- Pack a cozy dressing gown and socks. Ideal for wandering the ward.
- Pack slippers or flip flops for trips to the restroom.
- Pack comfortable, loose maternity clothing or old t-shirts. Take some spares in case things get messy.
- Pack towels as it might be nice to have your own ones from home.
- Pack nighties or open shirts that give easy access to baby, for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding.
- Pack plenty of maternity pads. There can be a lot of bleeding after birth—vaginal or C-section.
- Pack a few pairs of big panties. High-waisted and cotton will be comfiest.
- Pack a couple of nursing bras and lots of breast pads. For more Breastfeeding essentials, see our checklist.
- Don’t forget contact details of a lactation consultant or breastfeeding support service in case you don’t get the hang of breastfeeding straightaway.
- If you’re planning a water birth you might want to bring something to wear in the pool to begin with.
- Pack healthy snacks. The vending machine can be the back-up plan.
- Pack comfy going-home clothes. And a bag for dirty washing.
- Pack miniature toiletries, face wipes, lip balm, hairbands, dry shampoo, washcloths, and a toothbrush.
- Bring your own feeding cushion or pillow, a bright colored one that won’t get lost!
- Pack eye patches and earplugs, and water spray or a pocket fan if it’s summer.
- Don’t forget your phone and camera. To tell all your friends and family the good news and capture those precious first moments together.
- Pack some makeup, if it makes you feel good.
- Consider music. Some hospitals still have CD players. If not, prepare a pocket playlist.
- Consider books and magazines to keep you occupied during down-time.
- Pack a notebook and pen. Helpful for jotting down feeding times.
- Don’t forget your maternity notes, they contain your birth plan and medical information. This is when it’ll really come in handy.
- Pack a few baby outfits (2-3 bodysuits and 2-3 t-shirts depending on the season), socks, booties, coat and hat for going home if it’s winter, cellular blanket, 1-2 packs of diapers, baby wipes, cotton balls, burping cloths (sometimes known as muslins), and scratch mitts. Pack an extra-long charger cable or a power bank, in case the sockets are far away.
- Bring a baby car seat for the trip home from the hospital—it’s mandatory in many countries.
- Buy a big hospital bag to put all this in!
- With your bag on standby, you’ll need to know when you’re ready to give birth. Go to our Signs of labor checklist to find out.
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