Packing two bags is a good idea, one for labour and one for your hospital / birthing unit stay.
If you pack just the items you want to have for during labour in one bag, it makes it easier to grab and go if in a hurry and the post birth bag can be retrieved later. If you are likely transferring to a birthing unit, then it can even just stay in the car.
Your support person may also appreciate less items to rifle through when trying to locate the right bits & pieces if you are not able to clearly express what you want say for example, during a teeth clenching contraction.
Once your baby has arrived, your support person can take your labour bag away with them leaving you with only the items you need for your post birth stay in a separate bag.
What to pack in which bag you ask? We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible below.
- Paper work – your maternity notes, a copy of your birth plan, hospital information
- Any medication you are currently taking
- Hair ties
- Baggy t-shirt, nightie or similar that is comfortable to labour in. You can also use a hospital gown provided. Bikini top if you are planning on using a birthing pool.
- A favourite pillow from home
- Wheat bag
- Warm socks
- Lip balm
- Birth to Earth Placenta Kit
- Soothing music
- TENS machine
- Massage lotion / essential oils
- Rescue Remedy
- Snacks for both yourself and support person - muesli bars / nuts / crackers / chocolate / barley sugars
- Swimwear for your support person in case of hopping into a birthing pool
- Change of clothes, toothbrush & toothpaste for your support person
- Mobile phone & charger (and/or camera)
- List of who to ring
- Magazine / book / kindle / puzzles
- An outfit for your baby to wear once they have arrived (maybe 2 so you can have different sizes)
- Comfy clothes to change into for your transfer to birthing unit / hospital ward
- Maternity / Breastfeeding Bras - Hotmilk My Necessity Maternity & Nursing Bras are a must have!
- Maternity pads
- Breast pads
- Breastfeeding tops / singlets
- Pyjamas / nighties
- Dressing gown
- Big, high waisted comfy underwear (dark colours are the best)
- Nipple cream / wipes / hydrogel pads
- Toiletries - shampoo, conditioner, soap / body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturiser, hairbrush, make up, face cloth, towel
- Jandals for the shower
- Soft toilet paper / flushable toilet wipes
- Loose, comfortable clothing for during the day
- Warm socks / slippers
- Ear plugs
- Eye mask
- Laundry bag for dirty clothes
- Glasses / contact lenses
- Snacks (muesli bars / nuts / crackers / feeding cookies etc)
- Credit card / cash for vending machines
- Notepad & pen
- Post Pregnancy Belly Wrap
- Breast pump
- Newborn nappies
- Baby wipes (nothing with perfume in)
- Barrier cream
- Scratch mittens
- Singlets, onesies, bodysuits, nighties, pants, cardigans etc (enough for 3-4 changes)
- Warm going home outfit
- Beanie / hat
- Swaddling wraps
- White noise machine
- Stretchy babywearing Wrap which can help to settle a newborn and are amazing for those gorgeous snuggles!
- Carseat / capsule - Belly Beyond Tip: Practice installing this prior to being in labour so you can get it right in a calm situation as it can take time. The hospital won't let you leave without baby safely strapped in a carseat or capsule.
For Older Siblings
Doll prams, cradles or carriers can help them to be 'just like Mum' so they can look after their baby while you are busy looking after yours.