What to pack for your big day!

Midwives recommend that you have your hospital bag ready at 36 weeks to avoid any last minute panic – especially if your new baby decides to make an early entrance!

Even if you’re not planning a hospital birth, it’s better to be prepared for the unexpected.

You may be surprised by some of the ‘necessities’ midwives suggest, such as an old T-shirt for the labour (in case it gets messy), a phone or tablet and a pillow from home as it’s always good to have some home comforts and you may wish to keep in touch! Just remember every hospital is different and may have it’s own policy so suggest you check before you pack.

Here’s what items we suggest go in your bag, they may not all be essential, but may make the whole experience more comfortable for you, your birthing partner and your new bundle of joy!

What to pack

For you:

  • Hospital notes and birth plan are absolutely critical.
  • Pants (7-10 pairs.) You can buy disposable pants or a cheap pack of cotton knickers instead - you can always chuck them out afterwards!
  • Maternity sanitary pads (two packs of 10 or 12.) You could go for the heaviest duty sanitary towels instead.
  • Two long T-shirts or old nighties to wear for labour (front opening is a good idea so you can feed your baby without fuss.)
  • Socks or cosy slipper socks (cold feet are a common complaint in labour.)
  • Nursing bra and breastpads.
  • TENS machine/birthing ball if you're using them.
  • Slip-on slippers.
  • A lightweight dressing gown (hospitals can be very warm and maybe choose a darker colour or heavy pattern to hide any stains.)
  • Lip balm to prevent dry lips in labour (another common complaint.)
  • Cool-water face spray.
  • Facecloth.
  • Hairbands – especially if you have long hair and you just want it out of the way.
  • Flip flops for the shower.
  • Cartons of juice or bottles of water.
  • Glucose tablets for energy.
  • Healthy snacks.
  • Toiletries and any medicine you may take regularly.
  • Spare toothbrush and toothpaste (so you can pack it in advance.)
  • Tissues.
  • Hairbrush and towel.
  • Make-up and remover.
  • Going home outfit (but still maternity clothes at this stage!)
  • Your mobile phone and charger.
  • A portable battery-operated radio and/or music system (if the hospital allows.)
  • Pen and paper.
  • If you have an older child, it's also nice to take in a photo of them to put by your bedside.
  • Laundry bag for dirty clothes.
  • Your birthing partner:

  • Some loose change (for parking, hospital shop, vending – check the rates at the hospital before you go in on the big day – so you’re not surprised at the charges!)
  • A few books/magazines/games.
  • Spare batteries / phone charger.
  • A camera if you’re not relying on your phone.
  • Some snacks – so you don’t have to rely on the vending machines if there is a wait.
  • A pillow, blanket and change of clothes (in case of overnight stay.)
  • For your new born baby:

  • A pack of newborn nappies.
  • A pack of cotton wool balls for nappy changes.
  • A towel.
  • Six sleepsuits.
  • Six vests.
  • A cardigan.
  • Socks
  • Hat
  • Blanket (or coat if it's winter.)
  • A few muslin cloths.
  • Make sure the car seat is all ready in the car (and that you know how to do the straps and fit it properly. Whilst Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge made it look easy – it isn’t always! Maybe one for your birthing partner.)
  • What did we miss? We’d love to hear when and what you packed for your big day! Or maybe there was something you wish you had packed! We’d love to know.

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