24 November, 2020
Hospital Bag Checklist for Birth
Here’s a comprehensive list of what to pack for the hospital. Pack your bag so it’s organised to be able to find things quickly.
You can also pack a secondary bag for the car or at home in case you have an extended stay. This would include extra clothes.
- Maternity bras & feeding tops. Think buttons, zips or actual feeding tops & dresses. Easy access for breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact.
- Outfit for photos for you, partner and bubs. Some hospitals will have a photographer take photos to be purchased.
- Baby clothes: singlets, onesies, beanie / hat and socks. As a general rule of thumb, babies will wear one layer extra than you. The average hospital stay is 3 days for public and 5 days for private. If you have a longer stay get a loved one to pop home and grab you extra rather than bringing everything with you. While two piece outfits might look cute for babies, the pants can rub on the umbilical cord and clamp. Onesies will have flaps for socks and mittens so no need to pack those.
- Recovery, compression shorts or compression tube for when feels comfortable.
- Loose fitting clothing for directly after delivery.
- Clothes for partner.
- Bathers for you and partner. You may want to get into the shower or have a water birth.
- Old t-shirt for labour.
- Dark comfortable undies. Preferably high undies in case you need a C-section.
- Button down PJs, slippers and dressing gown. Hospitals can get cold.
- Slip on shoes - your feet may swell
- Thongs for the shower
- Paperwork - Medicare card and admissions forms (if any)
- Several copies of printed birth preferences
- App to measure contractions - like BabyCentre from App Store or Google Play
- Heat packs
- Pillows with bright coloured or patterned pillow case so not mistaken as the hospital’s
- Items from home. This will help you feel comfortable in your space. Birth should be a relaxing experience. Do what you need to create that atmosphere.
- Perineum ice packs. The hospital will most likely give you some but good to have some spares if needed. You can soak maternity pads and pop in the freezer ready for when you come home too.
- Nipple cream
- TENS machine to relieve labour sensations and muscle tension. Hospital will likely also have available. Ask ahead of time.
- Rebozo or scarf for Spinning Babies exercises prescribed by your Chiropractor.
- If giving birth in the hospital, they'll generally have fitballs, peanuts and other equipment for you to find comfortable positions. Ask ahead of time what’s available.
- Portable fan- you might feel really hot during labour.
- Toiletries - I liked my own soap
- Lip balm
- Shampoo, condition & soap
- Ear plugs & eye mask - in case you are sharing a room
- Face washers
- Hair ties and head band to keep hair off your face during labour
- Toilet paper & towel - softer than hospital
- Maternity pads or adult diapers
- Period undies. Big W sell a range and Thinx have a specific postpartum pack.
- Entertainment - books, magazines, cards, movies/TV shows
- Phone & charger with a long cord
- Snacks for mum & support person(s). Bring a range of food- you don’t know what you will be able to tolerate during labour. After labour, fibre-fuelled foods are great to take pressure off the pelvic floor.
- Water bottle
- Bendy straws
- Electrolytes - sachets mean that you can control how strong the sweetness is. You might not be able to tolerate something that's too sweet.
- Laxatives - might be required after birth
Setting the Environment
- Music, hypnosis tracks or nature sounds preloaded on your phone (and partners phone as a back up)
- Bluetooth speakers
- LED candles - like these ones from Kmart
- Printed off birth affirmations
- Nappy bag - nappies, wipes, bum cream, nappy bin bags, spew clothes, hand sanitiser, clean outfit.
- Swaddles - baby wraps or zip up (hands up or hands down depending on baby’s preferences)
- Car seat - pre-installed.
- Pram / capsule with blankets - we didn’t use but handy to have in the car.
- Cute toys, plaques or accessories for photos. Your baby won’t be interested in these, they are purely for your enjoyment.
About the Author
Dr Cassie Atkinson-Quinton - Chiropractor, Doula, Women's Health Yoga & Pilates Instructor, Spinning Babies Lover
As a Chiropractor, Doula and perinatal Pilates & Yoga instructor, Dr Cassie loves to help pregnant women keep fit, healthy and comfortable. Knowing how empowering it felt to be fit and energetic during the pregnancy of her son inspires Cassie to want this for her patients. Cassie incorporates Spinning Babies, Yoga and Pilates exercises into her prenatal and postpartum Chiropractic sessions. She's currently studying her Graduate Certificate in Women's Health Medicine through the University of New South Wales.