Packing your hospital bags

Suggested Labour Bag

A labour bag should be a bag packed with items that you and your partner might want in labour. Plan to pack things that are of comfort both physically and emotionally.

Labour Bag

  • Birth plan
  • Childbirth education class notes
  • Loose fitting large T-shirt – for comfortable labouring
  • Socks non-skid ones – your feet might get cold in labour
  • Hair brush and elastics – to keep your hair out of your face
  • Dressing gown and slippers – easy to get on and off
  • Your own favourite pillow – for personal comfort (use bright coloured pillow case so it doesn’t get mixed up with hospital linen
  • 2 Face cloths – keep face cool and refreshed
  • support of the perineum
  • Refreshing face wipes
  • Lip-ice, gloss – to prevent dry cracked lips
  • Fan or firm paper plate – to keep face cool
  • Water spray bottle – to cool you down
  • CD & player / MP3 player / smart phone with iTunes – for relaxing music to create your own environment for your labour and birth
  • Candles and lighter
  • Oil or powder – for massage – odourless or slight smell – not highly perfumed
  • 2 Tennis balls in a sock – for a back massage / to lean back against while sitting
  • Manual massagers to roll, stroke, press or vibrate on back, shoulders, hands and feet
  • Hot packs to place over your lower back, shoulders or abdomen during labour
  • Cold can of soft drink – to roll over your lower back (keep several cans cold in a bowl of crushed ice)
  • Focal point / picture / baby toy – for inspiration and visualisation
  • A birth ball
  • Bendy straw – to be able to drink easily
  • Fruit juice or high energy drinks for labour
  • High energy snacks – raisins, bananas, cereals, breads
  • Camera – extra batteries / memory cards / video camera
  • Toothbrush and paste – freshen your mouth
  • Towel, toiletries, tissues
  • Clean T-shirt for after labour
  • Cell phone + list of relatives and friends to call
  • Cell phone charger / battery power pack
  • Cord stem cell pack
  • iPad / tablet to help pass the time in early labour
  • Vaginal swab for good microbiome formation (see article on page   )

Anything else that might personalise your labour room and make you feel more comfortable in labour

Labour Bag for Dad

  • Cash & credit cards
  • Medical aid card
  • Paperwork for the hospital
  • Watch for timing contractions
  • Copy of birth plan
  • Music
  • Light reading material
  • Favourite snacks
  • Change for the vending machine
  • A change of clothes
  • Comfortable shoes as you may be pacing up and down the corridors with your partner
  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone charger
  • List of names to call

Your hospital case

Leave this in the car until you have been transferred to the ward

  • 3 T-shirts / sleep shirts – front opening to start breastfeeding with
  • Toiletries
  • Bath towel – large thick one for added comfort as hospital’s one might not be quite so luxurious
  • Disposable pants
  • Maternity sanitary pads
  • Linen savers
  • Feme pad – perineal ice pack to relive discomfort of stitches
  • Feeding bra
  • Breast pads
  • Breast soother – gel pad for the breast – cold or hot
  • Mirror
  • Plastic bag for dirty washing
  • Healthy snacks and fruit juice
  • Ear plugs – in case your ward is noisy
  • Slippers or comfortable shoes
  • Contact number of lactation consultant
  • Hairdryer

Home-coming bag

  • Loose maternity outfit

For baby

  • 2 disposable nappies
  • Vest, babygro, booties
  • Receiving blanket
  • Car seat
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