Getting hospital bags ready

Wherever you are planning to birth you are going to need to gather some kit for you, your birth partner and baby/ies for birth day. It is wise to have your kit packed and ready at least 2-3 weeks before your estimated due date.

There are some key basics that everyone is likely to need but after that it is up to you what you decide to include in your birth day kit. The important thing to remember is to not pack too many bags as storage and floor space is limited. You can use any kind of bag you want, from a rucksack to a small suitcase.

Here are some suggestions for things you might want to include in your kit:

NHS midwife talks you through What should I pack?(NHSfilm)

NHS midwife talks you through What should I pack? (NHSfilm)

For adults

  1. Your birth plan and pregnancy notes.
  2. Loose comfortable clothing to wear during labour - anything that does not restrict you from moving around or make you too hot
  3. Changes of clothes – about 3 sets
  4. Bras - 2 or 3 comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you're planning to breastfeed
  5. Breast pads
  6. Sanitary towels (not tampons or moon cups) – couple of packs of super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads
  7. Knickers - 5 or 6 pairs of large knickers (go for comfort and practicality) – you may want to bring some disposable ones
  8. Toiletries – bring a washbag with a toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, soap, lip balm, deodorant, hair ties and any other self-care products you need
  9. Towels (although we can provide)
  10. Comforts and positive distractions - for example, books, magazines, music or podcasts
  11. Fan or water spray to cool you down
  12. Breastfeeding-friendly clothing - front-opening or loose-fitting nighties or tops
  13. Dressing gown and slippers (avoid white)
  14. Phone & charger
  15. Snacks and drinks, picnic for birth partner.
  16. Pillows – one or two might come in handing for labour, feeding or sleeping positions
  17. TENS machine if you intend to use one
  18. Medications you are taking
  19. Going home outfit – something simple, loose and comfortable

For baby

  1. Vests and sleepsuits – about 3 of each
  2. Outfit for going home – make sure it is appropriate for weather conditions
  3. Hat, scratch mittens and socks or booties
  4. Nappies
  5. Blanket or a shawl to wrap baby
  6. Muslin squares
  7. Bottles and powdered milk only if you plan to bottle feed.
  8. Tip – At the top of baby’s bag pop a nappy, vest and sleepsuit, as it’s the first thing you will need for them.
  9. Gifts ‘from baby’ to give to their siblings when they first meet
  10. Car seat – bring this in when you are ready to go home

Home births

If you're planning to give birth at home, discuss your plans and what you need to prepare with your midwife. Think about where in your home you want to give birth.