When should I pack my bag for the birth?
You should get a few things ready at least two weeks before your due date, whether you’re planning to have your baby: in hospital or a midwife unit, or at home.
Giving birth in hospital or a midwife unit
If you plan to give birth in hospital or a midwife unit, your midwife will probably give you a list of what you’ll need to pack. You may like to pack separate bags, for example:
- one for you and one for your baby, or
- one to use during labour and one for when your baby’s born.
You may want to include the following:
- Loose, comfortable clothes to wear during labour: something that won’t restrict you from moving around or make you too hot. You may need about three changes of clothes.
- Two or three comfortable supportive bras, including nursing bras if you’re planning to breastfeed. Remember that your breasts will be much larger than usual.
- About 24 super-absorbent sanitary towels.
- Your wash bag with toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel and your usual toiletries.
- Things to help you pass the time, such as books, magazines and an MP3 player.
- A sponge or water spray to cool you down.
- Front-opening nightdresses if you’re planning to breastfeed.
- Dressing gown and slippers.
- Five or six pairs of pants.
- Loose, comfortable clothes to wear after you’ve given birth and to come home in.
- Clothes (including a hat) and nappies for the baby.
- A shawl or blanket to wrap the baby in.
Below are some other suggestions that you may find useful:
- Socks in case your feet get cold.
- Your birth plan.
- TENS machine for pain relief.
- Lip balm.
- Boiled or glucose sweets.
- Massage lotion or oil.
- Hot water bottle.
- Face fan.
- Bendy straws, for sipping water in different birthing positions.
- Any medication that you usually take, enough for several days.
- Breastfeeding or support pillow.
- Snacks in case you get hungry between mealtimes or during the night.
Should I take my mobile phone?
Check with your midwife. Some hospitals and midwife units do allow use of mobile phones. If you can’t use your mobile, make sure that you have a phone card or change for the phone.
What about my birth partner?
Your birth partner may find the items below useful:
- food and drink,
- money for the car park or public phone,
- change of clothes,
- camera or video camera if you want to record the birth, and
- a watch to time your contractions.
If you’re planning to have your baby at home, discuss what you need to prepare with your midwife. Items you’re likely to need include :
- baby clothes (including a hat),
- nappies for the baby, and
- about 24 super-absorbent sanitary towels.
Published Date 2010-07-23
Last Review Date 2009-11-23