What to pack in my hospital bag?

Useful tips from the NHS


Packing your hospital bag can be both exciting and daunting. Your midwife should be able to give you a list of things to take with you. It’s a good idea to get your hospital bag packed at last 2 weeks before the due date. Whether you’re having the bay at hospital or at home or at a birth centre it’s a good idea to pack a bag should you need to transfer at any point.

You could have one bag packed for you and one for the baby or you could have one bag packed for labour and one bag packed for after labour with all the things you might need.

There are two lists: one before labour and one after your baby is born.

You will need:

  • A few personal toiletries such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush, flannel, soap, deodorant, and towels
  • A dressing gown and slippers may come in handy when you're walking around during the early stages of labour
  • Items that will help you to relax such as books, magazines or music
  • Something loose and comfortable to wear during labour - you may need about three changes of clothes
  • And five or six pairs of underwear, preferably old ones or maternity underwear
  • A water bottle and snacks
  • Extra pillows for comfort

And check if you are allowed to take your mobile phone

After labour:

  • Your breasts are likely to be tender and swollen. You should therefore pack two or three comfortable regular bras or nursing bras if you’re planning on breastfeeding
  • Front-opening nighties are also useful if you're going to breastfeed – you may find that darker colours are more practical
  • After delivery, you will bleed heavily so make sure you pack around 24 super-absorbent sanitary towels
  • And finally, you will need a looser outfit to return home.

You also need to pack for your new baby: a couple of changes of clothes, including vest and baby grows, a couple of hats, nappies, scratch mitts, a warm pram suit and a blanket to keep them warm.

Some women find they might get constipated after giving birth so taking some fresh fruit, whole meal bread and lots of water can help prevent this.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to have a gift to give from the baby to your other child or from your other child to the baby. It’s also a really nice idea to have a going home outfit to put the baby in to take the baby home to meet the whole family after this wonderful event.