Giving birth is an unpredictable event; usually you don’t know when it’ll happen, or how long it’ll take. You might get lucky and have a super speedy labour and not need much from the list we’ve compiled below, but our motto is that of the Girl Guides – ‘Always be prepared!’
Your iPod/pad/phone AND CHARGER!!! With the hypnobirthing tracks on them of course!!! Also make your own playlist in case you fancy something a bit more energetic, something by the prodigy maybe??!!
Fresh water in a sports bottle Don’t bother faffing around with a plastic cup and straw or you’ll likely end up with the straw rammed up your nostril and a face full of water mid contraction!
Jelly babies The instant pick me up when your energy levels are flagging, midwives love a jelly baby on a night shift too! 🙂
Food for him You never know how long your labour will take and a hungry birth partner = a grumpy birth partner, so pack some of his favourite snacks to keep him going otherwise he’ll be ringing his mum to drop by with some sandwiches
Isotonic drinks Just in case the vending machine is out of order, pack a few bottles
Bikini for the birth pool Us midwives have seen it all before but this whole ‘getting your kit off’ in front of strangers is probably a new thing for you (probably), so just wear whatever is most comfortable for you, bikini, bathing suit, birthday suit, whatever.
Yoga mat A tad controversial this one, it’s for the men to have a snooze on if they’re super tired and the only option is the floor. No he won’t be snoozing at that crucial moment when you’re birthing his baby, but he might just need 40 winks before the drive home maybe?
Hair band The good ol’ 90’s scrunchy is the best otherwise your other half is rummaging around in your make bag looking for your hair bobble for an eternity.
Change for the car park Yes you need to take out a small mortgage these days for hospital parking but if you ask nicely you might be entitled to a free pass, worth a go!
Your birth plan. Laminated, with key points highlighted (only joking) make sure you give it to the midwife looking after you.
Lip balm Gas and air = dry lips, nuff said
Flannel Yes it’s not just something we midwives suggested in the good old days, women in labour these days still need their brows mopped with a cool damp flannel!
Warm socks We’ve lost count of the number of women we’ve looked after in labour that have stripped off completely bar their socks! Must be something to do with blood flow going to the uterus leaving the extremities cold maybe?
Hot water bottle Great to put on your lower back or under the bump to ease any cramping. Be warned the midwives might not be able to re-fill it (due to elf ‘n’ safety) but if that’s the case ask if they have any heat packs you can use instead.
Big pants and proper brick like sanitary pads. Panty liners just won’t cut it if your waters have gone nor will they just after you’ve had the bubba – think 9 months of periods all in one go, gross but true. You could also try the TENA lady incontinence pants (we won’t judge you honest!) Oh and leave those lacy thongs at home, only big, baggy dark pants will do, yes motherhood is sexy!
Tracky bottoms (dark ones obvs.) and a zip up hoody for after the birth. Much comfier than jeans and teamed with a zip up top = easy access for breastfeeding and you’ll be looking bang on trend on the postnatal ward!
Flip flops There’s just something a bit grannyish about plodding around a hospital in your slippers don’t you think? Flip flops can also be worn in the shower.
Lansinoh nipple cream Pricey but so worth it, put a smidge on after every feed keeps ‘em super soft and keeps the cracks at bay
Pillows. There’s either a tone of pillows on labour ward or none at all, so to be sure best to bring your own, maybe sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on them for added relaxation.
Nursing bras, and maybe a few breast pads too in case you’re ‘that woman’ with an abundance of breast milk and could easily nurse all the babies on the ward and still have some left over.
Toiletry bag with shower gel, deodorant, shampoo & conditioner (do they still make wash and go??) and BB cream, well you wanna be looking glam for those post birth photos don’t you?!
Disposable nappies Even if you’ve invested in the washable ones, for infection control reasons just use disposable nappies whilst in hospital.
Cotton wool For cleaning baby’s bottom, wipes can be a tad harsh on their peachy cheeks initially, so best to save the wipes for a few days down the line if you can.
Vests, sleep suits, and a hat. Yes the pink frilly Dior dress is adorable but trust us, for those first few days it’s all about being practical and although the poppers will drive you a bit insane at 3am the sleep suit is the way to go for practicality.
A nice warm blanket Yes the knitted ones are very classy but the warmest are those cheap fleece ones from Matalan, honest!
- Top Tips – Make full use of the NHS linen, i.e. towels, cot sheets and baby blankets. It’ll save you the hassle of packing and washing your own!
- Pack a little treat for yourself, maybe a mini bottle of prosecco??, or a scrumptious bar of chocolate?? after all you’re the one that’s done all the hard work, congratulations, you rock!!
Sharon , Katheryn & Jade xxx