(for during & after)
It's hard to know what birth essentials you should or shouldn't take to
hospital.What will you need for the birth? what will you need after the
birth, when your newborn baby is cuddled closely to you?What is a birth
essential and what isn't? With my first baby I didn't take enough
things, with my second I wasn't going to get caught short again. I
packed two bags, one for me for the birth, and one for my new baby after
the birth. It looked like I was going on holiday, but I had all the
birth essentials that I needed! (and more besides!)
Birth essentials for 'mum-to-be'
- Birth Plan
(if you have one) & Maternity notes
- An old night shirt or t-shirt for the actual birth, it may get messy
- night shirt or change or clothes for after the birth
- Old briefs, or disposable briefs
- Warm socks! believe it or not your feet can get pretty cold during labour
- Slippers just in case you want to pace the floor and try and get things moving!
Sanitary towels, Preferably large, with wings are good. You don't
actually need maternity pads as the new designed ones these days work
just as well, but you will need plenty of them
- Breast pads (you don't produce milk 'just' when baby needs it (a little leaking can occur!)
- Toiletries, shampoo, toothpaste/brush, deodorant, soap etc.
- Purse or money, lots of change for ringing people
Camera, we forgot ours when I went in to have my daughter. My husband
had to chase to the hospital shop for a disposable! Luckily he made it
back in time!
- Lip balm, they may get very dry and cracked.
- Music tapes/Cd's and player if you want something to listen too.
TENS machine if you're using one for pain relief. I used Tens with my
son and it was generally very good, although I had a long labour (27
hours) and needed something a little stronger at the end.
- Light snacks incase you get hungry, some hospitals don't like you to eat too much during labour, others won't mind.
- Drinks or a thermos of ice cubes to suck on. Labour is very thirsty work and you will need to keep yourself hydrated.
Birth essentials for your new baby
- Nappies, newborn and first size, you never know how big your
baby will be, sometimes a big baby of 10lb plus won't quite fit into
- Vests, how many is your choice (in normal
circumstances 3 should be fine) it depends how long you will be staying
in hospital for after the birth, also whether someone will bring more
things for you if you need them
- Sleep suits, again the amount is your personal choice
Baby wipes or cotton wool, for cleaning that little bottom. some
hospitals don't like you to use wipes as they may contain light
chemicals that could irritate newborn delicate skin
- Shampoo or
baby soap, if you stay in hospital for a while you may wish to bath your
baby, if you are a first time mum, either a midwife or one of the ward
staff will show you how to hold and bath your baby. Don't be embarrassed
to ask for help, it is tricky when you're not sure how to do things
- Scratch mitts to stop baby from scratching his delicate skin.
- A cardi or jacket for taking baby home.
A hat, again for the journey home, or if your baby is quite small he
may need to go under a heat lamp when first born to help regulate his
temperature. My daughter was only 5lb 2oz and she spent over an hour
fully dressed under a heat lamp, but I didn't have a hat for her,
luckily the hospital had a few spares on hand!
- If you are
bottle feeding, the hospital will provide bottles while you are in their
care. The one I was in offered a good range of ready made formula milk.
are of course more birth essentials that you could take along, it
really depends on how long you will be staying. If you know you are
having a caesarean then you may be staying for a week or longer, this
could well mean you will need more things for after the birth,
read more about caesarean birth here.
Maybe you would like to take a book to read or some
magazines.These lists are really just basic things in case you feel like
I did with my first baby, I just didn't have a clue what I would need
for the birth or after the birth, hope this helps a little :-)
birth essentials to the childbirth
page, to see more about giving birth and what to expect during childbirth,
or visit the
New baby and beyond homepage