The single biggest thing you need, is support! Emotional and physical support to help you through the ‘labour of love’. It’s vital you have confidence in yourself and the birthing team around you (support people and hospital staff). Remember- SAFE SUPPORTED LOVED.
Here is a list of all the things that I believe will most likely get used, rather than be lugged around to be unpacked again once home.
With exception to your labour items, generally your partner can go home and collect any non urgent items such as more clothes for you or your baby while you remain in hospital. So there is no need to over pack.
Ideally, you will have your hospital bag packed around the 35-36 week mark (maybe even in the boot of your car), so it’s one less thing for you to do. I always have a small bag packed throughout my pregnancies for emergency hospital stays- just with a set of PJ’s, toiletries and thongs. It’s also in a place easily explained to my husband, so even he would be able to find it if necessary!
Remember to wear very comfortable clothing for labour (and old! Incase you decide it’s easier to bin them rather than wash!).
Most hospitals in Australia offer between 2 and 5 night stays, depending on how you birth your baby.
Please chat to your care providers regarding any of the following items incase they already provide them for you!
What you might like while you are in labour?
- Birth preference plan
- Aromatherapy essential oils & electric aromatherapy diffuser
- Calmbirth scripts/meditations/relaxations
- Music (check if you need to bring a speaker), earphones
- Camera (with a full batteries)
- Mantras or affirmation cards
- Cosy comforts (photos, favourite pillow, special jewellery)
- Heat packs (check your hospital if they allow), eye mask
- TENS machine
- Hand massager
- Bathers for partner (& for woman while laboring in the bath/shower if wanted)
- Change of clothes/underwear for partner
- Small snacks & drinks for both mum & partner
- Hair ties & lip balm
- Drink bottle
- Loose change for out of hours vending machine
Once your baby is born-
- Thongs or easy to slip on shoes/slippers
- Phone charger
- loose fitting PJ’s
- big undies- think granny style high waisted, cotton
- maternity bra (no underwire), or singlets
- comfy loose clothing that is easily assessable for breastfeeding (buttons are good, or a BF top, tracksuit pants)
- toiletries (toothbrush, paste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hand moisturiser, hairbrush)
- maternity pads- at least 2 packets
- breast pads- one packet (I would also recommend a packet of the rite aid hydrogel breast discs)
- disposable nappies if using 1x packet (require 6-8/day)
- Wipes x1 packet
- 3 singlet’s 0000, 3 suits/nighties 0000, I jumper/cardigan, beanie x1
- wraps x2, Blanket x2
*Tip- It’s a great idea to put the clothes you will want to put on after your first shower, together with underwear & a pad, and babies first outfit (plus beanie), in a small seperate bag, so you or your partner are not digging through your whole bag.
*another tip- put the hydrogel disc pads in the fridge. They are heaven when they are cold!