Packing for hospital- things mum will need during labour and after childbirth

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...Loading...
Packing for hospital- things mum will need during labour and after childbirth

What to pack for hospital? How do you make sure you don’t forget something important?

If you’ve ever packed a holiday bag you’ll know that no matter how well you plan, you’ll probably realise something’s missing when you reach your destination. But you’ll probably also realise that a bit of advance planning and a packing checklist help ensure all the essentials get packed.

When it comes to packing for hospital, there are some things you’ll really need. Others you can do without, but having them may make your childbirth experience a bit more comfortable. Your main concern should be remembering all the things that you’ll need to get through the hospital gate and make you comfortable once you’re in. And that means thinking about labour and the days afterwards when you’re waiting to go home with your newborn.

Be prepared in case baby arrives early

Packing can be a hassle at the best of times, but when you can’t bend over properly because of your baby bump (which, if you’re already thinking about packing for hospital is probably feeling more like a mountain) it can be downright cumbersome. You don’t want to be caught out at the last minute if your labour pains arrive early, so do yourself a favour and start packing well in advance. Try to have your hospital bag packed and waiting to go a month in advance to be on the safe side.

When packing for yourself (the mother), bear in mind that you may be in hospital for up to 4-6 days and you almost certainly won’t feel like washing your undies in the shower so make sure you have enough to get you through. But 4-6 days is a long time and there’s a lot of other things you might want or need in that time. It’s a good idea to talk to other mums about what they took (or forgot to take!) to hospital for their childbirth.

Packing for hospital checklist

You’ll probably find it’s easier to pack two separate bags, one with all the things you’ll need for labour and childbirth and another with all the things you’ll need to keep you comfortable during your hospital stay. These checklists will help you remember all the essential and a few extra comforts.

Things to pack in your bag for labour and childbirth

Personal and health records and documents

  • Medicare card
  • Health insurance card and details
  • Antenatal card or records (if applicable)
  • Referral or other letters from your doctor (if applicable)
  • Booking details (if you have booked to give birth at a private hospital)
  • Concession card or pension card if you have one, as you may need this to obtain subsidies on medicines prescribed during your hospital stay

Medicines

  • Any medications you take regularly and will need to take during labour or your hospital stay. It’s impossible to predict how long labour will take so even if you don’t think you’ll need them, pop them in your labour bag and ask your doctor if it’s appropriate for you to take them. Make sure they are in their original packaging with a label or you may not be allowed to take them while in hospital

Things for extra comfort during labourPregnant woman resting on a fit ball

  • A wheat or heat pack to soothe the pain during labour (but you might want to check first as some hospitals don’t allow them in case of burns)
  • A pillow- cover it with a coloured slip so you won’t confuse it with the white hospital pillows;
  • A fit ball which can be used for comfort
  • Something to focus on- it might be a photo of your kids or your favourite peaceful place but it’s good to have something to focus your mind on
  • A portable music player and music. Listening to music can help you relax during labour
  • Lip gloss- to soothe dry lips
  • Sweets or a lollipop to suck while you’re in labour. It can be a great way to relieve a dry mouth

Clothing

  • Something to wear while you’re giving birth- it’s likely you’ll need to throw it away so an old nightie or oversize t-shirt is ideal but anything that is loose, cool and comfortable will do
  • Socks to wear during labour as feet often feel colder than the rest of your body. Alternatively you could also pack a pair of flat, rubber soled slippers to keep your feet warm

Toiletries

  • A face washer
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Hair ties or clips so you can keep your hair out of the way
  • Facial tissues

Everyday essentials

  • A camera to record a few of your special moments during labour
  • Contact details for friends you want to notify
  • Watch or clock
  • A small amount of money – bring enough for snacks, phone calls and other small purchases you may make while in hospital. Make sure you include some small change for vending machines
  • Glasses or contact lenses- if you wear them or use them for reading. If you use contacts don’t forget to bring the cases and solution

Things to leave at home

It’s also fairly safe to pack just about anything else you think you’ll want in your hospital bag, but valuables are best left at home. Theft might be the furthest thing from your mind as you’re preparing to give birth, but it is a possibility. So leave behind:

