There are so many things that you will have on your mind as you prepare to welcome your new baby into the world.
Packing a hospital bag before you go into labour can take one extra thing off your plate, and give you some peace of mind.
The last thing you want to be doing as you start to go into labour is scramble around trying to make sure that you have everything you need for your trip to the hospital.
Packing a labour kit before you are 35 weeks pregnant can help you stay prepared for that first contraction!
What Should You Pack?
It’s up to you what you decide to pack. You may want to keep it light and simple, or you may like to be organised and prepared for every scenario possible.
Whatever you decide, you will want to make sure that your hospital bag is still easily accessible and not too overstuffed to take with you.
Things To Pack For Yourself
Unexpected things can happen, so you may not always have the chance to grab your maternity bag. In that kind of situation, the hospital will still look after you with your essentials, but it may be a good idea to have a family member or friend who can deliver the bag to you in this circumstance.
You don’t need to pack every single thing on this list, but here are just some ideas of what you might like to include:
- Your Medicare card and health insurance details
- A copy of your birth plan
- A loose-fitting shirt or nightgown to wear on the way to the hospital. This can make it easier for you to move around
- Backless slippers that are easy to get on and off. Thongs work well, too
- Socks to keep your feet warm and comfortable
- You might like to use a massage oil or lotion for your labour. You may also like to borrow or buy a massage roller, so your birth partner can give you a back rub for longer
- Snacks and drinks are an important aspect to consider. Most women are able to have them, which can provide energy while labouring and during the time period afterwards
- When you are in labour, it can be hard to rest. Things like a book, tablet or phone games might be helpful to keep your mind off labour pains and pass the time
- Toiletries, if you’d like to freshen up – things such as dry shampoo, lip balm and your toothbrush and toothpaste can go a long way
- Maternity pads
- A going home outfit – if you are planning to breastfeed it’s a good idea to have clothes that are easy to do this in, such as a button up.
- Makeup – it’s perfectly normal to still want to put makeup on before and after your labour
- Breast pads and nipple cream
Things To Pack For Baby
It’s a good idea to have a few essentials packed and ready to go for when baby arrives.
- Nappies – the hospital will likely supply you with some disposable nappies, but it’s a good idea to have a few extra on hand
- Baby blanket
- Baby wipes or cotton wool
- Some baby clothes – a few sleepsuits and onesies
- A hat
- Socks and mittens
- Your car seat – it’s a good idea to have this already
Things Your Birth Partner Should Pack
If you have a birth partner who is going to support you during labour, it’s a good idea for them to pack a few essentials too in an extra bag. It could be some time, and you may not want them to leave you.
- Comfortable clothes and shoes
- Snacks and drinks
- Phone and charger
- Camera if you want to take photos or videos
- Some cash or spare change – it’s always a good idea to have some just in case
Feel Relaxed & Ready To Start This Journey!
While it’s great to be prepared, don’t stress too much if you don’t end up having the perfect hospital bag.
As with all things in any new life, a little planning goes a long way. The same is true on the big day when you’ll meet your baby for the first time.
You might have already started to get things ready to go in advance, but it’s a great idea to start this at least six weeks before the due date. You can always bring changes of clothes and other necessities.
Dr. Kelvin Larwood is an obstetrician and gynaecologist based on the Sunshine Coast and is managing private practices in Buderim & Noosa.
He provides a nurturing, supportive and caring environment and individualised care that focuses on both the mother’s & baby’s health.