Are you 36 weeks pregnant and don’t know what to bring to the hospital?
Having your bag packed with necessary items will make your hospital stay less stressful. Following a labour bag checklist will ensure that you are prepared for everything and feel more relaxed about giving birth.
What to include on your checklist
Most women stay in hospital for around 2-3 days after a vaginal delivery and 5-6 days after a caesarean section. Some hospitals allow you a night out with your partner (usually to their onsite restaurant or cafeteria) before you leave, so you may wish to pack something for this event. Some also supply items to look your baby while you are there. Make sure to check if your hospital has any requirements before you arrive.
The following are things that you should consider putting on your labour bag checklist:
- More and more people are considering storing their babies cord blood and tissue. To find out how read here
- Hospital paperwork
- Medicare card and/or private health insurance company card
- Birth plan
- Cardboard/plastic folder to keep all your paperwork
- A comfortable, loose fitting gown or t-shirt that you can wear while giving birth. You should expect that this may get covered in the fluids during delivery
- Warm socks – your feet can get cold during labour
- Flat shoes, thongs or slippers because you may be pacing the corridors
- Books and magazines to help you relax or pass the time
- Lollies to suck on
- Relaxing music to play while giving birth
- Oil or lotion if you would like to be massaged during your labour
- Face cloth / facial spray
- Snacks and drinks may also help while you’re in labour. Isotonic sports drinks are good because they will help sustain energy levels
- A hair band to keep your hair out of your face
- Lip balm is needed because your lips can get dry during labour
- Laundry bag for dirty clothes
- Include on your checklist a going-home outfit. It is much more comfortable to have loose clothes to wear while you’re in hospital and for the journey home. You can still wear maternity clothing at this time because it will take a while for your stomach to return to its pre-pregnancy state.
- Feeding bra/vest
- Breast pads
- Nipple cream
- Anica cream for any possible bruising
- Lavender/tea tree oil to sooth your stitches. Mix a few drops with some milk and put it in you bath
- Spare underwear (lots of very cheap or disposable paper ones are best)
- Maternity pads (have plenty you may go through a pack a day)
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant,
- Wet wipes (softer on stitches)
- You’ll probably be starving after delivery and may not fancy what they have to offer. Healthy snacks are a good idea (such as oatmeal cookies, dried fruit, etc.) to keep you going. Your birthing partner may also need food to keep them going through a long labour!
For Your Partner
- A charged phone/camera/video/GoPro to capture your baby’s first moments
- Drinks and snacks
- Extra clothes –they may get wet helping you shower
- Books/magazines to read
For Your Baby
- An infant car seat. It is needed and hospitals won’t let you leave by car without one.
- Newborn Nappies (hospital does not always supply them)
- 3 or 4 infant onsies (size 0000-000) for baby
- Wipes (although for the first few weeks usually better just to use water so pack some cotton wool too)
- Muslin Squares
- Nappy cream
- Nappy bag
- Hats (babies lose most of their heat through their head)
- Baby blanket. Take one to provide heat to your baby if the weather is cold.
- A pair of socks or booties.
Hospitals have different policies about what you are allowed to bring with you when you have your baby. Most women may want to take a few items from home, such as a blanket or pillows. However, you must check what the hospital offers and what you can include on your labour bag checklist. Always consider that hospitals can be short on space. You may have to store everything in a small cabinet by your bed. You may also want to take off your jewellery and leave it at home.
Check out the Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist here for other great products!