What should I pack in my hospital bag for labour and hospital stay?
What should I wear during labour?
Will we be able to video my baby’s birth?
What should I wear after the birth?
The most certain thing about your due date is that it’s unpredictable. That’s why it’s smart to start planning your hospital bag at the beginning of your third trimester and have it ready to go by the 32nd week. Some women pack two bags — one for labour and another for the postnatal ward.
Ask your hospital or birth centre if they have a suggested list and ask what they provide. If you are lucky, you won’t need to worry about nappies, wipes or sanitary pads. Also, ask relatives and friends for their special tips and hacks.
A sense of humour trumps vanity…men’s undies are roomier and comfier
A sense of humour trumps vanity. Be grateful if your aunt suggests a few pairs of men’s undies, because they are roomier and comfier for after the birth. You’ll be especially thankful if you need a caesarean.
You might find it useful to pack a plastic folder with a pen, your birth plan, hospital paperwork, health insurance card (if you have one). You will also need a driver’s licence and some spending money.
You’d be surprised at how many people forget their mobile phone charger. Pack one in advance if you have a spare.
It’s also a good time for you and your partner to discuss your plans regarding pictures and videos, and to pack a spare camera battery and memory card if you need them. Mobile phone and video policies differ from hospital to hospital. So, find out what to expect. You might even need a phone card or change for a pay phone.
Some birth units are cool and others are warm. Some allow you to plug in a music player or have their own; others insist on battery operated. It’s best to take a tour if possible and ask lots of questions before you start packing.
New mothers often find these items useful:
An old T-shirt or nightdress for labour.
A dressing gown.
Slippers or thongs.
Warm socks. It’s too late for cold feet!
A rubber ball for your birth partner to roll on your back.
Oil or lotion for a comforting massage.
Your Elevit with Iodine or Elevit Breastfeeding multivitamins, to help ensure you meet your nutritional requirements.
Snacks and drinks.
A water bottle.
Podcasts, books, puzzles and magazines.
Microwavable heat packs, but check with the hospital first.