We always think we’ve left it too late “I haven’t even packed my hospital bag yet!”, and when we get around to doing it the list is so long it can be overwhelming.
So here is our roundup of what we think is the ultimate list for your birth, trialled and tested my Chief Mama of Bon + Bear after her first pregnancy as she prepares for birth 2 in the next few weeks.
Is a Hospital Bag even a Hospital Bag if it isn’t on wheels?
After taking multiple bags for Baby 1 (we’re talking like 4 plus, maybe even 5… including 1 bag just full of snacks!) we would definitely recommend consolidating where you can. A small wheelie suitcase will make it easier to move if you are going from induction to delivery, to ward and is perfect for your things, then a bag for your partners and a small bag for any snacks/miscellaneous items (here’s one area we can make life a bit easier for our partners and midwives too).
Packing Hack: Use ziplock bags/packing cubes to separate all your key items in the bag so it is SUPER easy for your partner to find things – the last thing you want is not being able to find anything and you having to do this yourself. If you really want, label each one too!
- Medical Notes and Birth Plan – Have a Plan A/B/C
- Nightie or loose tee for labour which you don’t mind throwing away after – I literally had mine cut by the midwife down the middle to have skin to skin!
- Dressing gown
- Flip Flops for showering
- Stretchy hair bands to keep hair off your face/soak up that sweat – it’s tiring work mama!
- Hair bobbles/clips/grips
- Lip balm which your partner can easily apply - useful if you use Gas & Air as it dries your lips out
- Refreshing Cool Water Spray
- Healthy energy giving snacks that aren’t going to be heavy on your tummy, no need to add sickness to the labour too!
- Drinks like Lucozade still or Coconut Water for electrolytes/isotonics
- Water bottle with a sports top or straw so it is easy to sip from regularly
- Magazine/iPad for inductions or if you have an epidural to pass the time
- Extra-long phone charger, the plugs are always far from reach annoyingly
- TENS Machine for early labour (You will need to hire this in advance or buy)
- Bath Towel & Hand Towel
- Wash bag with miniatures of everything you would normally use at home
- Shower gel (Sanex 0% with nothing in and sensitive to skin if you end up with stitches)
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Toothbrush & Paste
- Face Wipes – you can let your usual multi-step skincare routine go for a few days!
- Hand Sanitiser
POST BIRTH MUST HAVES
- Strappy nightie or button down PJ’s which are breastfeeding friendly
- Nursing Bras
- Black Full/Midi briefs – go for the no VPL options as these are usually seam free everywhere and much comfier
- Disposable Maternity briefs if you would prefer to wear and throw away
- Maternity pads - I tried a few with my first baby and by far the Boots own brand are the softest and best (take at least 2 packs)
- Perineal spray – spritz on a maternity pad after toilet trips – trust us!
- Breast Pads – again Boots own brand really are fab and I’ve tried several big brand ones too!
- Nipple Cream
- Eye mask – if you are on a ward and not your own room this is necessary to get some shut eye
- Change of clothes for visitors– pack for a few days just in case
- Going home outfit (Think loose! I was not ready to wear trousers for a few days and actually would have rather left in the hospital gown than what I had packed. So maybe a nice floaty dress…)
- Shoes which are easy to slip on – If you have had a C Section or Episiotomy, you won’t want to be bending down to force anything on!
NICE TO HAVES
- Cooling Eye mask to help de-puff and revive tired eyes after the first few days
- Your own pillow from bed – nothing like home comforts and hospital pillowcases are scratchy
- Some make up if you have visitors, it’s amazing how a little tinted moisturiser or blush can make you feel more ‘with it’
- Herbal teas or milk if you don’t have dairy (the kitchen on the ward will only have the basics)
- Aromatherapy Oils & Diffuser – Lavendar/Orange Oil/Peppermint are all great options for easing sickness and pain
- Fairy/tealights which are battery powered
- Any photos or mantras you want to be able to focus on for motivation
- A full pack of nappies (they will go through 8 in a day)
- Wipes which are free from everything – Water Wipes or Pampers Pure are the best for this with 99% water
- Nappy cream – Metanium barrier ointment is the best to prevent rashes
- Nappy bags
- Cotton wall balls for top & tail cleaning of baby
- Baby Towel
- Pre-Made Formula if you don’t plan on breastfeeding/can’t – the hospital will not provide this
- 3x Short Sleeve Bodysuits (Newborn)
- 3 x Sleepsuits (Newborn)
- Cotton hat – or baby will be rocking a knitted hospital handout
- Scratch mitts if your sleepsuits don’t have them integrated in
- Socks or booties
- Going home outfit
- A few muslins – we recommend our 3 pack ;)
- Baby Blanket for swaddling and the journey home
- Soft toy or wooden plaque for baby photos/announcements
- Wash bag
- Lightweight comfortable clothes
- Flip Flops
- Energy Drinks/Water
- Phone Charger
- Music for your birth playlist either on a phone synced offline or a portable speaker
- Massage Ball
- Plastic comb for mama to grip during birth – it’s supposed to distract the brain from pain!
- Car Seat
- Change for vending machines/car park