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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. 31/05/2014 / 1:10 pm

    Wow you are so amazingly organised! I’d got about halfway through packing my hospital bag when Arthur arrived three days early (first baby – I was convinced he was going to be late) but fortunately we managed to stay at home for all of it so I had everything to hand! One thing I found really useful, especially during my 2 1/2 hour second stage was dextrose tablets – I wasn’t up to eating anything else but really needed to keep my energy up… Good luck with the birth – exciting times! X

    • Mel
      31/05/2014 / 9:50 pm

      Good point about the dextrose tablets! I will be adding those to the list. It also took me over two hours of exhausting pushing to get my first baby out, and I really did not want to eat anything. Those would have helped. In my third labour, when I started telling them I wanted to give up and go home (as you do!), the midwife gave me honey and it really helped give me that little boost of energy I needed.

  2. Let kids be kids
    31/05/2014 / 7:11 pm

    I packed too much for both my pregnancies, but was worse when I had my twins as I didn’t have a clue how much I needed to take for 2 babies. It sounds like you are nicely organised. Good luck! x

    • Mel
      31/05/2014 / 10:18 pm

      Thanks Karen. I probably have too much, but I would rather have a few extra things I do not need than really want something and not have it, hi hi!

  3. Steph @ Pretty Unexpected
    31/05/2014 / 10:25 pm

    That’s a pretty impressive list! Really useful for someone like me who hasn’t quite got round to packing her bags yet, tomorrow is definitely going to be the day I do it! I really, really need to get it done tomorrow – I’m not sure how much longer I can put it off since I’m already 37+3!

    • Mel
      31/05/2014 / 10:36 pm

      You should feel really relieved when it is all packed! That is certainly how I felt after doing it so late this time round. Exciting times, hey!

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 5:42 pm

      Thanks Fiona! x

  4. Mummy Tries
    05/06/2014 / 5:26 am

    I’d say pack some snacks for you hon, just in case you have to stay in a couple of days. I took nuts, dried fruit a few bananas and a few apples with me. If you eat museli then a good brand like Dorset Cereals do nice ones without too much sugar. I thought the food had massively gone downhill since my hospital stay with 2yo. VERY best of luck lovely, can’t wait to hear your news and see the first photos xxx #brilliantblogposts

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 5:41 pm

      Definitely a good idea to pack lots of snacks. I already have a substantial bag of goodies, but I will add fruit to my sticky note! x

  5. 05/06/2014 / 9:40 am

    A brilliant and comprehensive list. My boy came at seven and a half months – I hadn’t even sorted the nursery let alone my bag!!!

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 5:39 pm

      Oh dear, now that is early! Little man… How long did he have to spend in hospital? x

      • 05/06/2014 / 5:42 pm

        I actually gave birth on 17th December and signed myself out on Christmas Eve, little man was home on 30th December. Our first family new year was pretty special,x

        • Mel
          05/06/2014 / 5:49 pm

          Awww, it must have been so special (and unexpected!). xxx

  6. Victoria
    05/06/2014 / 2:40 pm

    just checked your list, and i thought mine was big) i need to take paper or notepad and pen as well, but wont need camera as will use phone

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 5:37 pm

      Haha! Just make sure you do not forget your charger for the phone! Exciting times, hey!

  7. adeline
    05/06/2014 / 8:57 pm

    haemorrhoid cream????? I don’t understand what you mean????

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 8:59 pm

      Ha ha ha, je ne vois pas du tout de quoi tu veux parler…

  8. adeline
    05/06/2014 / 8:58 pm

    thinking about pineapple Mel !!!!!

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 9:02 pm

      Oh no, you are not allowed to mention that just before I am due to actually give birth. You are so cruel!!! Naughty, naughty friend!

      • 07/06/2014 / 9:28 am

        I couldn’t see food and snacks Mel! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts with your fab post and good luck-I see you know about Rescue Remedy already, I love the spray xx

        • Mel
          07/06/2014 / 10:56 am

          Always great to link and read a nice range of posts. X

  9. adeline
    05/06/2014 / 9:09 pm

    tu crois que j’ai pensé à quoi moi le jour J!!! Qui avait bien pu me mettre une image pareille dans la tête????? je n’arrive plus à me souvenir?????
    A part ça tu n’as pas quelques petits signes????

    • Mel
      05/06/2014 / 9:18 pm

      OK, si j’y repense bien, c’est possible… Je m’en veux maintenant (c’est juste parce que c’est mon tour!). Quelques contractions mais rien de bien méchant.

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