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Updated: Oct 14, 2023

Wondering what to pack in your hospital bag? This handy guide covers all the hospital bag essentials that you'll need for postpartum recovery and for the baby

Mum completing hospital bag checklist

Preparing for your hospital stay is an exciting and important part of the journey to welcoming your little one. One of the key aspects of preparation is packing a well-organised hospital bag ahead of time.

To make things easier for you, we've put together a nifty guide on what to pack in your hospital bag. So, let's dive in and ensure you're fully prepared for the big day!

When is it Time to Pack your Hospital Bag

Timing is everything, folks! Don't be caught off guard by starting your packing frenzy at the last minute. We recommend packing your bag from 32 weeks. This way, you'll have enough time to gather all the necessary items without breaking into a sweat.

To keep things organised, create a checklist that outlines everything you'll need for your hospital stay. Having a checklist ensures you don't forget any essential items and helps you stay on track during the packing process.

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

We've broken down the different items you want to pack into ten different groups:

1. Birth Plan and Pregnancy Documents

2. Clothing and Comfort

3. Toiletries and Personal Care

4. Items for Labour

5. Entertainment

6. Snacks and Hydration

7. Postpartum Care

8. Baby Essentials

9. Comfort Items

10. Packing for your Birth Partner

Here's a nifty tip for your hospital bag: it's a great idea to split your essentials for labor and post-birth into separate bags. Trust us, this simple trick will save you from endless rummaging! With everything neatly organised, you can effortlessly grab the items you need without digging through a whole bag.

So, take a few minutes to divide and conquer, and you'll thank yourself later when everything is organised and within easy reach.

1. Birth Plan and Hospital Admin:

It's a good idea to have an extra copy of your birth plan stashed in your hospital bag. Just in case you misplace your maternity folder (it happens to the best of us!), having that backup will come in handy. Not only will it help you express your preferences clearly, but it'll also provide crucial medical details to the awesome healthcare professionals taking care of you. So, remember to keep a spare copy on hand for peace of mind!

If you're planning on taking your own car to the hospital make sure you know the parking situ. Lots of the parking tickets are done through an app so make sure you've downloaded it in advance. Also have lots of spare change for parking too.

2. Clothing and Comfort:

When it comes to packing clothes for your hospital stay, prioritising your comfort is a must! Think about choosing loose-fitting, super comfy outfits. Remember, during this time, it's all about embracing maximum comfort and feeling your best.

  • Gown for birth that is comfy and also breathable, we recommend short sleeves as it can be pretty warm

  • An outfit to travel home in that is comfy - think stretchy leggings, loose vest tops

  • Dressing gown

  • Comfortable underwear and don't forget to include nursing bras for breastfeeding

  • Slippers or sandals for walking around the hospital

  • Socks to keep your feet warm

3. Toiletries and Personal Care:

  • Pack your toothbrush and toothpaste

  • A hairbrush, hair ties, and headbands will help you manage your hair during labor and recovery

  • Don't forget to include skincare essentials such as moisturisers, deodorant, lip balm and gentle facial wipes to keep your skin refreshed

  • Body wash, shampoo, and conditioner

  • Remember to pack any medications you normally take too

4. Items for Labour

Lady giving birth in birthing poo;l

A birth ball or exercise ball can promote better positioning, relieve discomfort, and assist in pain management during contractions. Check with the midwife to see if they have them in the delivery rooms to save you yours along

  • Bikini if you want something to wear if you're planning on a water birth

  • Massage oil with essential oils to provide soothing touch and relaxation during labor

  • Consider bringing a portable music player to create a soothing and calming atmosphere with your favourite tunes

  • TENS machine for support during the labor process

  • Portable fan to keep you cool during labor

  • Plug in essential oil diffuser

5. Entertainment

Labor can be a long process, especially if you are admitted early on in the labour process. It’s worth bringing along some entertainment to help pass the time and keep your mind occupied

  • Books, magazines, or e-books

  • Phone / ipad with downloaded podcasts, movies, or games

  • Headphones (make sure they're charged if they're bluetooth

  • Chargers (bring a couple) and make sure you have different types for the different devices too

  • Camera if you’re planning on using one rather than your phone

6. Snacks and Hydration

Giving birth requires energy, folks! So, pack some tasty snacks that will keep your energy up during labour. Pack food for you and your birth partner too

  • Bring along a tasty assortment of snacks to satisfy your cravings for something sweet, salty, or savoury!

  • And don't forget to stay hydrated! Bring a reusable water bottle with a straw so you can sip and refill with ease while you're in the thick of things

  • If you like energy drinks then bring a couple of bottles of these along too to give you a rapid energy boost

  • A mini cooler if you like your drinks to be nice and cold

  • Bottle of celebratory champagne - yesss! you will totally deserve it!

7. Postpartum Care

After giving birth, your body will require special care and attention, so make sure you're clue'd up on what you need to bring along for you

8. Baby Essentials

Let's not forget about the star of the show. Here are the essential items to pack for your newborn baby.

  • Newborn clothing such as sleepsuits, onesies. Bring newborn and slightly larger sizes as you never know how big or small your little one is gonna be

  • Hats to keep your little one warm

  • Lots of muslin blankets to have on hand

  • Ample supply of nappies, wipes, nappy bags and your change mat

  • Car seat to bring baby home (worth doing some practice runs on how to fit this ahead of time too)

9. Comfort Items

Bringing comfort items from home, such as a cozy blanket or your favourite pillow, can make your hospital stay feel more familiar and comforting.

10. Packing for your Birth Partner

Let's not forget about your birth partner! They play a vital role in supporting you during the birth, even though you may want to scream at them sometimes. Encourage them to pack their own bag so they know what they have brought to hospital with them

  • Sweatpants and hoodies and extra pairs of underwear

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste because fresh breath is a must

  • Deodorant

  • Entertainment options to keep them entertained during downtime

  • Snacks and treats to keep them fuelled and happy — because a hungry partner is a grumpy partner

Printable Hospital Bag Checklist

For those of you who love old fashioned pen and paper we have a printable version of our Hospital Bag Checklist so you can tick off once you've got packed.

Printable Hospital Bag Checklist
Download PDF • 123KB

Final Check and Preparation

Before leaving for the hospital, double-check your checklist to ensure you have packed everything you need. Okay this may be easier said than done when you're right in the contraction mix.

In conclusion, packing your hospital bag is an exciting part of preparing for the arrival of your little one. By following this guide, you'll have everything you need to stay comfortable, entertained, and well-cared for during your hospital stay. Remember to pack your birth plan and pregnancy documents, comfortable clothing, toiletries, items for labour, snacks and hydration, entertainment, baby essentials, and postpartum care items.

And don't forget to pack some items for your birth partner as well.

Good luck! You're gonna rock it!



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