What to pack in your hospital bag for labour
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You've probably read that you need to pack a special bag for when you go into Labour, called your Hospital Bag. In this, you should have all the things you will need when you are headed into hospital or the birth centre for when you're in labour, as well as the first essentials for your newborn baby.
You'll never know exactly when your baby will be arriving, but you should have your pregnancy hospital bag ready well before your due date - the NHS advises to pack it three weeks before . Make sure that you have a hospital bag checklist and put your pregnancy notes in the bag too, so that you don't forget them when you are leaving the house to go to the hospital. Get into the habit of putting your pregnancy notes in the bag after each ante-natal appointment in your last few weeks of pregnancy, so that you will always know where they are.
What if I am having a home birth or planned Caesarean section?
Even if you have planned a different kind. of birth - for example, if you are going to have your baby at home, you should still pack a hospital bag. It might be necessary to transfer you to hospital if things don't go according to plan. Similarly, if you have a planned Caesarean section, don't think you can delay packing your hospital bag, as many babies decide to come early!
What should I pack?
You will need to make sure that you have all the clothing and items that you need for your labour and baby's birth and though at first, the list may look long, that's because there may be some items you don't actually need or want when you're in labour - but you wouldn't want to get there only to find that you have left some items behind.
You will need items both for you and for your newborn baby. You'll also need some things for your birthing partner. In particular, you may want to start thinking about some food, snacks and drinks for both you and your birth partner during those long hours of labour - see our helpful suggestions here.
In addition, you may want to pack a separate bag that you can use if you have to stay in hospital for longer than you planned - for example, if you end up having an emergency Caesarean or your baby has a few complications. It's good to do this yourself, because otherwise you might ask your partner to fetch you things - knickers, for example - only to find they pack flimsy g-strings and not the massive maternity pants you really need!
Essentials for your hospital bag for you
- Your birth plan
- Your infant car seat - your baby must travel home in one
- Nightwear or a comfy T-shirt to wear during labour and birth
- Dressing gown for when you’re walking about during labour or after the birth
- Slippers or socks, hair ties
- A comfy pillow
- Your TENS machine
- Toiletries - travel size are ideal. Toothbrush and paste, moisturiser, lip salve, hair bands or ties, a flannel or face wipes, soap or shower gel.
- Your phone and charger, change for snack machines, a camera, a list of people to tell once your baby is born
- Books, magazines, iPad
- Hand gel and wipes
- Roomy clothes for going home, nursing bra, maternity pads, breast pads
1. Nursing Pads
*Washable organic bamboo nursing pads that are hypoallergenic, organic and absorbent
*Comfortable and extra thick so they'll absorb any excess milk
*Waterproof layer prevents any leaking
These reusable, natural nursing pads are perfect for taking to the hospital with you and can be washed and reused to save money and waste. Each is 12 cm in diameter and they're super soft and made from hypoallergenic fabric, which is ideal for sensitive, postpartum nipples. The set comes with six pairs of nursing pads in various pastel colours.
2. Maternity Pads (10-pack)
*Organic, extra absorbent cotton covered maternity pads
*Biodegradable and compostable and the packaging is plastic-free
*Chlorine-free and won't irritate your sensitive skin
Thick, soft and absorbent sanitary pads ideal for the first few days after the birth - just make sure you pack more than one packet! This brand comes in packs of 10 and they are made with organic cotton covers that won't irritate your delicate skin. The packaging and pads are 100 percent plastic and chlorine-free, as well as being biodegradable and compostable.
3. Cotton Disposable Briefs (five-pack)
*Lightweight breathable and disposable knickers
*Come in packs of 7 and in sizes M, L or XL
*Soft and stretchy with a flexible fit that is comfortable for you
No, they're not the sexiest item in the world, but investing in these saves ruining other pairs as you can throw them away after they've been used. Believe us, you'll be so glad you bought these! They're breathable and comfortable and have been UV sterilised, which is what you need when you've just given birth! Make sure to pack extra pairs in case you stay longer in the hospital than expected – better safe than sorry!
4. Arnicare Arnica Cream
*Soothing herbal cream which helps to treat bruises
*Made with the active ingredient Arnica Montana tincture
*The same formulation is available as a massage balm
This soothing herbal cream is great for treating sore, bruised skin especially after labour. It's dermatologically-tested and is gentle enough to be used on your post-pregnancy skin. It contains the active ingredient Arnica Montana, which has been recognised for its beneficial natural properties in healing bruises since the 16th century. It's also available to buy as a massage oil or cooling gel.
5. Aldi Mamia newborn nappies
*Pack of 24 soft nappies for newborn babies
*Wetness indicator tells you when your baby might need a change
*Nappies have air channels for up to 12 hours of breathable dryness
Whether you plan to reusable nappies at a later date, these are the ideal easy-to-use option for the early weeks pf your baby's life. The special shape is designed for newborns and then available in several sizes to fit your baby. The soft, stretchy sides make them very comfortable and ensures their early days are as dry as possible. Their shape also protects your baby's delicate umbilical cord.
6. 100% Organic Raw Shea Butter
*100% pure organic shea butter
*Packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin F and it offers UV protection, too
*Can be used on baby skin as well as your own
A thick soothing butter, ideal for soothing away dry skin and stretch marks, full of naturally-sourced ingredients. It's gentle and natural, so it won't irritate your delicate skin and can double as a lip balm, make-up remover, baby care product and more. It also smells delicious, while being free from any harsh chemicals or strong scents which may be too strong. With so many uses, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!
7. Sleep mask
*Cosy padded sleep mask that doesn't put too much pressure on the eyes
*Made from slow rebound memory foam and fine fabric which moulds to the face
*Great for naps during the day
A good night’s sleep is one of the best gifts you can have when you're a tired mum of a newborn. This mask is padded and designed to be as comfortable as possible, while keeping the light firmly out. It really helps if you're going to be spending a few nights in the hospital, as there are likely to be bright lights that will wake you up!
8. Perfect MamaTENS machine
*Natural pain relief for labour
*Several different settings
*Generous pads that stick to your skin
The Perfect MamaTENS utilises TENS technology, which helps block pain messages to the brain to ease labour pains. You place adhesive electrode pads either side of your spine on your lower back and it can be used alone, or with gas and air to relieve pain during labour. As well as three settings, it has a boost button for additional pain relief during contractions. After the birth, you can use it to ease back pain .
Essentials for your hospital bag for your baby
- Vest and sleepsuit
- Cotton hat
- A few nappies
- Baby toiletries
- Nappy cream
Newborn sleep suit
*Super-soft baby sleepsuit
*Made from 100% cotton, which is super breathable and soft on sensitive baby skin
*Comes with fold over scratch-proof mitts up to nine months
Sleepsuits are the best way to dress a newborn baby, as they'll keep them warm with a minimum of fuss. Make sure you pack at least three for your hospital stay. With a popper front, leg opening and built-in mitts to prevent babies from scratching themselves, this one is sure to make caring for a newborn that bit easier. We adore the fox and tree pattern, too!
Green People Organic Babies Newborn Collection Gift Set
*Suitable for sensitive skin and eczema-friendly
*Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free
*Certified Organic and scent free
This gorgeous newborn gift set contains four full-size products from Green People`s best-selling Organic Babies range. You get a Baby Wash & Shampoo that's great for first baths, Softening Baby Lotion to keep your baby's skin soft, Mum & Baby Rescue Balm that's gentle enough for cracked nipples and perineal massage as well as your baby's new skin and a Calming Chamomile Nappy Cream to help protect their bottom.
- The best buys to help you through labour
- The best buys for a hassle-free pregnancy
- What your partner should pack for labour