One of the questions I am asked most often by clients before the birth of their baby, is
“What should I pack in my hospital bag for Labour and Birth?”
I typically suggest packing a few different bags for the duration of your time at the hospital or birth centre.
I would suggest having a hospital bag for Mum during the labour, a bag for Dad or your birth partner, and a few bits for the Baby.
I would then suggest keeping stuff in a separate bag for after the birth. This bag could be left in the boot of the car, so it doesn’t look like you are arriving at hospital carrying enough luggage for two weeks holiday!
If you don’t remember everything then Don’t Panic! Things can always be bought in later.
Today I am featuring some suggestions for things you might find helpful to pack in your hospital bag for labour and birth. The list is not exhaustive, so choose the bits which work for you, but hopefully, this will give you an idea of things you might find useful to pack.
For Labour and Birth
- Your birth plan/preferences
- T-shirt/nightie or comfortable, loose clothing for labour
- TENS machine (optional)
- Socks (feet can get cold during birth)
- Slippers (ditto)
- Lip salve (for the gas and air)
- Hairbrush / hair band/clips
- Massage oils
- Snacks & Water or Frozen Bottle of Water
- Your choice of Music
- Water spray/mist to cool you down
- Photos / relaxation aids
- Bath towel (in a dark colour)
- Pyjamas and Dressing Gown for afterwards
- Disposable or old knickers (black are good)
- Maternity sanitary towels
- Tablet Device/Phone for entertainment and capturing those first photo’s
- Snacks & drinks (Dad’s don’t get fed typically)
- Change of clothes, e.g. T-shirt & shorts, as it’s always hot on the labour ward or in the birth centre.
- Also perhaps spare undies and a small hand towel – you could be there a while
- Something to entertain them
- Notebook and pen (or contraction app) for timing contractions
- Money for phone/Car park
- List of phone numbers
For the Hospital Bag /Birth Centre Bag duration of the stay
- Nighties / Pyjamas(breastfeeding friendly ones)
- Disposable or old knickers (black)
- Baby Wipes (for cleaning your body or hands)
- Hand Sanitising Gel
- Arnica Tablets and Arnica Cream (for healing)
- Maternity Sanitary Towels
- Nursing bras
- Dressing gown
- Toiletries/ toothbrush etc
- Two Bath Towels (dark colour)
- Snacks/Squash (undiluted)
- Bottled Water
- Magazines (for those long feeds)
- Cardigan, scarf or shawl
- Maternity Bra’s x 2
- Breast Pads
- Muslin Squares
- Make up
- Ear Plugs
- Notebook and pen for remembering information
- Birth announcement cards
- Address books & phone numbers
- Wet Bag/Plastic Bag for dirty clothes
- Going home outfit / clothes to wear in hospital (loose / maternity clothes!)
- Sense of Humour!
- Nappies (around ten per day)
- Cotton wool
- Five Vests
- Five Baby Gro’s
- Going home outfit
- Car seat
- Baby’s First Teddy
Suggestions from other Mum’s for the Hospital Bag
- Water in a Sports Type Bottle
- Knickers (Buy cheap comfortable Black cotton ones which can be thrown away as disposable are uncomfortable and impractical) (M&S do packs of 5, get a size bigger than pre-preg)
- Face wipes for last bit of labour (really nice champneys ones, I really
- I found Lucozade very useful straight afterwards and snack size Mars bars, Haribo (or the like) which I nibbled at for the next several hours – great for an energy boost when you’re shattered!
- Ear plugs as you get NO sleep in a hospital esp. if you end up being there longer than planned.
- A comfy blanket and Pillow (take in your own)
- Arnica Tablets and Cream did wonders for healing
- Some nice smelling disinfectant gel – the stuff you use to wash your hands without water when you can’t get out of bed every 2 mins. – I found a nice strawberry one (in Asda I think).
- Flip-flops that can get wet – for the shower
- Face Cloth
- A sense of humour for when everything goes wrong and for all the contradictory
advice you get bombarded with
- A little labour bag for my husband. It included change of t-shirt, underwear &
socks, sweets, snacks, fizzy drink, camera and a present from the baby – a
photographic history of his favourite football club (don’t bother with anything
So there you have it, my recommendations for the Hospital Bag Labour and Birth.
What would you recommend packing in your Hospital Bag for Labour and Birth?