  • Expensive watches and jewellery
  • Credit card- organise your partner or friend to bring it in at the right time if you need the card to pay the hospital bills
  • Large amounts of money- let’s face it there’s only so much money you can spend at the hospital tuck shop. Leave your money at home and if you intend to pay a hospital bill in cash, get your partner/loved one to bring the money in on the day of payment

Things to pack in your bag for your stay in hospital

Maternity supplies

  • Sanitary pads- after childbirth you’ll need pads designed for heavy flow. You should be able to find pads designed especially for maternity in your supermarket or pharmacy. If you have a favourite brand, it’s probably a good idea to stick with that but if you don’t usually use sanitary pads, your friend may be able to make a suggestion. Take about 24 pads to make sure you don’t run out
  • Breast pads – these are used to stop leaks by absorbing breastmilk
  • Lanolin cream for nipples is an important hospital bag item as nipples are often sorest on the days after childbirth
  • Information on breastfeeding even though you’ll be able to get advice from the nurses in hospital, you may find you want to do some reading on your own

Clothing

  • Loose and comfortable clothing for your hospital stay, including:
    • A dressing gown or night dress- if you’re planning to breastfeed make sure it opens at the front
    • 5 or 6 pairs of pants
    • Comfortable t-shirts/jumpers for during the day- shirts which open at the front are most convenient for breastfeeding
    • Comfortable shoes, including slippers
    • Plenty of underwear, including:
      • Nursing bras and/or supportive bras, depending on whether or not you plan to breastfeed
      • Underwear- pack plenty of changes, or go for disposable briefs if preferred. As the name suggests these are briefs which you throw away once you’ve worn them and you can get ones specially designed to hold maternity pads in place
      • Going-home-outfit – choose something that’s comfortable and remember you’ll be a few sizes smaller by the time you’re ready to go home. Something that fit when you were 6 months pregnant will probably be the right size after childbirth

ToiletriesToiletries in a travel bag

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • A face washer
  • Soap
  • Shower cap
  • Hairbrush
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Facial tissues
  • Towels
  • A hairdryer if you use one, but you may need to get it safety tested before using it in the hospital
  • Any other toiletries which you think you may need including make-up if you normally wear some, there will be many photos of you with baby in those first few days after the birth

Extra comfort

  • A blanket

Entertainment

You’ll be in hospital for several days so it’s worth packing a few things to help you while away the hours while your newborn is sleeping and you’re waiting to get home. For example:

  • Your new baby paperwork, such as your paid parental leave forms and filling in your baby’s birth certificate
  • Magazines
  • Books
  • A portable music player and music
  • Puzzle books
  • Tablet PC or e-reader

Everyday essentials

  • Pen and notepad
  • Mobile phone and charger (or phone card/coins if mobile phones are not allowed in hospital)
  • Contact details for friends you want to notify
  • Dentures- if you are woken in the middle of the night by labour pains, don’t forget to pop your dentures in if you use them

Things to leave at home

It’s also fairly safe to pack just about anything else you think you’ll want in your hospital bag, but valuables are best left at home. Theft might be the furthest thing from your mind as you’re preparing to give birth, but it is a possibility. So leave behind:

  • Expensive watches and jewellery
  • Credit card- organise your partner or friend to bring it in at the right time if you need the card to pay the hospital bill
  • Large amounts of money- let’s face it there’s only so much money you can spend at the hospital tuck shop. Leave your money at home and if you intend to pay a hospital bill in cash, get your partner/loved one to bring the money in on the day of payment

Download the printable checklist for packing for labour and childbirth

Download the printable checklist for packing for your stay in hospital

References

More information on packing for hospital

Newborn baby in hospitalFor more information about what to put in the hospital bag for your newborn see Packing for hospital- what to take for your newborn
Man folding a shirt into a suitcaseFor suggestions of things fathers to be should pack in their hospital bags see Fathers to be- what to pack for hospital
Couple driving a carFor suggestions about how you can make a failsafe plan for getting to hospital when labour pains start see Getting to hospital for childbirth
Pregnant woman with bag packed, holding keys ready to go to hospitalFor more information about packing for hospital What to pack for hospital
Date Created: January 6, 2012 Date Modified: December 22, 2013

Related Posts

 
close

Join our FREE monthly Newsletter!

Simply enter your email and first name below:

Parenthub respects your privacy. You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.
Please read our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.