Hospital bag checklist - what to pack for your labour
If you’re having a hospital birth, you’ll need to bring a bunch of things with you for your labour and time on the maternity ward.
You’ll need hospital bag essentials for labour and straight after birth. Knowing you’ve got a pre-packed hospital bag all ready to go will be a weight off your mind in the days coming up to your due date.
There’s lots to pack, from the practical – birth plan, any medical notes, breast pads and maternity pads – to the more comfy – clothes and toiletries.
You might also want to think about preparing a second bag to be taken in later if you stay in hospital for some time.
Packing your hospital bag, or labour bag, is actually a lovely thing to do. Most mums we spoke to pack their bag by around 35 weeks of pregnancy – some do it several weeks earlier, some leave it the last moment.
Not all babies arrive on their due date, so it’s reassuring to be prepared for birth well in advance.
Once your hospital bag is packed, it can just sit there waiting expectantly!
Can you pack too much?
“To be honest, I find you never end up needing much of it,” says MFMer FunkyRabbit. “So take the essentials and get folk to bring other bits in as and when you require them.”
“When I had my daughter I had a labour bag, a baby bag and ward bag,” confesses Wendy2.
“I can vividly remember the midwife bring a shopping trolley into the delivery room to transfer us down to the ward.
“I think they must have got trolley for those of us who like to over-prepare. Even with three bags still had MIL bringing stuff in that I forgot!”
What if you’re having a home birth?
Even if you’re planning to have your baby at home, have a bag packed just in case you need in go into the hospital.
Hopefully everything will go to plan and you’ll remain at home through your labour – in which case, the packed bag may not go to waste as it’ll be handy to have everything you need all in one place.
And if only we’d known…
“My hospital provided nappies and sanitary towels so I ended up not using the ones had packed. Check with your midwife at your hospital – if I’d known, I could have saved so much room!” laura1809
“If you’re planning to bottle-feed, most hospitals supply formula milk – mine did. Give your midwife or hospital a ring if you’re unsure.” XDonnaSophieX