Transcript – Preparing for the birth: What to pack in your bag

Whether you’re 25 weeks or 35 weeks, packing your bag is an exciting task, but it can also be daunting, ensuring that you have everything you need. You should make sure your bags are packed at least 2 weeks prior to your due date, as we never know exactly when baby will arrive! Whether you pack a suitcase, a bag, or even 2 smaller bags, all that matters is that you’re happy and ready to meet your baby…but remember, you are potentially packing for an overnight stay for you and your birth partner.

When the time comes, remember to keep your maternity notes and important numbers close by; in your handbag, in your phone, or anywhere that’s accessible for either yourself or whoever you are with.

These numbers include:
– your chosen hospital/or midwife,
– your birth partner(s)
– your hospital reference number, which should be on your maternity notes already, you will be asked for this when you ring up.

First let’s talk about what Mum will need.

For during labour you’ll need:

• Your birth plan, if you’ve made one.
• A couple of comfy, loose outfits for labour – something like a cosy nighty or a big t-shirt is perfect
• For the early stages of labour, you might like some things to help you relax, such as books, magazines, music or podcasts
• Anything that might make you feel comfortable and relaxed or any hypnobirthing resources you’ve been using. Some labour wards and birth
centres provide some resources, so do check with your chosen hospital.
• Your phone and charger
• Your camera
• Healthy snacks and drinks
• Any medication you’re taking, including nicotine replacement therapies. Hospitals are smoke free sites. Speak to your midwife if you would like some support to quit smoking.
• Wash bag and toiletries 
• A TENS machine and batteries, if you want to use one and if your hospital doesn’t provide one

For after labour you’ll need:

• 2 packs of large sanitary or maternity pads
• A few pairs of comfortable or disposable knickers
• Supportive bras or nursing bras
• Quite a few breast pads
• 2 towels
• A dressing gown
• Slippers or flip flops
• Comfy outfits or pyjamas (remember if you’re breastfeeding, front-opening
nighties or pyjamas are easiest!)

Next, what will baby need?

• At least 4 babygrows
• 4 Vests
• 2 hats
• Scratch mittens
• Socks
• Plenty of nappies (you will use around 6-8 every 24 hours)
• Muslin squares
• Baby wipes or cotton wool balls
• An outfit for going home – if it is cold, you may wish to pack a pram suit • If you are planning to breast feed you do not need to pack any formula milk.
• If you are choosing to formula feed you will need enough pre-made baby milk for 2 days, approximately 6- 8 bottles of formula feed a day. If you need more your family/supporters can bring more later. There are no facilities to make up powdered milk at the hospital.
• Car seat for going home

And last but not least, what will the birth partner need?

• Comfy clothes
• Toothbrush/toothpaste
• Snacks
• Cash (for the carpark, and for refreshments)
• A book/something for entertainment for when you are resting
• A pillow/small blanket

Please speak to your midwife for your Trust’s policies on partners staying overnight.

Make sure you have access to reliable transport and know how to access the hospital both in the day or nighttime. You may need an emergency number for family or friends if you need them to care for other children.