You’re having a baby, congratulations!
It is exciting preparing for this extra special time in your lives, and knowing what to pack is an essential part of this preparation. Having a bag packed and ready from about 28 weeks can be helpful ‘just in case’.
Call the maternity unit to discuss any special items you may wish to bring along and also let them when you are coming into hospital so they can prepare for your arrival.
Here is a list of the things you should bring with you to the hospital.
Maternity pads – after giving birth, either vaginally or by caesarean, you’ll have bleeding like a period for a few weeks. This can be heavy, especially in the first few days, so bring a lot of special maternity pads with you. Tampons and menstrual cups are not recommended during this time. Normal pads can be worn after the first few days.
Comfy underwear (that you don’t mind throwing away) – after giving birth you’re most likely going to be tender. Large comfortable undies that will hold a pad are recommended, preferably some that you don’t mind throwing away if they get messy.
Clothes for you –Bring a few changes of comfortable, soft clothing, considering what will be easiest to breastfeed in (if you plan to do so). Dark clothing is recommended to hide the breastmilk leaks. If you are planning to breastfeed, please also bring some breastfeeding pads, there are both disposable and non-disposable options for purchase.
Clothes for your baby – bring a few changes of clothing for bub. Onesie jumpsuits with arms and legs along with cotton singlets are recommended.
Nappies – you’re going to need a couple of packets of nappies and some baby wipes.
Formula – if you’re planning to formula feed, you’ll need to bring your chosen brand of formula along with you. The hospital will have some formula, but recommends that you bring your own formula along with your bottles and teats.
Toiletries – bring along your own soap, shampoo, conditioner and toothbrush, as well as any necessary toiletries you want to use for baby in their first few days, powder is not recommended for mother or baby.
Snacks – when breastfeeding, women often become really hungry. Have healthy snacks and drinks on hand to keep you full, including something to munch on during the night if you’re up with baby. You can read more about the types of food and how much food your body needs while breastfeeding on Raising Children.
Music – it can be great for you to prepare a playlist in preparation for labour and birth.
Phone – you are welcome to bring along your phone to the maternity unit, just remember to bring a phone charger and take it back home with you.