20 essential items to pack in your hospital bag for birth
What to pack in your hospital bag? We get the lowdown from a midwife on what you really NEED
If your due date is fast approaching, now is time to start thinking about those all important must-have items that you will need during labour and after giving birth. Even if you're not planning a hospital birth, potential complications may lead to a hospital delivery, so you'll need to be prepared whatever the outcome.
Midwife Lesley Gilchrist shares with us her ultimate bag packing list. "Your bag should be packed in this order as this reflects when you’ll be likely to use them," says Lesley. "The first item on the list should go at the bottom of your bag."
To pack in your main bag...
1. Clothing to wear home
2. x 3 button down nightdresses
3. x 1 pack of maternity pads - the thick, absorbent ones, or the knickers with built in pads
4. x 2 flannels of different colours - one for face, one for body
5. Toiletries - gentle and fragrance-free
6. An old towel - the hospital will provide baby towels
7. x 5 pairs of large briefs - large enough to fit two maternity pads and that will sit comfortbaly up above your belly button
8. x 2 comfortable, supportive nursing bras - avoid underwires
9. Plastic bag for spoiled clothing
10. Slippers, and flip flops - hospital maternity wards can be warm
11. A non-white dressing gown - a thinner gown is ideal
12. Nipple balm - keep it natural, remembering that your baby will eat through it
13. Something comfortable for labour that you won't mind probably having to throw away
And to pack in a smaller bag...
14. Hospital or maternity notes (usually an orange book)
15. Any day-to-day medication you need, plus painkillers for afterwards
16. Phone and charger
17. Purse containing essentials
18. Magazines and newspapers
19. Aromatherapy oils
20. Music and speakers, if you want it played during labour
Don't forget your birth partner's bag, which will likely contain a change of clothes for them, food and snacks for you both, plus change for hospital car parking and a camera
Don't miss our guides to the essential, and more unusual, things to pack in your hospital bags:
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