What do you actually need in your hospital bag?

The weeks are whizzing by, and your due date is approaching- now is the time you start wondering what do you actually need in your birth bag??

what to pack in your hospital bag

Hospital bag essentials for labour and post birth- think comfort, practical, and things that will make you feel great!

Here are my must haves for your hospital bag- from a Hypnobirthing teacher and Mum of 3!

Before you know it, you reach the point in pregnancy where the question starts- Have you packed your hospital bag yet?? So out you get your lovely new bag, pop it on the bed, and that’s as far as you get! Your brain goes blank, the only thing you can think to put in there is a couple of (ovary achingly cute) onesies and a pack of newborn nappies!

So you go online, go to google and are suddenly bombarded with dozens of lists of the many, many things that need to go in that bag!!!! The next thing you know, you have a collection of things that look like you’re going on a month long trip round Australia, and are just as lost as you were at the start!

So before you go on an amazon prime panic shopping spree- Let me help, after giving birth 3 times, and speaking to lots of mums and dads about this, I’ve narrowed down the essentials you will actually need in your hospital bag!

I really recommend packing your bag with your birth partner so they know where to find things quickly and easily.

For you- labour

Lets be honest, this is a bag mostly for YOU! You are the one who will be in labour, so start here. Take a step back and think about what will make you feel comfy, safe and relaxed, and you can’t really go wrong.

  • Birth plan (a few copies) and maternity notes. Download my free birth plan guide and template here
  • Really comfy clothes- when you’re in labour, you will want to be able to move freely, have lovely soft clothes, and if you’re still dressed when you birth baby have easy access for skin to skin. Front opening, large shirts are ideal for this. Of course, you may prefer to be naked for the birth, whichever feels best for you!
  • Warm soft socks, to keep your feet lovely and warm.
  • Flip flops
  • Oxytocin boosters- how are you planning to transform your room? Battery powered fairy lights, led candles, portable speaker are all really easy ways to turn your space into a beautiful birthing zone.
  • Water bottle with a straw top- easy access to keep hydrated
  • Snacks- this was one of the top suggestions. Labour can be long, so some energy boosting snacks to have the odd bite off can be very welcome. (Jelly babies, granola bars and apples are all easy options)
  • Tens machine- you may decide you want to use a tens machine to help keep you comfortable, you can rent or buy these and have them in your bag ready to use.
  • Birth affirmation cards to put around the room, and a photo that makes you happy- older children, pets, favourite beach.
  • Essential oils/ room spray- really beneficial to use in labour, and an easy way to anchor a feeling of calm if you’ve been using them through your pregnancy relaxation practise. On my hypnobirthing courses we go through anchors and how these are so beneficial in labour.
  • Pillow and blanket from home- not only are they nicer but it will smell like home, instantly calming and making you think of your safe place.
  • Hairbands to tie hair back
  • Tennis ball in sock for massage

For you- post birth

  • More snacks!!! You’ve just done an enormous physical task, high energy, high fibre snacks will be really welcome
  • Large cotton undies, a size or 2 up. I really recommend the ones that go over the bump- you want to be as comfy as possible. Also really important if you have a caesarean birth.
  • Maternity pads- you will bleed post birth, a lot at first and then it will settle down. Get maternity pads rather than sanitary- they’re thicker, bigger and softer. These are the best I’ve found.
  • I found the My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits so great for soothing stitches and soreness post birth. You can spray it onto your pads and it offers great relief.
  • More lovely soft front opening night shirts or pyjamas, great for skin to skin and easy breastfeeding access.
  • Soft sleep bras- I really recommend these over regular nursing bras at first, I’m all for comfort post birth and these are much nicer.
  • Really comfy clothes to travel home in (maternity clothes are great for this- think soft top and joggers)
  • Your own towel and wash bag- there’s nothing nicer than your own soft towel after that first shower, bliss. Make sure your was stuff is fragrance free so that baby can smell you, and not your toiletries.
  • Nipple cream- start using this straight away.

For baby

There are some things you will actually need in your hospital bag for baby. Below are the essentials.

  • Nappies! Basic but pretty essential! Size 0/1 and about a pack of 10.
  • Cotton wool or water wipes. Newborn first poo is sticky!
  • Nappy cream- use it to prevent nappy rash rather than treat it
  • Vests- I’d go for short sleeve in newborn size, around 3
  • Onesies/ sleep suits- again newborn size x3
  • Hat
  • Blanket
  • Muslins
  • Car seat in the car

For birth Partner

  • Camera/ Phones and chargers
  • Snacks
  • Change of clothes
  • Toothbrush and deodorant
  • Some loose change for vending machines or parking

I’d love to hear what essentials you packed in your bag- and don’t forget to share this with your pregnancy friends to help them out!!

Although the above things are important, and will make things easier or more comfortable, what you actually need in your hospital bag is… nothing! You need you. Sure, there are some bits that will help transform the environment, and that practically you will need post birth. But you are the one birthing baby, and you have everything you need within you. If you turned up at Hospital (if that is where you are birthing your baby), with nothing but you and your hypnobirthing knowledge and practise, you would still birth your baby powerfully and calmly.

hypnobirthing teacher infront of computer

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