Pregnant

Packing your hospital bag

Preparing for the all-important hospital trip – perhaps not as glamorous as packing for a holiday to the Caribbean, but far more important to get it right! So much so, in fact, that you should start planning quite early (ish) so as not to rush everything at the last minute...

When to start?
A good time to start packing is approximately 6 weeks before your due date.

What type of bag?
Go with a casual rucksack or a small suitcase; whatever suits you best. Something easy to carry and not too big!

What to pack for your new addition?

  • A couple of outfits including bodysuits, vests, sleep-suits.
  • Plenty of nappies and a tube of Metanium.
  • An outfit for going home in, as well as a hat, mittens and socks. You may need a few outfits as if you have a 
    c-section you could be in hospital a few days – also top tip: put the babies outfits in little bags so that you can just grab a nag that has a vest and matching items rather than scrabble around.
  • A shawl or a blanket.
  • Muslin squares
  • A pram as well as a car seat – especially if you’re having your baby in hospital (they won’t let you go home without one!).

What to pack for your birth

  • Your birth plan and hospital notes.
  • Something loose and comfortable to wear during labour that doesn't restrict your moves or make you too hot, plus about 3 changes of clothes. One of them should be in dark colours, in case of bleeding.
  • For the same reason have a few packets of maternity pads with you, along with several pairs of knickers.
  • 2 or 3 comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you're planning to breastfeed – remember, your boobs will be much larger than usual.
  • Pack in breast pads along with your bras, just in case of leakage
  • Nighties or tops that are front opening or loose enough for breastfeeding.
  • Your washbag should include a toothbrush, a hairbrush, soap and flannel, deodorant, lip balm, face cream, hair bands and perhaps a fan or a water spray would be good as well.
  • Take some towels and extra pillows with you.

When to start?
A good time to start packing is approximately 6 weeks before your due date.

A few valuable things our Metanium parents have suggested 

  • “Have plenty of change for parking and have in mind it might be a long night so pay accordingly."
  • “In case it’s a long night you need to be well prepared. Have a board game, books or magazines, a podcast, your phone charger and some snack. Don’t just pack a bag of crisps, have some proper food with you – same goes for drinks.”
  • “Have your happy and soothing playlist downloaded and on the ready.”
  • “As la-di-da as it may sound, room spray is a good idea once you enter your hospital room, because it might make you feel more relaxed. Pick the one you are using for relaxing at home so it carries through to the hospital and reminds you of home.”

Your midwife will be a great ally and you should definitely follow her tips and suggestions. Also, it might be worth checking out the official NHS recommendation; this applies to women who’ll be having a home birth, because you will need to do quite a bit of planning and preparation.

Once you’re packed and ready, don’t forget to breathe!