What To Pack In A Hospital Bag
Think about being comfy;
• What would you like to wear? – think old and loose for labour. Something comfy to go home in.
• Do you have a favourite pillow? Make sure if you take one to hospital it has a colourful pillow case so that is doesn’t get mixed up.
• Socks for cold feet. Flannels for cooling heads
• Slippers or flip flops and a lightweight dressing gown if you have one.
• ‘Easy Access’ nightwear, bras and tops to breastfeed
• Drinks bottle (easier than a cup)
• Lip salve to stop dry lips getting sore
• BIG old (or disposable) pants
You will want to freshen up during and after labour;
• Toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant.
• Make up if it matters to you
• Hair stuff
Giving birth is a ‘leaky’ business in the early days after delivery
• You will need maternity pads because it is normal to bleed (like a very heavy period) after baby arrives. You will need a couple of packs to start with.
• You will need breast pads for leaky breasts whether you breastfeed or not (buy more if you are going to breastfeed)
Packing for your baby is exciting – thinking about how soon you will be dressing your baby in the things you have got ready for them.
• Pack a few Babygro’s and vests. Newborn clothes vary in size – which is good because so do babies! Take a couple of the smallest and a couple of the biggest you have.
• Pack some baby clothes in your labour bag and some in your ‘after labour bag’
• Go for layers so that you can judge what your baby needs according to how warm they feel. Add in some hats and socks
• Take a couple of honeycomb blankets and bibs/muslin
• Lots of people like to have a special coming home outfit for the baby – but you don’t have to!
You will need to take nappies for baby and cotton wool for bottom wiping (baby wipes can make sensitive new born skin sore).
If you are going to formula feed you will need ready made formula bottles to use during your hospital stay. They are quite expensive so you may want to buy them over the last couple of months.
Make a plan for how you will get to and from hospital.
If you need to organise a lift make sure they realise it could be day or night when you need them. Have a reserve person on stand-by just in case!
You may need money for a taxi home or for car parking. If money is tight try and save this over the last weeks of pregnancy.
Remember your car seat - and practice how to fit it a few times.
Labour can be long. Think about what you could take to pass the time for you and your birth partner. This could just be your phone and a book or a magazine or some people like to watch TV on a tablet.
Try and always think about other people in beds and rooms near you. Keep the volume down or use headphones as much as possible.
Don’t forget your chargers – you will need that phone for the first pictures of you and your new family.
Take some snacks and drinks for you and your birth partner. (If you are the one in labour check with the staff on delivery floor if you are ok to eat and drink before you tuck in!). Avoid things that smell strong – it might make you feel a bit sick.
Even if you are planning a home birth it is a good idea to have a 'hospital bag’.
• It is always easier to have the things you might want and need in labour and afterwards all in one place.
• You won’t have to explain where people can find what you want when you are in the middle of labour
• There is always a chance you might need to be transferred to hospital.
Speak to your midwifery team to find out what other equipment you need to have ready for a home delivery.
It can feel like you need loads try not to worry about it. They should mostly be things you will need in the early days with your baby anyway.
Some lists you see online are huge. Ask friends and family what they are really glad they had with them and what was a waste of time!
Why not ask the parents on JustOneNorfolk’s Parenting Forum what they found useful?
Getting ready for a new baby can be expensive. If you are really worried about how you will afford the things for a hospital bag for you and / or your baby speak to your midwife or health visitor. They can help make sure you have all you need.
Who Can Help?
For support or advice young people, families and professionals can contact:
Just One Number for Norfolk Children and Young People’s Health Services Tel: 0300 300 0123 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm Saturday 9am-1pm.
Parents can use Parentline Text messaging service: 07520 631590
Young people aged 11-19 can text Chat Health on 07480635060
Other parents who are going through or have been through this before can be a big help to you, friends or family, or you could join our online forum to speak to Norfolk Parents
click *here* to find out more.