If there was ever a time to be well prepared, giving birth to a new human is it. Grab a large bag (a wheely suitcase works well), pack early so you’re not rushing around during labour and tick things off the list as you pack them. Check with your healthcare professional about how many days you'll be in hospital so you know how much to pack.
Clothes to pack for you:
☐ A cozy dressing gown. Ideal for wandering the ward.
☐ Slippers or thongs for walking around the hospital or trips to the bathroom.
☐ Socks to keep your feet warm.
☐ A few options of comfortable clothing. For example dark coloured trackpants or your maternity clothes might come in handy.
☐ Open shirts that give easy access to baby, for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding.
☐ A jumper, jacket or cardigan. It can get cold in the hospital.
☐ A few pairs of high-waisted and dark-coloured cotton underwear for comfort.
☐ A comfortable loose-fitting top and bra if you’re planning a water birth.
☐ A couple of breastfeeding bras and some breast pads.
☐ Comfy going-home clothes (optional).
Additional items to pack:
☐ Your birth plan and medical information.
☐ A few packs of maternity pads. There will be some bleeding after birth with both vaginal or C-section deliveries.
☐ Bring some healthy snacks to keep your energy up between meals.
☐ Essential toiletries. Don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant and some makeup if it makes you feel good.
☐ Dirty laundry bag for you and baby.
☐ Your own feeding cushion or pillow, a bright colored one that won’t get lost!
☐ An eye mask so you can rest comfortably.
☐ Your phone and/or camera (and don’t forget your charger). To tell all your friends and family the good news and capture those precious first moments together.
☐ An extra-long charging cable or a power bank, in case the power points are far away.
☐ Some people like to prepare a music playlist to play during labour. Check with your hospital if you need headphones or if you can bring a portable speaker.
☐ A notebook and pen, helpful for jotting down useful notes.
Things to pack for baby:
☐ A few baby outfits (with at least 5 singlets or bodysuits of different sizes)
☐ Socks and booties (optional)
☐ Muslin wraps or approved baby Sleeping Bags for safe sleep in the hospital. The midwives will be able to show you how to wrap baby snuggly and safely.
☐ 1-2 packs of newborn nappies and baby wipes if your hospital doesn’t provide them. Make sure to check in your pre-natal appointments.
☐ Burping cloths (terry towel nappies are a cheap alternative).
☐ Mittens or baby socks for their hands, to protect baby’s face from their fingernails while they’re awake.
☐ Warm clothes and beanie for going home if it’s winter.
☐ Prepare for the trip home from hospital by having your baby car seat or capsule fitted correctly according to the Australian safety standards.
With your bag on standby, you’ll need to know when you’re ready to go to the hospital. Go to our stages of labour checklist to find out.