What to pack

Have your hospital bag packed four weeks before your due date, in case you go into labour early.

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The following is a guideline of what to take into hospital with you, but ask your midwife if she has any other recommendations.

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For you:

  • Toiletry bag – with flannel, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, shampoo, soap, hairbrush etc.
  • Two dark towels – one small and one large.
  • Sanitary towels – two packs of large, absorbent towels. NOT tampons.
  • Loose, comfortable clothes to wear during the birth – a loose T-shirt or roomy night shirt would be ideal.
  • Other nightclothes for before and after the birth – if you are going to breastfeed you may want to bring a couple of other nighties which you can open at the front. If you are in hospital during early labour you may wish to wear something loose and comfortable during the day.
  • Dressing gown and slippers.
  • 2 or 3 nursing bras (if you are going to breast-feed). Try to get yourself measured for these as late as possible as your breasts will get bigger when you start feeding.
  • Disposable pants (about 6 pairs) – paper or cheap cotton ones you are happy to throw away.
  • High energy snacks – fruit bars and drinks for you, and something substantial for your partner.
  • A camera (empty card if digital, or at least one spare roll of film), or a video camera if it’s allowed.
  • Personal stereo or CD player for the labour room. Water spray and sponges. A mirror so you can see your baby’s head. An electric fan if it’s summer. Sweets. Some people bring in their own pillows.
  • Books, magazines and newspapers.
  • Plenty of change for the phone, a phone card. Your address book.
  • Your birth plan.
  •  Comfortable clothing to wear going home. Don’t pack anything too tight – your stomach isn’t going to shrink overnight!
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For your baby:

  • Newborn nappies
  • Cotton wool
  • 3 vests
  • 3 babygros/sleepsuits
  • A cardigan
  • Shawl or blanket for travelling home
  • Hat, mitts and bootees to travel home in, unless it’s very warm out.

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