What do you really need to take to hospital?


….Actually probably not much!

Realistically if you are having a straightforward birth, you will only be in hospital for 24 hours or so and if you do land up staying for longer, then your partner or a member of family can pop back home and get you what you need. 

Try to have your bag packed or certainly in hand by 35 weeks, as some babies do like to make an earlier arrival and in the event of this happening, you will already feel more in control and calmer, knowing that you are organised. 

It is important you think about what makes you feel comfortable and having a few home comforts can actually be quite reassuring.   Try to think of your needs for labour and what these might include and then of course postnally what you will need for both you and baby. 

Here are some suggestions: 


  • Your Birth plan if you have written one 

  • TENS machine 

  • Home comforts such as a pillow; your old comforter; a photo that makes you happy… 

  • Hair bands or hair ties – these can be very good for getting your hair or your fringe off your face during labour as you can get very hot 

  • A facial water spray which your partner can use to cool you down 

  • Lip salve or balm – your lips can get very dry during labour particularly if you are using Gas and Air as a form of pain relief 

  • A hot water bottle or a wheat bag – some women feel a lot of discomfort in their lower back particularly in early labour so if you do get to hospital and it’s a little too soon to use the pool then heat can be really helpful 

  • Warm socks – you can also get quite shivery and cold during labour so these can be quite cosy 

  • Massage oils (such as Lavender) 

  • Dressing gown – which can be used as an extra layer or for when you feel that you want a bit more coverage if you have thrown caution to the wind! 

  • Loose, baggy comfortable clothing – if you are walking along the corridors then you may want to wear leggings and an oversized T shirt.  If you are in your labour room, you may choose to ditch the leggings and just wear the T shirt.  Once labour is truly established you won’t really care! 

  • Bikini top – if you are hoping to use the pool 

  • Ipod/phone with a choice of your playlists – you can either wear headphones or bring a little speaker with you.  Having ear phones in, can help block out the sounds around you and help to keep you in your labour zone.   

  • Snacks/water/juice – you probably won’t want to eat much during labour but you may want light healthy snacks to keep you going but more importantly you do not want to get dehydrated.  You needs lots of energy so sipping fluids during labour can be very helpful so think of bottles with long straw like tops so you can drink from many angles.  Try to avoid anything fizzy which may irritate your gut 



  • Clean, loose nightie with front fastening if you are choosing to breastfeed 

  • Flip flops – the loos and showers can be a little unsightly so do use these if you need to go to the loo 

  • Ear plugs – the postnatal ward can be very noisy.  Hopefully these will help to drown out the excess noise.  Don’t worry you will still hear your baby! 

  • Wash bag 

  • Big pants and maternity pads – you will bleed like a really heavy period for the first few days, so disposable ones can be really helpful.  No washing or soaking needed 

  • Breast pads 

  • Nursing bras 


  • Nappies 

  • Vest 

  • Babygrow 

  • Cardigan 

  • Cotton hat 

  • Blanket 

  • Car seat (for when you leave) 


  • Snacks and drinks – you need to look after yourself 

  • A change of top – if labour does prove to be longer than planned 

  • A book/ipad – yes – it may just be that your partner wants to be left alone and doesn’t require massage or being looked after.  So being able to distract yourself (quietly) is recommended 

  • The agreed list of who to call up first! 

  • Phone/ipod chargers 

 We highly recommend that your birth partner packs your bag with you, as it is more than likely that he/she will be navigating the contents of your bag whilst you are in labour or even straight after the labour, so it is important that your partner knows the difference between a breast pad and a nappy. 

 Good luck! 

Bundle Team - 07 May 2019