Packing your hospital bag should be a fun and stress-free chore. Don’t leave it till the last minute otherwise you run the risk of forgetting some important items.

What you’re packing for

  • An average hospital stay of 2-3 days. Ultimately this depends on how the birthing process unfolds. If for any reason you need to stay a little longer, 2-3 days of items will give your partner or friend plenty of time to go back home and pack more items for you.
  • The bag should not be overly large. Think weekend travel bag.
  • You want to pack items that you won’t be able to get easily in the hospital and items that will make your hospital stay a little more pleasant and enjoyable.
  • The bag does not have to include everything. It just has to include the important things.

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.