What Do I Need to Take Into Hospital
What goes in a hospital bag and when should I get it ready?
Regardless of whether you are having a home, hospital or midwiferyunit birth you need to pack a bag, so everything is in one place and in
case of emergencies, at least two weeks before your due date. Your
midwife will provide you with a list tailored to your specific
hospital/midwifery unit, but here are some things that you might want
Your birth plan, if you have written one.
Medication/List of medication for any pre-existing
conditions/illnesses you may have.
Things to help you relax, or pass the time (music,
Loose and comfy clothing to wear during labour. Natural
fibres are a better choice, than man-made, as they let
your body breathe more. You will probably need a few
changes throughout labour, so make sure to pack about
3 sets. Some women may prefer to be naked throughout
labour, but it is probably wise to pack them just in case.
Don’t forget to pack a comfortable outfit to wear home!
About 24 extra-absorbent sanitary pads (Maternity ones
with wings are a good idea).
Sponge/cloth or a water-spray, to help keep you cool
Front-opening, or loose-fitting nighty or tops for
breastfeeding; 2 or 3 supportive but comfortable bras
(make sure to take nursing bras if you are
At least 5 or 6 pairs of pants.
Dressing gown and slippers
Clothing (make sure you include a hat) and nappies for
A shawl to wrap the baby in.
A camera to capture those all-important first moments.
Think about getting to and from the hospital, and make sure you
have a contingency plan, in case of unexpected problems with
transport. Think about the route you will take, to allow for unforeseen
holdups e.g. roadworks. Remember, you can always call an
NB: make sure you have rear-facing car seat (and you disable any
associated air-bags). Please get expert advice, and ensure you are
aware of the new, car seat regulations, that come into effect on 1st
If you are having a home birth, you will need to discuss this with
your midwife, to ensure you have everything required. But at the very
least you will need clean linen and towels available for the midwife to
use, sanitary pads and clothing for when your baby arrives. You also
need to think about where in the home you want to give birth and if
you need to hire specialist equipment e.g. a birthing pool.
Many people have mobile phones, but it can be handy to keep a
written list of important contact details: Your hospital and midwife
phone numbers; your partner/birth partner’s phone number; your
hospital reference number, as they will ask for this when you phone to
say you are on your way
Home Equipment Considerations
Below is a list of items you may need immediately:
Moses basket and stand
Sheets and waffle blanket
Breast feeding pillow (if required)
Sterilizer and bottles
Baby formula (if bottle feeding)
A baby bath
Scented nappy sacs
Possible purchases are:
Bottle warmer (a jug of hot water will suffice)
Nappy bucket (for terry nappies to be collected by an
Nappy disposal Bin (these are specialist bins that lock
Dummies (if you think you want your baby to have one)
These things can wait to be purchased later:
Cot High chair
Safety gate and catches
Newborns need a lot of attention. Make sure you gather a supply
of necessary equipment a couple of weeks before your due date.
Some of the obvious items your baby will need are:
Nappies (terry or disposable);
Nappy rash ointment/cream,
Less obvious items are:
Nail scissors (specifically for newborns);
Laundry powder that is hypoallergenic,
Thermometer for your bathtub (many parent use the
elbow in the water technique, satisfactorily), but
whatever you use, be sure to put the cold water in to the
bath first then the hot. This way you avoid the possible
risk of burns to the baby,
During the first weeks after your baby’s arrival you may not leave
the house often to buy all the necessary items, so make sure you accept
help when offered. Babies go through tons of nappies but do not
overstock, as they change size frequently. If you chose not to
breastfeed or cannot, you will need to buy formula milk.
NB: Do not make up bottles with water straight from the tap. It
needs to be freshly boiled and left to cool, for no more than 30
minutes before you make up the milk.
You are going to want to buy clothes for your baby but please
remember many people may gift you baby clothes. An item you might
want to buy is a swaddle blanket, this keeps your baby warm and
comfortable after they are born.
Other items to buy include:
Keep in mind that depending when your baby is born, weather
plays a factor when deciding which clothes to buy. Babies grow fast so
there is no need to buy too many clothes, before they are born.
It’s not just your baby that needs things ready at home for after
the birth, you will too. Some items are: Nursing bras; breast pads;
sanitary pads; nipple cream; comfy clothing; a supply of nutritious
snacks and foods. Yet again, if people offer to cook for you, take them
up on the offer! You will more than likely be able to reciprocate one