybe get micro too
- 3 vests (also called bodysuits – get the newborn size if you’re expecting an average sized baby)
- 3 sleepsuits – again, newborn size is fine, but get 0-3 if you’re expecting your baby is to be over 10 pounds
- Some muslin cloths
Your Birth Partners Bag
Your Partner will also need a hospital bag for food and other supplies, especially if you’re having your labour induced, which would normally make a stay in hospital longer. It also means that you have a smaller bag to hand with the things that you may want quickly
- Change of clothes
- Food, drinks and snacks; not all hospitals have 24 hour restaurant services or retailers
- Battery pack charger for phone/tablet; some hospitals don’t allow you to use their power points so these give up to 3 full charges for your phone
- Sports drinks – like lucozade sport or carbohydrate/glucose gel sachets (this is really for you) Your body requires considerable calories during labour and needs this energy quickly. We also know from research that preventing women from eating and drinking in labour can slow down contractions and the progress of labour.
- Purse or wallet
Lesley Gilchrist is a practicing midwife and Co-Founder & Clinical Director of My Expert Midwife. She will be speaking on the Live Stage at The Baby Show Olympia as well as in the One to One with the Experts area. Check out their fabulous range of products on stand D41.