Pregnancy checklist for the hospital

Written by    Last updated: September 12, 2007

Even if you’re planning a home birth,  you never know what might happen so it’s important to be prepared. When the time finally comes to go to hospital, you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible during your stay. Here’s a checklist of everything you’ll need to take along…

pregnancy hospital bagTips for packing your hospital bag

  • Have your bag ready well in advance, as it’ll be one thing less to worry about closer to the date
  • Keep it near the door or where it can be found easily in case you need to send someone for it
  • Pack enough for a stay of up to three days
  • Even if you’ve planned a home birth, have a bag packed just in case
  • Don’t panic if you’ve forgotten something, someone can always get it for you

Labour ‐ necessities

  • dressing gown
  • clean, baggy t‐shirt or nightie for labour
  • warm socks or slippers
  • disposable underwear
  • maternity pads
  • hair band
  • watch with a second hand to time contractions
  • natural sponge or water spray to help you keep cool
  • toiletries (include a hairband and hairbrush)
  • camera with lots of film
  • your birthing plan (if you’re using one)
  • ‘tens’ pain relief machine (if you’re using one)
  • birth ball or cushion from home for support

Labour ‐ extras

  • aromatherapy oils for the bath or to scent the room
  • an object with special meaning to help you concentrate
  • hot water bottle for your back
  • massage oils
  • an iPOD with headphones
  • bathing trunks for your partner, in case you want him to join you in a birthing pool
  • high energy, easy-to-digest snacks and drinks (check with the hospital on their policy on eating during labour as some may prefer you didn’t, in case a caesarian is needed)
  • notebook and pen for keeping a birthing journal
  • address book and mobile phone to tell everyone when it’s all over!

After the birth ‐ necessities

  • nightgown (front opening will make it easier for breastfeeding)
  • slippers and bed socks
  • a flannel and some towels
  • nursing bras
  • nursing pads
  • sanitary towels
  • knickers (disposable ones are a great idea, or if you’ve had a caesarian, extra stretchy knickers that will stretch over scar )
  • toiletries (include toothbrush and toothpaste)
  • something comfy to wear to go home

After the birth ‐ extras

  • lip balm (your lips can dry up during labour, with all that panting)
  • Arnica (homeopathic remedy that helps to heal any bruising)
  • cold drinks ‐though avoid fizzy drinks  or too much caffeine
  • herbal tea (fennel is recommended for breastfeeding mums)
  • juicy novel, magazines, writing paper and envelopes in case you stay for a few days
  • a breastfeeding book, along with telephone numbers of local breastfeeding counsellor
  • bran! You’ll need lots of fibre to prevent constipation

For baby ‐ necessities

  • nappies ‐most hospitals require you to bring your own
  • cotton wool for nappy changing
  • cream, such as Sudocreme, zinc and castor oil or petroleum jelly, for baby’s bottom
  • several babygros and vests as you may have to change these several times
  • muslin squares
  • warm, soft baby blanket
  • an outfit for the trip home ‐ something soft, warm and stretchy is best
  • socks or booties
  • scratch mittens
  • hat (either woolly or a sun hat, depending on the weather)
  • jacket or snowsuit for cold weather
  • infant car seat

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