What to pack in your hospital bag

There are so many exciting things to do and organise when pregnant, and packing your hospital bag is definitely up there, as it means you are only a matter of weeks away from meeting your little one (unless you are super organised and pack really early!)

Below are a few essentials and luxuries we think are necessary in your hospital bag. If you want more information on what to pop in there, make sure you check out our video which has more detail.

First things first, you must have your pregnancy notes which includes your birth plan – these are difficult to pack and leave as you need to have them on you at all times, so maybe just tie a note around your bag handle so you don’t forget!

You also need to ensure you have all the clothes you will need, including maternity bra, larger than normal knickers and plenty of maternity pads and breast pads. You will also need a change of clothes, bikini top if you are planning a water birth and a nightie or pjs and you may also like to take some flip-flops or slippers. Don’t forget your toiletries and a towel and make sure you include lip balm as the hospital environment can dry out your skin and some shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. If you have long hair, then some hair bobbles or clips could be useful. Also, a hairbrush and some spare socks as your feet can get cold during labour.

You will probably also need some coins for vending machines and also for some hospital car parks – you may want to check this now. A pillow from home may help you get more comfortable in hospital, a dressing gown or loungewear and don’t forget your mobile phone charger!

For Baby
For your little one you will need; a couple of vests and sleepsuits, nappies, nappy bags, cotton wool or reusable wipes and it is always worth having a small pot or plastic container for water to help with those first few nappy changes. A couple of blankets, a hat, scratch mittens and plenty of muslins – which can double up as change mats, blankets and burping cloths. You will also need a car seat to take baby home, and maybe a coat or pram suit, depending on the weather.

The Little Extras
If you have room in your bag, it may be worth adding a few of these things too. A Tens machine, although if you go into hospital in active labour you may well be using this already (have a quick read now on how it works and don’t forget batteries!). Load up a playlist onto your phone or iPod to help keep you calm or to motivate you if you start getting tired. It may also be worth popping in some ear plugs and a eye mask to help you sleep on a busy ward.

Snacks / Drinks
We recently asked our members what snacks / drinks they took into hospital with them, and at the top of the list was an energy/sports drink, “and a straw if it’s not a sports bottle” was one suggestion. Others suggested sugary snacks and sweets or jelly babies to give you energy. Another member suggested bananas and others recommended cereal bars and/or flapjacks. Also don’t forget your partner as they may too be in hospital for a while.

What did you take or plan to take into hospital? What did you need most or didn’t really need in the end? We’d love to hear your suggestions – just post your comments on our blog here or our Facebook Page.

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Note: whilst we welcome feedback on this blog, we will not tolerate any abuse or misuse. Please respect the views and feelings of others. The content and advice offered is based on general recommendations and health-care professional suggestions and is designed to be used as a guide and discussion piece. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare / medical professional. If in doubt, always consult your doctor or health-care professional.

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