What to pack for when you go into labour
Preparing for your baby’s arrival, also means packing your pregnancy bag so you’re not running around at the last minute trying to find where you left your comfy knickers. You’ll need to make a list of everything you’ll need during labour and after your baby arrives. Even if you’re planning a home birth, it’s important to have an overnight bag ready to go if there are unexpected complications and you need to go to hospital. Founder of Social Mama, Elisha Fiorentino was making lists and checking them twice from the day she knew she was pregnant, but generally if you aim to have your overnight bag ready to go by the time you’re 35-36 weeks pregnant, you should be more than well-prepared. Maybe a little earlier, if you’ve had a difficult pregnancy and you are expecting you may go into labour early.
Be sure to check with the hospital or birthing centre near you to check with what you’re allowed to bring. Due to space limitations, you may not be allowed to take large suitcases. By taking your own snacks, pillows or iPod with music can help you feel a bit more at home. It’s a good idea to leave your jewellery and any other valuable safely at home.
Some people prefer to pack a couple of different overnight bags—one for when you’re giving birth, one that has everything you need for when the baby arrives, one if you have to stay overnight or longer due to complications, and one for the Baby Daddy, so he has everything he wants within fingers reach.
Is there anything worse than your child’s father hunting through your neatly packed bag looking for a packet of Cheetos or his phone? Or asking you where you put his lucky socks. No ladies, it’s easier if you pack the mister his own pregnancy bag.
What to pack in your pregnancy bag
A printed copy of your birth plan and printed note of your preferences. Anything can happen during labour so if you want a natural birth and the midwife or doctors are recommending a c-section, be prepared to be flexible. They are only doing what’s in your best interest.
- Pen and notebook – this is not to pen your last will and testament, but to jot down feedings, wet nappies and track important information
- Medicare card/private health insurance card
- Something comfortable to wear during labour.
- Your favourite PJs or nightie in case you have to stay overnight. The birthing plan Elisha elected for saw her home about four hours after she gave birth, but your own jammies are always nicer than those breezy, backless hospital gowns
- Socks and slippers
- Plenty of comfy undies
- A couple of changes of clothes in case of any complications and you need to stay in.
- Maternity or breast feeding bras
- Clothes for the trip home so you can look a little more glam than wearing a grubby pair of trackie-dacks
- Toiletries including a hairbrush, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, face washer, hair ties (or scrunchies) breast pads and maternity pads
- Phone chargers, smartphone, kindle or a good book to read, or anything that you find relaxing – ipod with your special birthing soundtrack on Spotify, earphones.
- A list of important phone numbers of who will need to be contacted when the baby arrives.
- Extra bag for dirty clothes
- Nappy bag Snacks
What to pack in Dad’s pregnancy bag
- Phone and chargers, earphones if he wants to watch youtube videos or Netflix on his phone
- Comfortable shoes
- Change of clothes
- Watch with a second hand for timing contractions
- Swimwear if he wants to join Mum in the birthing pool
What to pack in the pregnancy bag for baby
- Full sleepsuit/ onesies
- Socks and booties
- Blankets / wraps – minimum of 2 plus a bigger one if it is winter
- Muslin wraps x 2
- Going home outfit. Make sure you have a couple just in case there is a spill up before leaving. It’s a special moment and proud grandparents will no doubt want to capture the memories on camera
- Baby towel – for first bath
- Nappies – up to 10 per day
- Face washers