Your Hospital Bag Guide for Labour and Birth
Hello and a warm welcome. Today’s blog release is a useful guide for what to pack in your hospital bag for birth. Are you getting ready for the impending arrival of your baby and wanting to be prepared for the big moment? If so, then my hospital bag guide is especially for you. I’m currently packing for the second time around and I thought I could share with you what I found was necessary and helpful from my first experience.
Having a basic idea of what to pack is a great time, space and frustration saver so you have everything you need and you're not carting around and sorting through extra bags full of things you are unlikely to need or use. When we were at the hospital, birthing our first, Sunny, we found exactly that. We had items we didn't need and then things we did need that we didn't think to bring. Learning from our experience and sorting things out for my next visit is why I put today’s list together.
The first time around we took just one massive bag for all of us. Keeping everything nice and compact in one big bag seemed like a good idea beforehand, but in an unfamiliar setting, with limited space and at times a lot going on, it wasn't ideal. I had packed everything extremely neatly and organized, even keeping things separate in packing pouches. This really didn't work for us at all. My partner was my support person for our birth and he couldn't easily find anything I asked for, without making a massive mess. My ocd and I couldn't handle the mountain of ‘stuff’ thrown on the floor, so this time we are much more sensibly I think, taking three separate bags:
For myself, I'll be taking Vanchi’s Steffi 2-Zip. Being a larger, spacious style bag, perfect for overnighters it fits all I need and having multiple compartments helps keep items organized. While this bag will fit everything, it can be heavy to lift once full.
For our baby, I am taking his essentials in his baby bag, Vanchi’s sleek but spacious The Emmy. This I had chosen earlier on in my pregnancy and am excited to use it ongoing for all our outings.
For my partner, as his list isn't too long, he only needs something smaller like Vanchi’s The Manhattan but still with handy compartments to keep everything neat.
Packing this way, everything will be kept neat, tidy, organized and easy to find for everyone.
Special note: The first birth was in the middle of the covid lockdowns so only one support person was permitted and access was strictly limited. Birthing location, facilities and rules, easy access to your home, shops and other support people will widely affect your particular packing choices.
Below are the items I find necessary for yourself, baby and partner;
For the Birthing Mother
2-3 clothing options - A dressing gown or Pyjamas - comfortable, stretchy, easy to unbutton clothing for breastfeeding. - Dark coloured bottoms are ideal.
A few Socks, full coverage stretchy underwear and nursing bra
Straw water bottle ( perfect hands free option for labour )
Shelf stable snacks ( I enjoy wholefood muesli bars or protein bars…. oh and chocolate )
Basic travel toiletries bag - body care; soap, toothbrush/paste, moisturizer. - skincare; cleanser, toner, serum, facial oil, moisturizer, and lip balm. - haircare: comb, brush. Shampoo and Conditioner if you desire.
Postpartum care - nipple cream - breast pads - maternity pads
Tech; Phone and charger
Birthing playlist and portable speaker
Birth plan and hospital book/paperwork
Extra Birthing Tools you prepared or desire…for me; - Affirmation cards - heat pack - massage oil
Swimmers ( mainly a top ) if you wish or choosing a water birth
For Your Baby
Announcement name card and outfit
Natural Nappies, Wipes and Barrier Cream
2-3 Clothing options ( onesies ) and extra layers; singlets, socks, beanies
1x Throw/Swaddle/blanket - if you choose, the hospital will have some also
Birthing toy/gift if you desire
Have your car seat ready and properly installed
For Support Person/Partner
Comfortable clothing and Swimwear ( if water birth is an option or desired )
Water bottle and snacks
Any Tech; Phone, iPad, chargers
If you prefer you can download my checklist here;
I recommend making sure your bags are packed and ready at least 4 weeks prior as due dates are only estimated and labour is spontaneous. I'll be leaving ours near the front door, ready to grab and go. I say you can never be too prepared for such a monumental and often, totally unpredictable moment in life!
I hope this list helps you narrow down on what you need to take or gives you an idea or two. Congratulations, I hope you have an incredible, safe birth and memorable journey into parenthood.
Till Next Time,