As soon as you reach the third trimester, everything becomes about preparing for the arrival of your little bundle.
From getting the nursery ready to choosing the perfect pushchair you can be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed.
One item on the ‘to do’ list is what to pack in your hospital bag, ready for the birth.
What should I pack in my hospital bag?
If you take to Google, you’ll come across a few useful websites with hospital bag checklists; Cow & Gate, Bounty, and NHS.
It seems there is a general consensus on the essentials you should pack in your hospital bag, but what do you actually need?
Here’s our list of what to pack for labour and your newborn baby.
Essentials for pre-labour and birth
• Birth plan and maternity notes – NEVER ever forget these!
• Dressing gown – especially if you are being induced or staying in for an extended period of time
• Slippers and/or cosy socks
• A nightie or big baggy t-shirts
• A few sets of loose-fitting comfortable clothes that won’t restrict you
• Lip balm
• Snacks and drinks for energy e.g. granola bars, sports drinks, water etc.
• Something to help you pass the time – iPad, books, magazines, e-reader, MP3 player, knitting etc.
• An extra pillow or your trusty maternity pillow
• Camera or smartphone and chargers
• Facial spritz to cool you down – maternity wards can be hotter than the sun!
• Ear plugs and eye mask in case you want to get some sleep – maternity wards are noisy and well-lit!
Optional for labour
• Massage oil
• Birthing ball (although most labour wards will have these available)
• Hairband or hair clips
• TENS machine for pain management
• Bikini top or vest if you don’t want to be completely starkers in a birthing pool!
• A drinking straw – to help you to breathe longer to ride out the contractions
Essentials for post labour
• A couple of good nursing bras
• Maxi-maternity sanitary pads
• Your wash bag including toothbrush, hairbrush, face wipes and other toiletries
• Towels (preferably dark ones)
• Front-opening or loose-fitting nighties or tops if you’re going to breastfeed
• Loose, disposable pants
• Breast pads
• A loose-fitting outfit for going home in
• Your makeup bag in case you want it
• Your favourite treat – you deserve it!
• Flip flops for the shower
• Extra pairs of bottoms (pjs, loose-fitting trousers, shorts etc.)
Essentials for your baby
• Sleepsuits, babygrows and vests
• A cellular baby blanket
• Newborn nappies – at least 12 per day
• Socks or booties
• A hat
• Scratch mittens
• An outfit for travelling home
• A jacket or one-piece (for autumn and winter babies)
• Changing products – cotton wool, bags, baby wipes, nappy creams etc.
• Car seat
What else will you pack in your birth kit?