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When you feel that first contraction and it all starts to happen, sometimes getting to the hospital can be somewhat of a mad rush! So at around 35 weeks, it’s a good idea to pack your hospital bag. That way, you’re ready to go and it gives you one less thing to worry about. We’ve put together a checklist to cover the essentials but feel free to add your own little extras. Check with your doctor or midwife if you have any special requirements, too. Happy packing!
What to pack for you
- Clothes: Pack a comfy nightie or big t-shirt (much easier than PJs for labour) plus a dressing gown for around the ward and some cosy socks and slippers. Bring loose day clothes and comfy shoes for going home. Remember your tummy will still be quite big, so maternity clothes are a good idea.
- Undies and bras: Bring maternity bras or singlets, ideal for feeding, and a few of your oldest pairs of undies (you might end up binning them afterwards). It’s a good idea to leave the skimpy ones at home. High waisted nanna knickers are accepted! They’ll give you the support you need and if you have a caesarean, they will avoid the wound area.
- Toiletries: Include the basics - toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shower gel and shampoo, plus a nice moisturiser and hand cream for a treat. And, if you’ve got long hair, don’t forget a hairband to keep it out of the way.
- Breast pads: Bring a couple of boxes for when your milk comes in and you start feeding.
- Sanitary pads: Bring a pack or two of ‘super’ or special ‘maternity’ pads.
- Glasses/contact lenses: Easy to forget, impossible to do without! Don’t forget your glasses case and contact lens cases/solution too.
- Mobile/charger and address book: Probably the most important on your list to share the happy news with your friends and family!
What to pack for labour
- Your birth plan: If you’ve prepared one, don’t forget to bring it with you as a reminder for your midwife or doctor.
- Swimmers and a towel: If your hospital has a large bath, you might want to relax in it once things get started.
- Lip balm: Your lips can get dry, so a favourite lip balm is a nice way to moisturise them.
- A wheat pack or hot water bottle: Just heat in the microwave for soothing relief.
- Snacks and drinks: A few little treats like healthy energy bars, fresh juices or a bottle of cool water will keep energy levels up - and keep you going.
- Magazines/iPod: Things might stop and start, so take something to distract you. It’ll help you relax and pass the time.
- Spray bottle: A water bottle with a fine mist spray is refreshing and cooling for your face.
- Little extras: It could be massage oils (unscented is probably best) or a pillow with your own special case for a touch of home.
What to pack for your baby
- Clothes: Pack onesies (or anything with press studs) for easy changing plus scratch mitts and cosy socks/bootees. Your little one will also need an outfit to go home in, including a soft beanie and cardi if it’s going to be cool. Make sure the outfit has legs so the capsule strap can fit between them. Pack an extra change of clothes just in case.
- Disposable nappies and baby wipes: Bring your own if you plan to use them, as some hospitals don’t supply disposables.
- Muslins: Useful for swaddling and keeping your little one (and you) clean during feeding.
- Baby lotion: Bring some gentle baby lotion for a bonding massage with your baby.
- Baby blanket: Bring your own blanket to tuck around your bub in the capsule for the ride home. Make it a super cosy one if the weather's cold.
- Capsule: Make sure it’s correctly fitted in your car ready for the exciting journey home.
What your birthing partner should pack
- Toiletries and a change of clothes: You’ll probably be there for a little while so a change of clothes and essentials like a toothbrush and toothpaste are a good idea for freshening up along the way.
- Food and drink: It’s good for your birthing partner to have a supply of snacks, meals and drinks for during and after labour. It means they can stay with you and stock up when they need to without having to rely on the hospital canteen.
- Money: It’s useful to have some cash at the ready for parking and snacks or meals.
- Swimmers and towel: If there’s a large bath at your hospital, you might want your birthing partner to join you for extra support.
- A camera: Make sure the camera is charged with plenty of room on the memory card to capture those special moments.
- Magic hands: Make sure they have their massaging hands at the ready!
One last thing…
Don’t worry if you do forget something - there’s always someone who can bring it in for you. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to call us at the Careline, there’s no question too big or small. And now you can relax - your bag is packed and your new little person will be here soon!
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