What to Pack
It is recommended that you pack a bag and get a few things ready at least 3 weeks before your due date.
Things you might want to pack include:
- Your birth plan and hospital notes
- Something loose and comfortable to wear during labour that does not restrict you from moving around or make you too hot
- 3 changes of loose, comfortable clothes
- 2 or 3 comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you're planning to breastfeed – remember, your breasts will be much larger than usual
- Breast pads
- 2 packets of super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads
- 5 or 6 pairs of knickers – you may want to bring some disposable ones
- Your washbag with a toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, soap, lip balm, deodorant, hair ties and other toiletries
- Things to help you pass the time and relax – for example, books, magazines, music or podcasts
- A fan or water spray to cool you down
- Front-opening or loose-fitting nighties or tops if you're going to breastfeed
- Dressing gown and slippers
- Extra pillows
- A TENS machine if you intend to use one
- Any medicines you're taking
- Bodysuits, vests and sleepsuits
- An outfit for going home in
- A hat, scratch mittens and socks or booties
- A sealed, unopened pack of nappies
- A shawl or blanket
- Muslin squares or bibs
- A car seat for the trip home (you will only need to bring this when you are going home)
Your birthing partner
- A change of clothes
- A wash bag
- Drinks and snacks
- Phone charger
A word of advice...
If you forget something, do not panic!
Someone can always bring things in from home for you, and the hospital will have plenty of supplies too.
Even if you're planning to have your baby at home, you should pack a bag in case you need to go into hospital at any point, or so that your midwife can help you easily find things.
If you're planning to give birth at home, discuss your plans and what you need to prepare with your midwife. Think about where in your home you want to give birth.
In addition to the list above, you are likely to need:
- clean bed clothes and towels
- waterproof cover (e.g. basic shower curtains)
- box of treats for you and your partner
You should plan how you'll get to the hospital or midwifery unit because you might need to go there at any time of the day or night:
- If you're planning to go by car, make sure it's running well and that there's always enough petrol in the tank.
- If someone else has said they'll take you, make an alternative arrangement just in case they're not available.
When you come home, you will not want to do much more than rest and care for your baby, so do as much planning as you can in advance.
- If you can, buy lots of basic items such as toilet paper, sanitary towels and nappies in advance.
- If you have a freezer, you could cook some meals in advance and freeze them.
- Ensure you have paracetamol and ibuprofen (if you are able to take)