Going into hospital to give birth is a stressful, exciting and sometimes terrifying time for women, so it helps to be properly prepared beforehand to make things go as smoothly as possible. Let’s face it, if your waters break suddenly, the last thing you want to do is rush around getting your things, or leave to a partner. Knowing you have your maternity bag packed well in advance will give you huge peace of mind, and will make going into hospital as smooth as possible.
The NHS recommends that you pack the following:
- Loose and comfortable clothes: A large nightdress is probably best, but remember that it’s likely to get very messy so don’t buy anything new. You will want to bring two or three changes of clothes, just in case labour lasts a long time or you have to stay in hospital. You’ll also want clean clothes to go home in.
- A dressing gown and slippers, for if you want to get up and move about the hospital as well as the postnatal ward.
- Five or six pairs of pants. These may get messy, and you’ll want comfortable or even disposable ones.
- Two or three comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you’re going to be breastfeeding.
- Around 24 sanitary pads, the highest absorbency possible.
- A sponge or water spray for your birth partner to help cool you down.
- A wash bag with toiletries such as toothpaste, soap and a flannel. Don’t forget a hairbrush for those first photos with your baby, and a hairband if you might want to tie your hair up.
- Snacks and drinks. Sports drinks like Lucozade and glucose tablets will help give you an energy boost.
For your baby, you’ll need:
- An outfit for the journey home, as well as one or two sleepsuits in case you have to stay in the hospital.
- A blanket or shawl.
- A hat, as well as a jacket if you’re giving birth in the winter.
- Socks or booties.
A few other websites recommend all sorts of extra items, such as ear plugs and an eye mask for getting some sleep on a bright and noisy ward, spare change for the phone and vending machines, a pen and paper to make a note of visitors or any gifts, a plastic bag for any dirty clothes, music, magazines or a book, or a hot water bottle for soothing any aches or pains.
It helps to pack your maternity bag well in advance, and here at Daisy Baby we have two varieties of suitable bags: the 'Monroe' Maternity/Weekender Case - White and the Lady with a Baby Maternity/Weekender Bag. The great thing about these is that they look fantastic, and so can be used again and again for trips away or for your baby’s essentials for a day out.
Just remember, it never hurts to overprepare, and having a well-stocked maternity bag ready to grab at a moment’s notice will make a world of difference!