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What to take to the hospital

getting ready for the birth

labour bag

Whatever you do, don't forget your hospital notes. It might be best to carry them with you in your handbag from 36 weeks. You never know!

In fact, strictly speaking, if you arrive in hospital with nothing but your notes, you will be fine. But there are a few things you can take along that will make your birthing experience better.

  • birth plan
  • kindle or magazines (early labour can be slow)
  • TENS machine for early pain relief
  • big old T-shirt or nightshirt for giving birth
  • socks (in case your feet get cold)
  • food and drink for your partner
  • coins, phone card or mobile to announce your news
  • camera with battery charged, memory empty (if digital) or a new film
  • lipbalm

What should i put in my hospital bag for labour?

Hospital bag

After the birth you'll be wheeled up to the ward with your new baby. That's the point where you can make the swap from labour bag to hospital bag, which should hold everything you need for your stay in hospital.

  • special soap and flannel – after the birth you'll either be invited to have a shower, or you'll be sponged down by a midwife. And it's great to smell nice
  • wash bag with your normal favourite toiletries
  • pyjamas with baggy bottoms and front-opening top for easy breastfeeding (bring a spare in case of leakage accidents)
  • lightweight dressing gown (hospitals are hot) and slippers
  • a bath towel
  • tissues
  • feeding bras, breast pads and nipple cream
  • paper knickers (bleeding after birth makes disposables best)
  • maternity sanitary towels (longer, softer and more comfortable than normal pads and midwives recommend - as they can monitor the blood loss more accurately with maternity pads than with normal ultra absorbent pads).
  • sanitary towels (the largest you can find or special maternity pads)
  • eye mask and ear plugs so you can get some sleep
  • phone card (you're unlikely to be able to use your mobile in hospital)
  • address book
  • newborn nappies and wipes for sensitive skin
  • vests (2-3), sleepsuits (2-3) and warm going-home outfit for baby
  • something for you to wear to come home in (it'll need to be front fastening as you may need to breastfeed and won't want to lift a maternity dress over your head! Also, don't take your skinny jeans – they won't fit yet!)

and don't bother with...

  • pillows and pillow cases
  • water spray
  • little bits of natural sponge to suck
  • aromatherapy oil burner
  • stopwatch to time contractions
  • beanbag or mats
  • flask of ice cubes
  • birth announcement cards
18th January 2016, 14:24
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Page updated 18th Jan 2016, 14:24
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