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The list of things you need in your hospital bag may seem endless when you start looking into the things you need to take to hospital with you.
In this article, we’ll focus on the most important items. Things that mums talk about all the time. Things that can really make a difference to how comfortable you are when you go to the hospital to give birth.
Let’s dive in…
What to Pack for Mum
Your Hospital file
This is an obvious one. It is important to have your medical records with you so that your caregivers can take a look at it whenever they need to.
Your Birth Plan
I’m a huge advocate of having a birth plan. It is important that you are aware of your choices and you’ve thought about what you want when you are giving birth. Both you, your birth partner, and your caregivers need to be aware of your preferences, so have your plan with you, and have a few copies that you can give to your caregivers too.
A Tablet, Laptop or Phone
We all know how important these devices seem to us in this day and age. They can often be annoying distractions and end up wasting our time but when you’re giving birth in a hospital, they can be amazing!
You’ll be able to keep in touch with loved ones if you want to, watch your favourite shows, read books or access your hypnobirthing materials if you’ve purchased the Positive Birth Playbook.
These things will keep you busy and can help serve as distractions when you are trying to avoid negative thoughts. There can be a lot of waiting around during childbirth after all. Don’t give those negative thoughts a chance to creep in.
Tablet, Laptop, or Phone Charger
There is nothing more frustrating than running out of battery, especially when you are using your device to help you relax and stay positive. Make sure you have a charger so that you don’t get interrupted.
These go hand in hand with the suggestion above. Being able to play your own music or perhaps some affirmations can be a game-changer. There is nothing quite like music to lift the mood and make us feel good and get that vital hormone – oxytocin, flowing!
Glasses and Contact Lenses
Don’t forget these essentials if you need them. These can be easy to forget during the excitement of making your way to the hospital.
Bringing your own pillow will help you feel comfortable in ways you may not even realise. The touch and smell of a familiar pillow can be very reassuring and relaxing – exactly what you want when you’re about to give birth.
Drinks & Snacks
You’ll be working hard when you are giving birth. Your uterus in particular will be having an intense workout and you’ll need to provide energy to your body. Sports drinks are a great way to get energy fast. Opt for the non-fizzy kind. You’ll also need plenty of water and some snacks. I’d recommend high-energy, convenient snacks. Cereal bars are one good example. You should also take some of your favourite comfort food to eat once you’ve given birth.
Giving birth can make you sweat! A flannel can help to keep you cool during all that activity. Hospitals can be hot places too so it is always handy to have a flannel when you are there, even if you’re not in active labour.
Bikini (if using a birth pool)
A bikini is the ideal thing to wear whilst in the birth pool.
Two Nursing Bras
Be prepared with a couple of comfortable nursing bras.
Some towels, tissues, hairbrush, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, body wash, shampoo and skincare products (if you use them).
Lip Balm, Nipple Cream & Moisturizer
Your skin can really dry out during labour so make sure you pack these.
If you are planning on some massage to help you relax (highly recommended) then you’ll need to make sure you pop this in your bag.
Dressing Gown and Slippers
These are ideal for keeping you warm and cosy whilst making your way around the hospital ward.
Big Maternity Pads & Breast Pads
You’ll need to be able to absorb leaked breast milk and blood after you give birth. It is perfectly normal to bleed a lot after birth, so you’ll need to be prepared.
Big, Comfy Pants
Make sure you take several pairs of comfortable underwear with you and be aware that they might get messy.
You’ll need something to sleep in (a front opening night dress would be ideal), some clothes for wearing in the hospital, and an outfit to wear home. Opt for comfy clothing and choose drawstring or elastic waists when possible.
What to Pack for Baby
Pack at least three sleepsuits for your little one to keep them warm and cozy during their stay. Ones that fasten up at the front are the easiest to work with.
Pack at least three vests. Vests are useful for putting on and off quickly in order to keep your baby at a comfortable temperature.
Mittens, Hat, Socks, and Booties
These are also very important to keep your baby warm. Newborns get cold easily so these items are very important.
Having your own blanket is important to help keep your baby warm whilst in hospital and also in the car seat on the way home.
Big Cotton Wool Balls
Used to clean up your little one. You should use cotton wool balls with water as your babies skin will be very sensitive.
Have some newborn nappies with you and be aware that babies can go through 10 a day so have at least 20 with you.
A Couple of Muslins
Muslins will help prevent dribble when feeding your little one.
A Small Bottle of Olive Oil
By putting a few drops on your babies bottom before you put their first nappy on, you’ll be able to wipe away their first poo much easier.
Birth Partner Packing List
Phone / Camera & Chargers and Batteries
The birth partner will want to stay in touch with loved ones and get some entertainment during downtime too. If you’re planning on taking pictures then a separate camera may be a good idea. Remember spare batteries and chargers for any electronics.
Snacks and Drinks
Labour can be hard work for birth partners too. Pack plenty of snacks and drinks as well as change for vending machines.
The birth partner’s key job is to make the birth room as calm and comfortable as possible. This means bringing along everything from battery-powered fairy lights, essentials oils, affirmations, relaxation MP3s, pictures of loved ones a birth ball (if required), a TENS machine (if you use one). It is also their job to set this up upon arrival so that mum can be comfortable and relaxed as soon as possible.
A Pillow and Blanket
The birth partner could have a long wait ahead of them. Having a comfy pillow and blanket will really help to deal with long waits.
A birth partner will need a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant as a minimum.
It is hard to predict how long labour will take, so having a change of clothes available is always a good idea.
Swimming Shorts / Swimming Costume
These would only be required if mum is planning to have a water birth and you are planning on getting in the pool with her.