So last time I packed my hospital bag for labour, I packed WAY TOO MUCH. We ended up taking a medium sized suitcase, a bag for me, the changing bag, a bag for James AND a bag full of food and drinks and snacks. We didn’t even open the suitcase during labour and James could have done without a bag, I could have done without a bag and I’m SO GLAD we have a PROPER changing bag* this time around (its mega organised).
*Kindly #gifted by the wonder women at Tiba + Marl
If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can see a bit of that nonsense here >>> I’VE FINALLY DONE IT! HOSPITAL BAG(S) ARE PACKED!
Don’t get me wrong, you do NEED to take a lot of STUFF into hospital with you, if thats where you’re choosing to birth your baby, of course! If you’re opting for a home-birth, then:
- I envy you (!!)
- You will have everything you need at your immediate disposal…
- …although, some of the below items may still be useful for home birth – and could be useful to have packed incase of a hospital transfer too.
So here we go, a list for the Mama, a list for the Baba and a list for your birth partner – plus a list of things that are good to have sorted and at hand for when the time comes. I’ll add in links for you to quick shop where possible too!
FOR ME //
To have packed in suitcase //
- Suitcase – Cabin Size – by Aerolite
- Medela Swing Breastpump
- Medela Nipple Shields – for just incase
- Natural Birthing Company Essentials Kit
- Dressing Gown
- Maternity Pads – x2 packs of 10
- Breast pads – 15 pairs
- Maternity / Nursing Bra – x2 incase of leaks
- Nipple cream – my preferred choice is by LANSINOH
- High waisted cotton knickers – this pack from M&S is perfect to throw in the case
- Bikini Top / Vest / Bra – for the birthing pool! (or just go nude, its much comfier!)
- Cheap night dress for labour, if needed. H&M is a great place to shop!
- Dark or old bath towels – M&S generally have good deals on
- Lip balm
- Bobbles / Headband / Hair grips
- Hair brush
- Sliders / Flip Flops – great to chuck on and off, and also for use in the shower so you don’t slip over!
- Mini Fan – it gets VERY hot in hospitals
- Phone Chargers / Plugs / Battery packs – we’re never without our ANKER one!
- Change of clothing for leaving the hospital – think baggy, to fit at least a 4-5 month pregnant bump
- Face cloth / Flannels – so many uses! For keeping your face/head and feet cool – for cleaning your – for cleaning the baby.
- Wash bag for worn clothes / used towels
- Ear plugs – if you’re kept in after labour, the wards can be quite loud with people coming and going
- Headphones – for the same reason, above! But also, to help ‘zone out’ and relax during labour, if you’ve made a playlist or are using Hypnobirthing
- Eye mask – Can be helpful to relax and ‘zone out’ during labour. If you’re kept in after labour, the wards can be quite bright. These SPACE MASKS are my preferred choice.
- Cosmetics Bag including // Travel sized miniatures are great here – Shampoo & Conditioner, Deodorant, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Skincare items / wipes
- Remember to pack any medications that you regularly take
Hynobirthing essentials //
- Natural Birthing Company Essentials Kit
- LED Tea Light candles
- Oil Diffuser – James bought me this VicSting one from Amazon for my birthday and its brilliant!
- Essential Oils – I’ve gone for Lavender, Clary Sage**, Chamomile
- Little Pack of Positivity – by the The Positive Birth Company
- Pregnancy Affirmation MP3’s – by The Positive Birth Company – *Kindly #gifted by Siobahn Miller, founder of PBC.
- Freya iPhone app – by The Positive Birth Company
- Eye Mask
**DO NOT USE CLARY SAGE OIL BEFORE 37 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY.
Other items for consideration //
- Your pillow from home
- Pregnancy pillow
- Socks with grip – some women get cold feet during labour
- Music / CD’s
- A treat for the Midwives for afterwards
- Plastic water jug – can be helpful for easing the pain of your first toilet trips afterwards
- Birth ball – if your hospital doesn’t supply them
- TENS Machine – if you plan on using one
- Make-up if you’re that way inclined
- Small pack of Dettol wipes – if you’re concerned about cleanliness post-birth
- Hot water bottle – to help ease back pain
A few ideas for food, drinks, snacks //
- Eat little & often!
- Pack your favourite snacks that are easy to chew down and won’t wilt in the heat of the hospital – items of high energy are what you need!
- Cereal bars
- Frozen drinks – it’s quite hot on the wards, a frozen drink will melt slowly, so will be much nicer than warm bottled water!
- Bottles of water / Isotonic drinks – avoid fizzy drinks!
- Glucose tablets
- Bendy straws/a sports bottle/bottle with straw – useful for drinking at any angle!
- Peppermint teabags – useful for trapped wind and cramps afterwards
FOR JAmes //
- Clean clothing for James, my birth partner
- Food, snacks, drinks
- Toiletries – Deodorant, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Skincare items / wipes
- Car Seat – we’ve gone for another MAXI COSI car seat this time as we loved the security of the one we had for Eli, but the laws have all changed since he was a newborn. Just a reminder that many NHS trusts will not allow the baby to leave the department WITHOUT proof of a car seat for safety reasons.
To have ready to hand //
- Birth preferences
- Maternity notes
- Cash for car park
- Pen & Paper – just incase you need to leave a note in a hurry
- Cash for payphone – there might not be signal. The battery might go on your phone!
- List of important phone numbers on paper
- In the lead-up to your ‘due window’, ensure you have enough fuel in the car
- Headphones & Eye Mask for the journey to the hospital
FOR BABY BRISTON-HILL //
- Tiba + Marl x Selfridges ELWOOD Changing Bag *Kindly #gifted by the wonder women at Tiba + Marl
- Going home outfit
- Vests – x5
- Sleep -suits – x5
- Pair of scratch mittens, if they’re not integrated into the sleep-suits
- Blanket – we’ve gone for this beautiful cellular blanket from MAMA DESIGNS
- Muslin squares – we’ve got a mixture from lots of retailers – but I LOVE these muslins by Tilly Hobbs & Co, 10% of the cost also goes to the MCR Fund.
- Soft toy – Eli has picked this JELLYCAT one for his baby sister (!!!!)
- Swaddle – if using. We’re using these GRO COMPANY ones from when Eli was newborn
- Cardigan – just incase, I know it’s July, but I do live in England
- Newborn Toiletries //
- Cotton wool balls / Cotton wool pleats
- x27 nappies – whole pack of nappies for New Born
- Ready made formula bottles – just incase there’s an issue with breast feeding or if you’ve chosen not to breastfeed – I’ve packed these SMA handy bottles
Is there anything I’m missing from above, that might prove absolutely essential for you during labour or afterwards? Comment below or send me a message and I’ll get it added in!