Your Hospital bag
Unless you're having your baby at home, it’s a good idea to pack a bag with things to take with you for the birth well in advance. Our maternity units provide a list of suggested things to pack and your community midwife should give you this. If you’re having your baby at home, your midwife will give you a list of things to have ready.
You may want to include the following:
- Front-opening nighties if you’re going to breastfeed, and an extra one if you’re going to wear your nightie rather than a hospital gown during labour
- Dressing gown and slippers
- Two or three nursing bras, or ordinary bras if you’re not breastfeeding (remember, your breasts will be much larger than usual)
- About 24 sanitary towels (super absorbent), not tampons
- Five or six pairs of pants as you’ll probably want to change them often to stay fresh
- Your washbag, with toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, etc
- Change or a phone card for the hospital payphone
- A book, magazines, MP3 player or other things to help you pass the time and relax
- A loose comfortable outfit to wear during the day
- A small bag for labour with one or two large T-shirts, a sponge or water spray to cool you down, an MP3 player with your favourite music, and anything else that will make labour more pleasant for you
- Clothes and nappies for the baby
For coming home
Pack loose, easy-to-wear clothes for yourself, baby clothes (including a hat), some nappies and a shawl or blanket to wrap the baby in.
Work out how you'll get to the hospital as you could be going there at any time of day or night. If you’re planning to go by car, make sure it’s running well and that there’s always enough petrol in the tank. If a neighbour has said they can be able to take you, make a back-up arrangement just in case they’re not in. In an emergency call an ambulance, and try to do so in good time.