What to pack in your hospital bag

This article may help answer:

What should I pack in my hospital bag for labour and hospital stay?

What should I wear during labour?

Will we be able to video my baby’s birth?

What should I wear after the birth?

The most certain thing about your due date is that it’s unpredictable. That’s why it’s smart to start planning your hospital bag at the beginning of your third trimester and have it ready to go by the 32nd week. Some women pack two bags — one for labour and another for the postnatal ward.

Find out more:

Do some research

Ask your hospital or birth centre if they have a suggested list and ask what they provide. If you are lucky, you won’t need to worry about nappies, wipes or sanitary pads. Also, ask relatives and friends for their special tips and hacks.

“A sense of humour trumps vanity…men’s undies are roomier and comfier”

A sense of humour trumps vanity. Be grateful if your aunt suggests a few pairs of men’s undies, because they are roomier and comfier for after the birth. You’ll be especially thankful if you need a caesarean.

Keep your paperwork handy

You might find it useful to pack a plastic folder with a pen, your birth plan, hospital paperwork, Medicare card, health insurance card (if you have one) and your antenatal card. You will also need a driver’s licence and some spending money.

Connections and memories

You’d be surprised at how many people forget their mobile phone charger. Pack one in advance if you have a spare.

It’s also a good time for you and your partner to discuss your plans regarding pictures and videos, and to pack a spare camera battery and memory card if you need them. Mobile phone and video policies differ from hospital to hospital. So, find out what to expect. You might even need a phone card or change for a pay phone.

Some ideas for labour

Some birth units are cool and others are warm. Some allow you to plug in a music player or have their own; others insist on battery operated. It’s best to take a tour if possible and ask lots of questions before you start packing.

New mothers often find these items useful:

  • An old T-shirt or nightdress for labour.
  • A dressing gown.
  • Slippers or thongs.
  • Warm socks. It’s too late for cold feet!
  • Lip balm.
  • A rubber ball for your birth partner to roll on your back.
  • Oil or lotion for a comforting massage.
  • Your Elevit or Elevit Breastfeeding to help ensure you meet your nutritional requirements.
  • Snacks and drinks.
  • A water bottle.
  • Podcasts, books, puzzles and magazines.
  • Some hairbands.
  • Microwavable heat packs, but check with the hospital first.
  • Toiletries and tissues.
  • Bag for dirty clothes.

Some ideas for your hospital stay

  • At least two supportive bras or maternity bras if you are going to breastfeed. Tip: Look for singlets with a built-in maternity bra.
  • Front-opening pyjamas or tops if you are going to breastfeed.
  • Breast pads.
  • A breastfeeding pillow if you plan to use one.
  • Maternity sanitary pads.
  • Comfortable underwear. Some women opt for disposables and others swear by men’s underpants, or undies in a larger size. Don’t expect to use them again.
  • A few pairs of pyjama pants. Expect to change a few times.
  • Books, podcasts, magazines and music.
  • Loose, comfy outfits for after you have given birth, and to wear home.
  • Cash for refreshments.
  • Toiletries.
  • Large bin bags for dirty clothes.

For your baby

Newborns can’t regulate their body temperature, which is why layers are encouraged. These are standard items to pack:

  • Disposable nappies if your hospital doesn’t supply them.
  • Wipes or cotton wool for nappy changes and soap or non-detergent wash for bath time, if not supplied.
  • Two singlets or bodysuits per day.
  • Two growsuits per day. Tip. Make sure any hand-me-downs fasten all the way down the legs.
  • A hat or cotton beanie.
  • A baby blanket.
  • Nappies and clothes to wear home.
  • A baby capsule already fitted in your car. If you need help go here for an authorised fitting station

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