Packing your hospital bag should be an enjoyable and stress-free task. Avoid leaving it until the last minute to ensure you don’t forget any important items.

What You’re Packing For

  • Duration: Prepare for an average hospital stay of 2-3 days, though this can vary depending on how the birthing process unfolds. If you need to stay longer, having enough items for a few days allows your partner or a friend to bring additional items later if needed.
  • Bag Size: Choose a bag similar in size to a weekend travel bag to avoid overpacking.
  • Essentials: Pack items that are not easily accessible at the hospital and those that will make your stay more comfortable and pleasant.
  • Focus on Importance: Your bag should contain only the essentials, ensuring you have what you need without overburdening yourself.

Items to add to your hospital bag

  • Personal toiletries -eg. toothbrush/toothpaste, face cloth, wet wipes, body lotion. Hospital amenities are not always up to your standard so bringing your own items will be helpful.
  • Pads – Pack about 5 super-absorbent sanitary or maternity pads.
  • 2-3 changes of comfortable clothing – Don’t forget a maternity bra and underwear (bring lots or bring disposable ones).
  • Nightdress – You’ll need something comfortable to sleep in during your hospital stay. Choose a front-opening one if you plan to breastfeed.
  • Entertainment – A must in any hospital bag. Pack some books, electronic items, puzzles, magazines etc., anything that you enjoy. There will be a lot of waiting.
  • Comfort items – Socks, a comfy bathrobe and slippers, your favourite pillow.
  • Snacks – Pack some non-perishable snacks that you enjoy ie. crackers, dried fruit or chocolate granola bars.
  • Baby items and clothes – A set of clothes for the baby and a blanket.
  • Comfortable footwear – No explanation here necessary!
  • Miscellaneous – spare charger, contact lens.

It’s never too early to gather together all the essentials you’ll need during labour, birth and for after your baby is born. Make sure your hospital bag is ready by week 36 of pregnancy but sooner is better.