By now you should all know how much I love a good list! My hospital bag checklist is something I started working on in the second trimester, with the aim to have everything packed and ready to go after 30 weeks. Well I’m still collecting and packing the odd little bits but the majority of it is done!
Once I started to make the list using a few different ones I found online, I thought it would be easier to make a “during labour” and a “post labour” bag rather than have to root around for stuff in the middle of contractions! The post labour bag can also just be left in the car so if you are just going into hospital for an initial examination then you don’t have to haul everything in with you. You might find it useful to do the same but I suppose it depends on how much you end up packing.
So here is what is in my bag(s):
Holdall – during labour:
- Maternity notes including birth plan if you have one
- Black nightie with buttons down the front – I got the largest size I could find in Primark
- Slippers/flip flops – again from Primark, in case you end up pacing the ward you’ll want something easy to get on and off
- Swimwear for birthing pool – I have a black maternity tankini set that I wore on our spa day a few months ago but if I didn’t have this I would just take an old bikini top or even just wear a comfy bra
- Towels – I got a black hand towel and a bath towel from Primark, these could be packed in the post-labour bag if you don’t plan on having a water birth
- Big black full brief style knickers – again, Primark in at least 1-2 sizes up
- Maternity pads – in case of leaking waters
- Facial water spray – I found some for 99p in B&M
- Flannel – in case the water spray doesn’t quite cut it
- TENS machine – I’m hiring this from the hospital so don’t have it just yet but it will come with me in my labour bag
- Phone charger and long lead – I’ve got a lead that is 2m long in case there aren’t any plugs close to the bed in hospital
- Lip balm – for dry lips when using gas & air
- Hairband/bobbles/grips – anything to keep your hair out of your face whilst pushing
- Tissues – self explanatory but good for most things
- Lucozade sport – for energy during labour and easy to drink from whilst pushing
- Snacks – flapjack type things, cereal bars etc.
- Glucose tablets – again for energy if needed
Hand luggage sized suitcase – post-labour and baby stuff:
- More maternity pads – split these between the during and post labour bags and have at least 20 in total
- Toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, shower gel (make sure it isn’t perfumed!), toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant
- Make up remover & make up – if you want it for the “post birth” photo!
- Anti-bacterial gel – you might want to use this for yourself or visitors before holding baby
- Towels – if they’re not already in your during labour bag
- Nursing bras or comfortable sports type bras
- Arnica tablets – start taking immediately after labour as long as the midwife says you can to help with swelling post-birth
- Breast pads – just a few, your milk will most likely not come in for a few days but you could get some leaks
- Nipple cream – if breastfeeding, use this from the start as a preventative measure
- Water bottle – to squeeze warm water on your bits when you go for those post-birth wees!
- A fresh nightie or comfy pyjamas – something easy to breastfeed in if you plan on that
- A change of clothes to leave in – again, comfy and over-bump if possible in case you have a C-section, you don’t want anything sitting on your stitches
- 4-6 x first size/up to 1 month vests – it might help to have a mixture so you can see what fits best
- 4-6 x first size/up to 1 month sleepsuits – again I’m taking a mixture of sizes
- At least 2 hats – the first one will probably get a bit messy
- Nappies – hard to say how many you’ll need, I’d pack at least 10-15 for up to a two night stay
- Muslin squares
- Coming home outfit
- Cotton wool balls/pleats for cleaning baby
- Starter kit bottles – if not breastfeeding, however even if you might like to breastfeed then it could give you some peace of mind having some bottles as a back up
- More snacks and drinks
- Food specifically for Dad
- Books/magazines etc
- Camera and charger
- Change for car parking
- Bendy straws – in case you are drinking from plastic cups during labour
- Change of clothes for Dad
- Deodorant for Dad to freshen up if you are both there for a long time
- Paracetamol or Ibuprofen for Dad in case of headaches
- Car seat (not in bag obviously) waiting in the car
That’s pretty much everything I will be taking for hopefully only one night’s stay in hospital (I’d love to be discharged same day if possible) but being prepared for possibly two nights. If you’re having a planned C-Section then it is worth packing another bag (I know, it gets pretty ridiculous) with spare clothes, underwear, more maternity pads etc that you can leave in the car and Dad can bring in as and when needed rather than sending him home to rifle through your clothes and trying to find something suitable!
Let me know if you find this useful or if you think I’ve missed anything vital!