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Packing for Hospital

Packing Your Hospital Bag

When I was thinking of a word to define the past week, the one that sprung to my mind immediately was ‘packing’. It is all I seem to have done in the past ten days. First, I packed the bags we will take to the hospital when it is time to give birth, which made me feel really happy and relieved, since I did it quite late in my pregnancy this time round. I would normally have it all ready by the time I am 36 weeks pregnant. On Wednesday last week, I was in Cardiff, but that was an easy one as I was only staying there for one night and I was on my own. On Sunday morning, I packed for all of us just before we left for Devon, where we are visiting our family this week. I am sure you will agree that is a lot of packing!

When I had Crevette six years ago, I was not sure what I was supposed to take to the birth centre, so I did a bit of research into what you were meant to pack for delivery and afterwards. I am about to have my fourth baby and I have barely changed that list. We will probably not use all of it, but I find it reassuring to have everything we might need or want for the birth of our baby.

We have two bags: a bag for labour (the small one) and a post-natal bag for me, hubby and the baby (the suitcase).

Car seat

We fit ours in the car a couple of weeks before the due date. You will not be allowed to leave the hospital or birth centre without one.

Things to grab at the last minute and put in my labour bag (sticky note attached to labour bag):

  • Maternity notes with birth plan stuck in
  • Camera set on automatic mode and charger (I left it in manual mode last time. The first shot hubby took of Jumpy and I was blurry and rather dark.)
  • Phone and charger
  • Breastfeeding pillow

Labour Bag

  • Notepad & pens (I love writing everything down – contractions, feelings, first impressions after the birth, etc.)
  • Timer (to time contractions)
  • Flip flops (easy to get on and off)
  • Warm socks (your feet can get cold in labour)
  • Dark comfy dress or nightdress for labour
  • Lightweight dressing gown (you might end up pacing hospital corridors in the early stages)
  • Snacks and drinks for hubby and I (to keep energy levels up), including dextrose tablets & honey
  • Book/magazine
  • Water spray (it can get hot when you give birth!)
  • Music (I use my phone – I have all sorts on mine, from birth hypnotherapy tracks to rock music to classical to ‘angry music’ to make sure I have everything on there that will suit my mood at the time)
  • Headphones (if you want to shut out the world. I like to be left alone with my pain!)
  • Cash for parking meter / other (in coins) – £20
  • Tissues
  • Water (at least 4 x 75cl sports bottles – I drank 6 litres during my first labour!)
  • Tea bags

Hospital Bag

Toiletries and three towels easily accessible on top as you might need them during labour (see list below – When I gave birth to Crevette, the gas and air made me feel so dizzy I had to have a cold shower… I was in so much pain and so ‘out of it’ it took me 45 minutes to find my toiletries and a towel in my suitcase).

For Me

  • Comfortable going home outfit (maternity jeans I was wearing until 7 or 8 months pregnant, nursing tank top or bra, dark, loose T-shirt, waterfall cardigan, pashmina-type scarf which can double up as a breastfeeding prop)
  • Nursing bra
  • Nursing tank top
  • Breast pads
  • Tena pants (I know, giving birth, not turning incontinent… Best advice I was given: get those for the first couple of days rather than huge pads and disposable pants. They are comfortable and mean no mess.)
  • Nightdress or loose pyjamas (yoga type pants)
  • Water Wipes

For Hubby

  • Change of clothes
  • Phone numbers
  • Snacks
  • Book

For Baby

  • Going home outfit – vest, bodysuit, hat, socks, cardigan, coat
  • 5 Vests (2 in ‘newborn’, 3 in ‘0-3 months’ – we tend to have big babies!)
  • 5 newborn sleepsuits
  • 2 pairs scratch mittens
  • 2 pairs socks
  • Cellular blanket
  • 1 pack newborn nappies
  • 5 muslin squares
  • Cotton balls

Toiletries (travel size if available)

  • plasters
  • Paracetamol
  • gauze strips
  • Gaviscon
  • physiological water
  • haemorrhoid cream
  • cotton buds
  • hair clips / hair bands
  • hair brush
  • face wipes
  • nail file, scissors, polish remover (nail varnish will have to come off before you are allowed in a birth pool)
  • dry shampoo
  • floss
  • tweezers
  • baby powder
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • shower gel
  • intimate wash
  • nipple cream
  • Sudocrem
  • deodorant for hubby and I
  • razor & blade
  • 2 new toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • baby oil
  • body moisturiser
  • face wash
  • toner
  • moisturiser
  • eye cream
  • night cream
  • lip balm
  • Bach Rescue Remedy drops (for labour)
  • Arnica homeopathy pillules 30c (help with post labour bruising)
  • ear plugs and eye mask (could come in handy if sharing a brightly lit, noisy ward after the birth)

Is there anything else you would pack?


  1. Sophie at Franglaise Cooking
    09/06/2014 / 2:15 pm

    When L was born in France, 7 years ago, I was given a list as long as my arm of what I needed to take that completely freaked me out, until a mum friend told me I only needed half of it. When I had C in the UK 18 months ago I took loads with me and didn’t use half of it, she arrived so quickly I didn’t even have time to get changed or tie my hair up! I hope everything goes well and I can’t wait to hear the big news 🙂

    • Mel
      11/06/2014 / 9:25 pm

      Haha, I didn’t even open the bags in the end! x

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