Welcoming a new life into the world is an exciting and joyous occasion, but the days leading up to childbirth can be filled with anticipation and preparation. One essential task on the pre-birth checklist is packing a hospital bag for the expectant mother. This bag is not only a practical necessity but can also provide comfort and reassurance during the hospital stay. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything you need to consider when packing a hospital bag to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.
Timing and Planning
When to Pack Your Hospital Bag: Start packing your hospital bag around the 32nd to 35th week of pregnancy to be prepared for any unexpected early arrivals.
Create a Checklist: Begin by making a checklist (or print out our ready made list here) of items you'll need during your hospital stay. Divide it into categories such as: for you, for baby and essentials.
Clothing Essentials For You
• Comfortable Clothing:
- Pack loose and comfortable clothes for labour, such as a loose nightgown or a comfortable birthing gown. Something loose and comfortable enough to wear during labour that doesn't restrict you from moving around.
- Bring ×2 comfortable and supportive bras (this can include a nursing bra if you are planning to breastfeed).
- ×3 changes of clothes (including comfortable loose fitting nightwear).
- Breast pads.
- 5 to 6 pairs of underwear (dark colours).
• Robe and Slippers. A cozy robe/dressing gown and slippers can make you feel more at home and comfortable during your stay.
Toiletries and Personal Care
• Toothbrush and Toothpaste. Keep travel-sized toiletries as a space save.
• Hair Care Items. Pack a brush, hair bands, and any necessary hair care products.
• Skin Care. Bring your favourite moisturiser and lip balm, as hospitals can be dry. Shower gel/soap.
• Hygiene Products:
- Pack deoderant and any other personal hygiene items you may need.
- 2 to 3 packets of super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads.
Documents and Essentials
• Birth Plan. If you have a birth plan, make sure to bring several copies to share with your healthcare team.
• Phone Charger. Keep your phone and charger handy for capturing special moments and staying connected.
• Any medication if applicable. Taking any necessary medication to the hospital when you go in to give birth is crucial for ensuring a smooth and well-managed childbirth experience, as it allows healthcare professionals to have immediate access to your prescribed medications, facilitating prompt and effective care tailored to your medical needs.
Comfort and Entertainment
• Snacks. Pack some non-perishable snacks and drinks to keep your energy up during labor and recovery.
• Entertainment. Bring a book, magazine, or download your favourite shows and movies to keep yourself entertained during any downtime while you're dilating.
• Comfort Items. Consider bringing items that provide comfort, such as a favourite pillow or blanket.
• Newborn Clothes:
- 3 to 4 Bodysuits, vests and sleepsuits (just in case).
- Scratch mittens, hat, socks or booties.
- Special going home outfit.
• Newborn Toiletries. Plenty of nappies / wipes.
• Car Seat. Ensure you have a properly installed car seat for your baby's journey home.
• Baby Blanket. Bring a soft and warm blanket for your baby.
• Pack in Advance. Keep the bag in an easily accessible place, so you can grab it quickly when the time comes.
• Communicate with Your Partner. Make sure your partner knows where the hospital bag is and is aware of its contents.
• Be Flexible. While it's essential to be prepared, remember that childbirth can be unpredictable. Be open to adjusting your plan as needed.
Check Again! Useful Things We Forget To Pack
You've checked several lists, packed and repacked your maternity bag ready for your hospital stay but what are some of the most common items we all forget to pack?
It may seem like the first thing we would think of packing however as we use our chargers most days, it may not be possible to pack them in advance if we don’t have spares. We would suggest popping a small list on top of your already packed bag with a few items your partner or birthing partner can grab before you leave for the hospital as in the height of labour, it may be the furthest thing on your mind during contractions.
Hospitals can be notoriously hot and during labour, gas and air can really dry lips out so packing a lip balm will give your lips some relief after birth.
Of course, the hospital will have food for you throughout your stay however, it’s a great idea to pack some healthy snacks for pre and post birth. Giving birth can be exhausting and if you have your favourite healthy snacks to hand in your bag, you’ll be able to replenish your body with some much-needed nutrients and calories.
Install the car seat
So, we know we can’t fit this in your hospital bag per say however, it certainly is something that gets overlooked until the very last minute. So, it’s time to get organised and install your newborn car seat a few weeks before your due date. It is best that both you and your partner know how to install the car seat and most car seat retailers will be able to help you with this if you are unsure.
We hope our list of forgotten extras helps you get organised for your little one’s arrival 😊
Getting your hospital bag ready is a crucial step before childbirth. This guide has all the info you need to make sure your hospital stay is comfy and as stress-free as possible. As you dive into this exciting journey, here's to your hospital bag being one thing that you don't need to worry about in these monumentous moments ahead! 🌟
Download your hospital bag checklist here
Or copy and paste this code into your iPhone notes for a ready to use checklist:
hospital bag the checklist for you • hospital notes/birth plan. • Something loose and comfortable to wear during labour that doesn't restrict you from moving around. • 3 changes of clothes (including comfortable loose fitting nightwear). • 2 comfortable and supportive bras (this can include a nursing bra if you are planning to breastfeed). • Breast pads. • 2/3 packets of super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads. • 5/6 pairs of underwear (dark colours). • Toiletries - toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, shower gel/soap, deodorant, hair ties (unscented - optional). • Towels. • Some snacks and drinks. • Books, magazines, music to help pass the time. • Any medication if applicable. for baby • 3/4 Bodysuits, vests and sleepsuits (just in case). • Scratch mittens, hat, socks or booties. • Plenty of nappies / wipes. • A blanket. • Special going home outfit. other essential • Car seat for the journey home. non-essentials • Phone charger. • Ear plugs (for noisy wards). • Eye mask (for lights on the ward). • ewan the dream sheep 🙂 Link back to the Sweet Dreamers blog: https://sweetdreamers.co.uk/blogs/family/a-detailed-guide-for-pregnant-mums-to-be-what-to-pack-in-your-hospital-bag